Hot take: Popcorn rules. In an era of dine-in movie theaters where fancy dinners are brought to your chair at a moment’s notice, the simple snack of popcorn is still my favorite treat to accompany my moviegoing experience (full disclosure: sometimes it’s the other way around). Here’s some good news for me, and my fellow popcorn lovers: ArcLight Cinemas has announced a yearlong program called “POPPED,” a series of explorations, experimentations, and innovations inviting us to “Experience Popcorn Now.” I am hungry already.
ArcLight will be teaming up with all kinds of gourmet chefs and trendy eateries — including Tocaya Organica, Momofuku, and Chef Jude Parra-Sickels of Majordomo — to expand the traditional palette of popcorn, with a new series of dishes, drinks, and flavor profiles every quarter. After all, as ArcLight chief marketing officer Vince Szwajkowski says, “its flavors and experiences haven’t changed much since the first Cretors popcorn carts were positioned outside cinemas in the 1920s… we’re offering guests a chance to get a taste for what the future of popcorn could be.” I am still hungry.
What are some of the dishes and experimentations we’ll be getting? In general, ArcLight will be introduced organic corn kernels in all their popcorn — and Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirits company, will be developing three popcorn-inspired mocktails available to drink. In March, when Popped debuts in ArcLights around the country, Tocaya Organica will be debuting a seasoning called Mexican Street (pop)Corn — and if you’ve ever had that incredible seasoning on Mexican street corn, you can imagine how good this’ll be. In April, ArcLight will be presenting reusable popcorn tubs made from collapsible silicone, offering a discount for customers who use it (I will be buying this the day it’s available). And in May, different chefs will be creating new spice flavor profiles for different types of popcorn, based on their signature dishes. Plus, throughout the rest of the year, more yet-to-be-announced innovations all celebrating the joy of popcorn! I! Am! So hungry!
While I go make the biggest bowl of popcorn anyone has ever made, keep an eye out on your local ArcLight Cinemas for when POPPED begins. For more on the theater chain, here’s some interviews with Frank Grillo, Roger Deakins, and Taron Egerton — all as part of Collider and ArcLight’s FYC screening series. Plus: Here’s how to catch the 10th anniversary screening of MacGruber!