Culinary History,  Food History,  History,  Snacks

Peanuts and Circuses, Popcorn and Movies

Besides TV, entertainment comes in many forms! Movies, circuses, fairs, music festivals and sporting events are also forms of entertainment and guess what?! They all have their own snacks! We eat popcorn at the movies, peanuts and cotton candy at the circus or fair and hot dogs at sporting events. But have you ever wondered how those snacks became associated with those various forms of large scale entertainment?

One of the very reasons that you will often find snacks at these events is the very fact that they are large scale! Wherever a large amount of people are gathering for awhile for an event, they’re going to need food eventually! 🙂 Because a lot of times, people needed something fast and quick while at an entertainment event, hand held snacks and concession stands sprung up offering those very things.

Entrepreneurs and enterprising people know that to offer something to someone that they need when they need it, is good business. Because these events are usually long, all day or have an intermission, it became a great chance to offer snacks to hungry patrons. Some times these snacks are regional and reflect the area of the country that houses the attraction.

Before the 1930s, movie theaters did not offer or encourage eating food in the theater. As more and more people came though and the movie theaters needed money to stay afloat, they began to offer candy and other snacks. Popcorn at the movies took off in the 1940s when sugar was rationed.

Over time, people begin to associate those foods with those events. And for many people, now the experience of going to that event is not complete without that food! 🙂

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