Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Pop of Cinema Popcorn

The next time you buy popcorn at the movies, you might want to thank Mike Blank who first served popcorn at a  movie theater in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1930s. (I have not nailed down the exact year, yet.)

Myron “Mike” Blank (1911-2005) was the son of Abraham Blank, the owner of the Central States Theater Corp., a theater chain with screens in Iowa and Nebraska. At age twelve, Mike went to work for his dad. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1933, he became an executive in the family business. Up until that time, theater goers had long favored snacking on peanuts. Popcorn was frowned upon because it had too many hulls and because many thought the popping process smelled bad. Mike found an oil that smelled good and reduced the number of hulls. The rest, as they say, is history.

1 comment:

  1. As a Des Moines native and a possible distant relative of the Blanks, I would like to know more about this popcorn claim to fame. Did you learn this from Myron's obituary, or have you found any references to this from the 1930s?