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Apr 9, 2010 08:11 AM

Popcorn already popped?

Where to buy hot, buttered, popcorn? Other than a movie theater or sears? It doesn't have to be great, just good. I'll get it from a movie theater if it's not too expensive.


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  1. A lot of farmers markets have fantastic kettle corn stands, but I don't recall seeing standard buttered popcorn at any of them.

    No contest, the best and freshest movie theater popcorn is always at the Arclight Hollywood.

    Beyond those, I don't recall a single popcorn experience in Los Angeles that has left me with more than an indifferent impression. Stores, county fairs, arenas and their ilk can usually be counted on to sell stale, typically pre-bagged popcorn. And most of the "gourmet" popcorns I've tried are just an excuse to add indulgent flavorings and fancy packaging, and are not served hot out of the popper. (Popcornopolis, anyone?)

    Might I ask why you don't just make your own? Basic hot oil poppers are fairly cheap appliances (about $25-$30), are simple and quick to operate, easy to clean, and produce great results. Plus, if you're doing this for a child, popping corn is an incredibly fun, multi-sensory experience for them.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Arthur

      >>A lot of farmers markets have fantastic kettle corn stands, but I don't recall seeing standard buttered popcorn at any of them.<<

      Agree with Arthur here - it's probably more uncommon to find a FM without a kettle corn stand. I'm sure they'll extract some popped corn before they add they sweetener if you want it that way. Take home, preheat the oven to 375-400, spread out a layer on a cookie sheet and heat for about 3-5 minutes. Take out and put into bowl, add melted butter and toss. I think you know the rest...

      1. re: bulavinaka

        Thank you both for your replies. For some reason I don't like kettle corn at all. I just love buttered popcorn with salt. I usually do make it at home. I have a whirley pop. I was getting the popcorn directly from them, then ran out. What kind do you recommend?

        I was just curious if there was some good popcorn I could buy when out and about. I'll check out arclight popcorn

        I certainly do know the rest, bulavinaka. :)

        1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

          Most of those kettle corn stands are geared primarily for kids - they are the ones who incessantly pester their parents once the smell and sound of kettle corn making hits them. Candy-ish flavors like blue raspberry are common but they do have the regular slightly sweetened/salted type as the standard. I'm sure you could ask for a salted/unsweetened version.

          >>I certainly do know the rest, bulavinaka. :) <<

          I'm glad you do, LuluMag - just want to ensure a Magnificent experience! :)

          1. re: bulavinaka

            i can only speak regarding the kettle corn stand at the hollywood farmers market.
            yes, you can ask for an unsweetened version of their popcorn.
            you get a snotty response rather than popcorn.
            maybe they've changed since then...

            1. re: linus

              The Arclight popcorn was by far the best. Expensive, but darn good.

              1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                You get free (good) popcorn at iPic theatres. Of course a ticket is like $28.00.

    2. Sears sells hot buttered popcorn???

      5 Replies
        1. re: jackattack

          Sears no longer sells popcorn. They laughed at me when I asked about it.

          1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

            As a kid the basement of Sears always smelled just like popcorn.

            1. re: wienermobile

     struck a nerve. Didn't the (long gone) Sears on Pico have a nuts and candy area? I recall that as a kid I scrounge up some money and buy a quarter pound bag of nice warm salted nuts of some sort. They probably had a fresh corn popper too, but my tummy belonged to the salted nuts.

              1. re: Feed_me

                Yes it did in the Basement. It disappeared a few years ago. The North Hollywood Sears was the one from my youth. The popcorn smell would usually fill the entire store.

        2. Popcornopolis is good but expensive. They have one at Universal City Walk and other locations. Sometimes you can find it at Costco.

          7 Replies
            1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

              If I remember when Costco had it the price was $10 for three cones (that is the way they pack the popcorn) and you could get three different flavors . They do have coupons for their stores on their web site.

              1. re: wienermobile

                Popcornopolis also now has stores at Westfield Culver City and Del Amo Mall in Torrance.

                1. re: wienermobile

                  Popcornopolis has a kiosk in the Fox Hills Mall. I think their corp is in Culver City as well.

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    I tried the plain popcorn at popcornopolis, it wasn't as good as this...

              2. re: wienermobile

                Do the Popcornopolis kiosks/outlets have freshly made, hot popcorn? That's what the OP originally asked for. The packaged stuff sold at Costco most certainly is not freshly made.

                Personally, I've become a bit of a kettle corn addict. IMO the best packaged one is the version sold by Trader Joe's, but even that can't hold a candle to a fresh batch from a local farmers market.

                I've been decidedly unimpressed on those occasions when I've had Popcornopolis. All of their overly sweetened popcorns taste no more "gourmet" than a box of Cracker Jacks, and any one of them could easily put a healthy person into a diabetic coma.

                1. re: Arthur

                  The store at City Walk makes it fresh but I don't know about the mall stores.

              3. You can order Oprah's favorite Garrett's by mail order: Very Expensive.