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The History of Popcorn and Movies 

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If you are a big fan of the movies, EC has a number of schools that could suit you; you can choose to learn English in New York or Los Angeles and even San Francisco. Close to movie studios and living film sets, any of these destinations has its history steeped in the entertainment industry. 

Where did popcorn originate? 

Watching a movie isn’t complete without snacks, and historically, popcorn is today, the go-to snack, however, the oldest known popcorn was found in New Mexico, dating back over 5,600 years. Ancient civilizations in the Americas, particularly in what is now Mexico, were known to have grown and consumed popcorn. It wasn’t just a snack; it also had ceremonial and decorative significance.  

Popcorn’s popularity spread throughout North and South America over the centuries. Native Americans used popcorn not only as a food item but also in rituals and as decoration. When European settlers arrived in the Americas, they adopted popcorn from Native American cultures. It became a popular snack in the United States by the mid-1800s. 

What’s the association with movies? 

In the early 20th century, when movie theatres first became popular, they were considered upscale destinations, and owners did not want to deal with the mess and smell of snacks like popcorn. However, the Great Depression changed this perspective. As an inexpensive treat, popcorn was one of the few luxuries that people could afford. Street vendors would sell popcorn outside theatres. 

During the Great Depression, with falling ticket sales, theatre owners started installing popcorn machines inside theatres as a way to boost revenue. The affordability of popcorn made it an instant hit among moviegoers, and it became inextricably linked with the experience of watching movies.  

During World War II, sugar rationing limited the production of candy, further enhancing popcorn’s popularity as a snack. Today, popcorn is a staple of movie theatre concessions, with its aroma and taste being part of the movie-going experience.  

Movies to watch where popcorn is the star 

There are some iconic movies where popcorn is the star in its own right. Have you seen Kentucky Fried Movie, Scream, Fantastic Four, or pop-culture classic, Gremlins? Watching films can help you practice your English – so popcorn could play a major part in your studies! 

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