The Digital Journalism Blog

Lights, Camera, Popcorn!

Posted in Uncategorized by com360bu on May 10, 2011

Lights, Camera, Popcorn!

We are in the midst of a popcorn crazed world. One may not know this, but anyone who has worked at a movie theater can help explain how popcorn can cause one to tightrope on the edge of insanity. For Ashley Jones, an employee at AMC Showplace 8 in Galesburg, IL, popcorn has become a everyday companion. Luckily, for her, she gets to witness the excessive amount of toppings one can add to the common movie treat.  Live video footage of what seasoning may be present at a theater, as well as inputs on what makes for the best popcorn, can be found in this post. A graph showing the severity of buttering ones popcorn only makes things better for the viewer when seeing how many calories are actually in a bag of popcorn. For those who did not catch the sarcasm in the phrase “makes things better,” I assure you it was there.

By Shawn Bates

Excessive buttering causes employee to frown

PEORIA, Il — It is not farfetched to believe there are people out there who believe popcorn is the highlight of a cinematic adventure. For many, the opportunity to jump on the newest flavor enhancer is like discovering a lost 20 dollar bill in an old pair of pants. For those people, alone, this article was written.

A medium bag of popcorn is roughly 11-16 cups with the total calories ranging from 650-1220 depending on if butter is added of not. These numbers are better understood when noted that this helping is the equivalent to six McDonald’s cheeseburgers ( cle/real-problemsreal-solutions).

In no means should these figures keep people from ordering popcorn at the movies, but should, however, help them realize they need to think before adding extra, extra butter.

Also, a person, most likely, will not eat an entire medium sized popcorn by themselves. It is almost a common curtsey to bring some popcorn home after to film, in order, to spoil oneself with a midnight snack.

What is really changing in the popcorn scene today is the amount of seasoning that one can add at the movies. At some theaters one can find an array of seasoning that stems from taco seasoning all the way to ranch dressing. It sounds like popcorn has taken a page from the book of Doritos.

Ashley Jones, an employee at AMC’s Showplace 8 in Galesburg, IL, believes that popcorn is best suited without butter and can be just as satisfying with a white cheddar substitute.  She makes her preference clear when adding her dislikes of the messes adding butter can make.

“People always allow the butter to overflow out of the dispensers,” Jones said. “They will always make a mess by letting the butter go all over. Also, the oils will leak all over the floor and everywhere. So there is a giant oil mess all day long. It is really gross.”

Everyone who visits a theater and orders popcorn is guaranteed to drop at least a few cornels as they enjoy their film. Jones said employees have come to realize that it is almost impossible to reach ones mouth correctly 100 percent of the time while sitting in the dark.

“We are constantly sweeping it up,” Jones said. “It can be anywhere from the halls, to in the theater, and even in the bathrooms.”

Jones is accustomed to knowing how to avoid the displeasures of popcorn and its’ luring smell.

“I usually spray myself with perfume throughout the day because I do not want to smell like popcorn all day long,” Jones said. “It is good that they [AMC] supply us with uniforms because I would hate to get this smell on my real clothes.”

Jones added that as soon as one walks into a movie theater the popcorn and butter trigger his or her senses.

“Popcorn is always associated with the movies,” Jones said. “Everyone feels likes they are obligated to buy it.”

With how high popcorn pricing can be, Jones noted that coming on days where they offer a free small bag of popcorn is a good idea. She also let in on a small loophole in the system.

Jones said at the end of the day all the left over popcorn is swept up and put into garbage bags in order to be thrown away.

“We have had high school kids come in late at night and ask for the bags of popcorn that we throw away,” Jones said. “Occasionally we allow them to take it.”

A video of great popcorn enthusiast 

This video shows the process of making popcorn and how customers like to season it. It also delves deeper into the insight of what an employee thinks about the amount of butter that people add to their treat.

Are you wondering how many calories are in a bag of popcorn?

When the viewer scrolls over each popcorn size it will open a caption that gives the amount of calories that it may have along with the total grams of fat.  It will also show the figures of how many calories are in the bag of popcorn compared to the same bag after butter is added.  Also, when the word popcorn is clicked upon it will direct the viewer (in a separate tab) to a Google Map of Peoria, IL. It will show all of the movie theaters in the area and will give the pricing of each popcorn meal and size.


Small: Calories for 5 cups without butter: 300; Total Fat- 20; Saturated Fat- 14

Calories for 5 cups with butter: 470; Total Fat- 37; Saturated Fat- 22

Calories for 7 cups without butter: 400; Total Fat- 27; Saturated Fat- 19

Calories for 7 cups with butter: 630; Total Fat- 50; Saturated Fat- 29

Medium:  Calories for 11 cups without butter: 650; Total Fat- 43; Saturated Fat- 31

Calories for 11 cups with butter: 910; Total Fat- 71; Saturated Fat- 41

Calories for 16 cups without butter: 900; Total Fat- 60; Saturated Fat- 43

Calories for 16 cups with butter: 1220; Total Fat- 97; Saturated Fat- 56

Large:  Calories for 20 cups without butter: 1160; Total Fat- 77; Saturated Fat- 55

Calories for 20 cups with butter: 1640; Total Fat- 126; Saturated Fat- 73


McKittrick, M. (2009, February 25).  Calories in movie theater popcorn. Retrieved                                 from (2011,                   May 7).


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