Can You Buy Movie Theater Popcorn: All You Should Know

If you’re wondering whether you can buy movie theater popcorn without actually seeing a movie, this article is for you.

The truth is movie theaters will be so glad if you’re buying popcorn from them. Movie studios take about half the revenue of tickets and coupled with other cinema expenses, there is usually little left in profit for cinemas.

As a result, they tend to put a lot of increase on popcorn prices to make up for the expenses and turn a profit. So, if you’re someone who just wants a popcorn treat from the cinema and leave without buying a ticket, it’s definitely possible.

What you must also know is the nutritional profile of this popcorn compared to homemade ones. This article discusses the topic in detail.

Where can you buy movie theater popcorn?

Every movie theater has popcorn for sale but the rules may differ at each of them. So, it’s crucial that you know how the movie theater works.

In most large movie theaters like AMC, there’s a counter where you can walk and buy your pack of popcorn. However, others may require that you buy your concession alongside the movie ticket.

But since concessions are really profitable, most movie theaters allow guests to buy concessions after buying the movie tickets. In fact, most of them will sell for you without asking any questions.

Popcorn is always available in large quantities in movie theaters and they sell a lot. So whether you want to see a movie or stop by to grab a box of movie theater popcorn, you would most likely get something for yourself.

SEE: Can You Eat Expired Popcorn

Can you buy other concessions besides movie theater popcorn?

Definitely. Apart from popcorn, most movie theaters allow you to buy other food items and drinks without necessarily buying a movie ticket. After all, the goal is to make money.

They basically hike up the prices of these concessions as a way to cover expenses and increase their profit margin and some movie theaters even offer an extra dining experience to customers.

iPic theater for example offers high-end dining experiences for customers as a means to make money. Guests can see movies on a big screen while enjoying a classic dining experience.

From pizza to burgers, tacos, French fries, and kids’ meals they often have a lot available for sale. In fact, AMC movie theater has expanded to selling salad, cocktails, and so much more.

Keep in mind, that the rules and policies aren’t the same everywhere, so you may not be able to get concessions in some movie theaters if you’re not buying a movie ticket.

SEE: How Many Minutes Do You Put Popcorn In The Microwave

What makes movie theater popcorn taste so good?

Movie theater popcorns are a delight to eat and they can be really addictive. It has a buttery color and flavor that makes it seem like butter is the major ingredient.

But the sceret ingredient that makes movie theater popcorn really tasty is Falvacol. Flavacol is basically a super-fine salt with artificial yellowish color that sticks easily to popcorn.

Most movie theaters pop their kernels in coconut oil and add Falvacol as it pops which gives the fluffy popped kernel a yellowish color and salty taste.

SEE: What Is Round Popcorn And How To Make It

How to make movie theater popcorn at home

Since movie theater popcorn tastes so good, it can be tempting to want to make the exact type at home. Flavacol remains the secret recipe for movie theater popcorn but it doesn’t stop there.

You also need to use butter-flavored oil and yellow popcorn kernel otherwise known as butterfly popcorn. Butterfly popcorn has the resemblance of wings, pops bigger, and remains sturdy, holding up butter and salt flavoring perfectly.

Movie theaters use either extra virgin coconut oil or canola oil to pop their kernels. The oils have an excellent smoke point and give the popcorn a texture and flavor that is so soothing to the taste bud.

Flavacol contains fine salt flakes and artificial butter flavors which stick to the popcorn and gives it a buttery and salty effect. You may probably not find Flavocal in local grocery stores, but you can order online.

It’s so powerful that a ½ tablespoon will be enough for 6 ounces of unpopped kernels, therefore a single container of Falvacol will last long enough.

SEE: How You Can Put Butter on Popcorn Without Making It Soggy

How unhealthy is movie theater popcorn?

Although movie theater popcorns are a delight to munch on while seeing a movie or as a snack, you should note that it’s really unhealthy.

In AMC for instance, a little box of popcorn contains about 225 calories and 11 grams of fat. A medium-sized popcorn box has up to 430 calories and 20 grams of fat and a large container contains 1,030 calories and 41 grams of fat.

Most movie theaters pop their kernels in a large amount of coconut oil which contains more than 80% of unsaturated fat.

This type of food can take a toll on your health causing all types of illnesses ranging from heart diseases to diabetes, to obesity, and so much more.

If you’re someone who loves popcorn, your best bet is to go for air-popped popcorn that contains about 90 calories per cup and is fast and easy to make.

Make sure to season it lightly and use healthy oil varieties like avocado oil, walnut oil, or extra virgin olive oil.

SEE: Do Popcorn Expire


Can you bring food to movie theaters?

No. Most movie theaters do not allow guests to come with food to the theatre because they actually make more money from concessions.

How much is a box of popcorn at the movies?

Many big movie theaters sell their medium-sized popcorn at $8.

How long does movie theater popcorn last?

Unpopped popcorn can last up to a year. But popped movie theater popcorn may not last past 3 days because of the added ingredients.

Can you get movie theater popcorn delivered to you?

Yes. Some movie theater allows you to order popcorn and other concessions while enjoying a movie in the theater. But you can’t order for delivery outside the movie theater.


So, as stated in this article, you can walk into many movie theaters, head straight to their counter, and purchase a box of popcorn or other concessions without buying a movie ticket.

If concession orders are taken when buying tickets, it might be that the movie theater doesn’t sell popcorn to people who do not intend to see a movie.

But be careful with eating movie theater popcorn because they are a bunch of calories and sugar which is really unhealthy for you. You should read this article to know if it is bad to eat popcorn kernels.

I hope this article was helpful. Thanks for reading.