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  • Hi, I'm Craig. I eat popcorn like this.

    嗨,我是 Craig,我都這樣吃爆米花。

  • And this is a Mental Floss video. Today, I'm gonna answer Bradley Stein's big question:

    歡迎收看 Mental Floss 影片。我今天要回答 Bradley Stein 的大問題:

  • How did eating popcorn become a custom at movie theaters?


  • Nowadays, movie theaters depend on popcorn.


  • They earn about 85% of their profits and 40% of their total revenue from concessions.

    賣爆米花的利潤佔販賣部的 85%,而電影院總收入有 40% 來自販賣部。

  • But that wasn't always the case.


  • Today, I'm gonna tell you how the tradition got started. Let's get started.


  • Popcorn as a snack gained popularity in the US during the 19th century.


  • It quickly became associated with the places where it was sold, like fairs and circuses.


  • It was easy to make and transport for these events.


  • The first steam-powered popcorn maker was invented in 1885.

    第一台蒸氣式爆米花機在 1885 年被發明了。

  • Eating popcorn in movie theaters, on the other hand, wasn't a custom yetprobably because there wasn't movie theaters yet.


  • In 1907, there were around 5,000 Nickelodeon theaters in the US, which were often little spaces the size of a storefront that showed moving pictures for 5 cents.

    1907 年的美國大約有五千處五分錢劇場,它們通常小如一間店面,播放著門票五分錢的電影。

  • It became common for food vendors to set up shop near these theaters.


  • So food was initially part of the movie-going experience, but that changed when a bunch of huge, classy movie theaters emerged in the 20s.

    因此食物起先是觀影體驗的一部份,但在 20 年代許多大型、高級電影院出現後,就轉變了。

  • There were typically signs posted saying no food allowed at the theaters, and they didn't sell food either.


  • This was probably because the owners didn't want to deal with messes in their fancy venues, and they also hated fun.


  • Plus, movie theaters were inspired by actual theaters rather than places like the circus.


  • Some of them cost millions to build.


  • It wasn't uncommon for them to have antiques, chandeliers, marble columns, and expensive carpets.


  • Popcorn and expensive carpet are not friends.


  • Me and popcorn aren't friends, either, because I eat it.


  • You don't eat your friends.


  • By the 30s, some theater owners were allowing vendors to keep food stands either inside or directly outside.

    到了 30 年代,有些電影院業者開始允許小販在劇院內或外設攤。

  • One thing that probably helped convince them to do this was that movies now had sound, so eating would no longer be a loud distraction.


  • Another big factor was the Great Depression; people could afford to see a movie and spend 5 to 10 cents on a bag of popcorn.

    另一個重要因素是「經濟大蕭條」,人們負擔得起看電影的錢,並花 5 到 10 分錢買一袋爆米花。

  • Plus, the theater owners benefited financially from having popcorn vendors there because the vendors paid them a daily fee.


  • Even with a fee, vendors earned a lot of money quickly.


  • One of the earliest movie theater popcorn vendors was a woman named Julia Braden.

    最早開始在電影院賣爆米花的小販之一,是一位叫做 Julia Braden 的女人。

  • "The popcorn gal," as no one called her.


  • She first started a little stand at the Lynwood Theater in Kansas City.


  • By the early 30s, she'd expanded her business to 4 theaters and started earning $14,400 annually, which is about $336,000 today.

    到了 30 年代早期,她將事業擴展到四間電影院,並開始每年賺進 14,400 美元,大約等同於今日的 336,000 美元。

  • As I mentioned earlier, this was the Great Depression, so not everyone was profiting like Julia Braden.

    我前面說過,那是「經濟大蕭條」時期,所以不是每個人都能像 Julia Breaden 一樣獲利。

  • Some movie theaters started closing, but many were able to stay open thanks to popcorn.


  • They lowered the cost of admission and started earning more through their own concession stands, and so a custom was born.


  • Thanks for watching Mental Floss video, which was made with the help of all of these popped kernels.

    謝謝收看 Mental Floss 的影片,感謝所有幕後夥伴幫忙製作。

  • If you have a big question of your own that you'd like answered, leave them below in the comments. I'll see you next week.


Hi, I'm Craig. I eat popcorn like this.

嗨,我是 Craig,我都這樣吃爆米花。

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