Is Popcorn Sold At Movie Theaters Worldwide?

I was watching a PBS documentary last night, and it showed a woman sweeping up popcorn in a theater in Tel Aviv, and it got me wondering if popcorn is THE movie theater snack worldwide, even in cultures where popcorn may not be otherwise widely eaten.

Is popcorn sold in movie theaters in Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Berlin, Bangkok, Beijing and Brisbane?

It’s standard here in Panama, and I suspect in Latin America in general. (Panama movie theaters sell most of the usual fare in the US, including hot dogs, nacho chips, candy, etc.)

Affirmative for the UK. I trhink you’d struggle to find a cinema in the UK that didn’t sell popcorn.

Popcorn is standard here in Chile too

Another Yes for Berlin - although we Germans are generally undecided between sweet and salty popcorn. As I understand it, salty is pretty much the only way to go in American theaters, right?

Yes, but in my experience it’s rare for the popcorn to be made on the premises; it’s usually trucked in by the bagful from Og knows where. European cinemas also never put butter or oil on the popcorn—instead you usually have a choice between “salty” or “sweet”.

I’ve had popcorn at a movie theater in China.

Yup from France, although I couldn’t tell you when it started. It’s pretty much the only setting where people eat or ask for popcorn, really.

Yeah; I don’t think I’ve ever seen caramel corn, kettle corn, or any other “sweet” popcorn variant at a U.S. movie theater. It’s always butter-flavored with salt, and with extra butter-flavored grease and salt often available at the condiment counter.

I’ve seen kettle corn occasionally. Usually it’s prepackaged, not made on the premises.

Standard in Australia, and made on premises.

Salty’s the standard in US theatres.

At home, I fry red chili pepper flakes in the oil before I pop the corn. I then sprinkle on salt and garlic powder. fantastic

I did a half-assed job on my OP, and didn’t ask a big part of what I was hoping to learn.

I really was hoping to find out of different countries also sold movie snacks specific to their specific culture and tastes, like if theaters in Brussels sold fries, or cinemas in Beirut offered pita and hummus…

Any “exotic” movie snacks Dopers have had in foreign locales?

Don’t stereotype. They don’t get fries in Brussels. They get big waffles, with strawberries and whipped cream.


What about sprouts?

In Japan, most cinemas that I’ve been to sell salted popcorn and caramel popcorn. Some theaters may offer other flavors.

Not a cinema, but at Tokyo Disney Resort, there are 4-6 different flavors of popcorn available regularly. They range from sea salt to honey to cappuccino to black pepper.

I once had a waffle in Brussels that was made in a converted VW van with a little kitchen in the back half.

The hippy guy selling them was also apparently offering other consumables, but I just stuck with the waffle.

(It was actually very tasty, lightly dusted with a sweet glaze, and for 1 Euro, it hit the spot between beer stops)

I can vouch for popcorn in Mexico. Salty, buttered, chile flavored, some other flavor I don’t remember and didn’t try. Baguettes. Beer. Waiter service. Reclining seats.

Popcorn is indeed sold at all cinemas in Bangkok and everywhere else in Thailand. It would be unthinkable not to have it. The wife and I always have to have our popcorn fix when we go to the movies.

However, there were three cinemas owned by the same company in Siam Square, in central Bangkok, all within a stone’s throw of each other. They all used this old-fashioned type of machine that apparently you can’t get parts for anymore, at least not here. One broke down one day, so from then on you had to go run to one of the others to buy your popcorn. Alas! Then the red shirts burned that one cinema down last year during the rioting, so that’s no longer an issue. It’s some of the best popcorn too, dunno why those particular machines make it better than others.

And it seems to be much better tasting overall here anyway. On our last trip to the US – Hawaii in 2005 – we watched some movies at different cinemas in Honolulu and were surprised and disappointed by how bland the popcorn was. We didn’t remember it that way from when we lived there. I’ve heard they’ve tried to make it healthier; could that be it?

They also have crispy squid and shrimp snacks and other treats at Thai cinemas, but we always pass on those. They’re not bad, but we’re purists and just want our popcorn. Some chains do experiment with different flavors sometimes, but we like regular or cheese, or even a mix of the two. You can get beer too, but I don’t want to chance having to run off and take a leak, thereby missing some of the film.

AMC’s “Flagship” theater, the Mainstreet in Kansas City, has a popcorn flavorings bar. Salt, cheese, garlic and some other stuff.