AMES, Iowa — With the pandemic closing Iowa businesses, theaters are looking for a way to make some income, without opening their screens to visitors.
In Ames, the North Grand Cinema decided they would invite people to come by for buttered popcorn, or theater candy and beverages. They got an assist with some social media promoting the event.
“So what’s happening that is so exciting?” said Lori Bosley, the North Grand Mall Manager, on her Facebook Live. “They’re going to be selling movie theater popcorn right outside the back door of the cinema. We’d love to see you guys come out. It’s from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock today.”
Before 3 p.m. there were four cars waiting when they opened. By 4 p.m., the line of cars stretched all the way in back of the mall, around the corner on the south side of the mall.”
“They pop in our kettle with our sunflower oil. Get it up to a nice 158 degrees,” said Theater Manager Ben Aarmentrout. “Get some of that oil out of it and aerates it, makes it nice and crunchy and crispy.”
“We have two other theaters. One in Elkader and one in Prairie Du Chien, and we did it at both other theaters and was very popular,” said Theater owner Diane Akin.
First in line was Cari Herrald. She said, “Because I want to be able to get popcorn, I thought there was going to be a really big crowd and there probably will be.” She was right.
“It is worth their small business. Me and my husband like to come here because it’s closer for us so we support these guys,” said Vanessa Nelson of Garden City.
The event will be held again Saturday. Check the North Grand Cinema Facebook Page for details.