I love the movies, but I love popcorn more. In fact, I seek out movie theaters that have good popcorn. Munching on some hot, buttery popcorn, washed down with a cold drink is one of my favorite pleasures. I often go to the movies just because I’m in the mood for popcorn. I’m a little eccentric because popcorn is my favorite food. It’s something of an obsession. I once lost interest in a girl I was dating because she absolutely hated popcorn with a passion.
Let’s face it, the popcorn you get at the mega-plex theaters is OK. It does the job. But indie theaters are more likely to use real butter and fresh popcorn and the quality is so much better. I intentionally see movies at indie theaters for the popcorn, even though I know the sound and screen will be much better at a large theater. I have two great theaters where I live in Albany, NY — The Madison and The Spectrum — and both have great popcorn. The drive-in theater I go to is the worst, but I still love the drive-in experience. The drive-in has these gross, giant tubs of greasy popcorn coated in a powdery, fake butter flavor that leaves your mouth with a burning, dry sensation. I bring my own instead, which is permitted there. My mother brings a bag of microwaved popcorn no matter what theater we go to. It’s very embarrassing.
Even at home, I have a whole process for making it. I have to eat popcorn when I watch a movie. My favorite popcorn popper is the Whirly Pop, which I whole-heartedly endorse. I’ve had dome poppers and air poppers, but they aren’t the same. My technique — which I’m hesitant to give away — is fantastic. Melt the butter and put it in the bowl you plan to serve the popcorn in. While you pop the corn, have a friend move the melted butter around the bowl so it coats the sides. When you pour the popcorn in the bowl, toss the popcorn and salt to taste. It coats the popcorn without leaving gloppy kernels that mush in your mouth — yuck. If microwaves are your bag, check out this popper. You can still use my buttering method. I could go into details on the varieties of kernels, their flavor profiles and textures, but I’ll spare you the details.