HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — This Thursday is National Popcorn Day, and movie theaters across the nation are encouraging customers to spend it at a theater.

The Cinema Foundation in partnership with Fandango has teamed up to make Thursday, Jan. 19, extra special with over 34,000 screens participating with promotions including discounted prices, unlimited popcorn refills, free popcorn with the purchase of a drink or free popcorn.

To see what theaters near you are offering for National Popcorn Day, visit popcornday2023.com.

Is Popcorn Healthy?

A study conducted by popcorn.org stated adding popcorn to your snack lost could help you eat healthier. Just three cups of popcorn equals a whole grain serving.

While 83% of U.S. moviegoers agree that popcorn just tastes better at the movies, according to a recent Fandango survey, a walk down memory lane reveals how the two became synonymous.

The History of Popcorn

According to Cinemark, the idea of having a day set to embrace the love for popcorn first started in the 1970s, but Jan. 19 was not set as an unofficial national day to celebrate popped corn until 2003.

The pairing of a crunchy snack and a good movie dates back to the 1920s and the silent film era.

In the 1920s, movies were shown in two distinct venues. One was in small neighborhood rooms with lots of chairs and a small projector. These types of scenes were typically enjoyed by the working class and were rowdy scenes. Today, it can be compared to a bar full of people watching a football game. Outdoor vendors at these locations sold popcorn and peanuts.

The other venue was a much larger theater known as a “movie palace” and was more common among wealthier communities. These theaters resembled more of what we recognize today as a movie theater.

“They were fancy, and generally didn’t allow any food or drink inside at all,” the release stated.

Popcorn becomes a hit

In the 1920s when the Great Depression hit the U.S. economy, the divided movie scene became one. And with the addition of sound to movies, theaters became less rowdy. Because they needed revenue, movie palaces welcomed a broader spectrum of moviegoers and softened their restrictions of concessions.

Given popcorn’s affordability, it was a hot commodity.

Since then, popcorn and movies have become synonymous–and the rest is history.

To stay in the know on national Popcorn Day, look for announcements on Twitter using the hashtag #NationalPopcornDay.