I am known around these parts as a popcorn expert, and I can make popcorn taste like it came from pretty much anywhere. The movie theater style of popcorn is thought of as the gold standard for what to make your popcorn aspire to be. That’s why so many microwave popcorn boxes claim to be movie theater style. And it makes sense, too. After all, movie theater popcorn costs $7 a bag, so therefore something that costs more than a meal at In-N-Out (also has more calories than a meal at In-N-Out) should therefore be the best, right?
So let’s start with your choice of popcorn. Now, you might want to choose a nice heirloom variety, citing my logic about price correlating to value. This is a rookie mistake; don’t do it. Movie theaters sell their popcorn at a high price; they don’t buy it that way! We are adding value to the popcorn by making it movie theater style. Get the cheapest stuff you can find, and make sure it has no flavor of its own. We can add flavor later! Bonus points if it pops to a bigger kernel; after all, you sell by volume!
So what do you cook the popcorn in? Well, the secret ingredient in movie theater popcorn is coconut oil. Hold on there one second there, you with the extra virgin coconut oil. I realize you might have reached for that because extra virgin reminds you of your lifestyle, but here in the movie theater business we actually like to make a profit on our popcorn, and you’re not getting that with extra virgin anything. Get the 1 gallon jar of the movie theater style coconut oil. It probably has an unsightly orange color, but that’s just beta carotene it was dyed with to make the popcorn look buttery. Oh, and you can just skip right by the butter aisle, there won’t be any of that involved in this process at all.
All right, so now that you have your ingredients, let’s get started with making the popcorn. Heat the oil up in a pot, and add your popcorn. Add your Flavacol now. What’s Flavacol? Well, it’s like salt, but it also paints the blank canvas of your popcorn with some “buttery” flavor to give your popcorn that authentic taste. Add your popcorn (1/4 cup popcorn seeds to 4 tbsp coconut oil works) and shake it up and let it pop.
Are we done? Nope, not at all. If you want a real, authentic popcorn taste like the movie theater makes, you’ll need to leave that sitting in a glass box under a heat lamp for at least an hour.
Once you’ve done that, you have to top it off with that “buttery” topping stuff that makes it oh so good! What’s that made of? Some simple ingredients that might find in the house, like partially hydrogenated soybean oil (don’t completely hydrogenate it for goodness sake!) and just a pinch of dimethylpolysiloxane, because you don’t want this stuff foaming. If you have extra, you can make some Silly Putty with it!.
And there you have it! Real movie theater style popcorn right in the comfort of your own home. If you want to add the sticky floor effect pour some pop on your floor and pay some lackadaisical teenagers minimum wage to clean up for a few weeks and you should be good to go (teenage kids will work in a pinch too). If you can get that just right you’ll have a living room worthy of the caliber of movies that Hollywood is putting out lately like House At the End Of the Street. Enjoy!