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Enjoy half-priced treats, fun flavors on National Popcorn Day

We’ve entered the long slog to spring, yet there are a few bright spots along the way, like National Popcorn Day on Jan. 19.

The beloved snack food has quite an intriguing history as noted here at Smithsonian.com. Particularly interesting is the little known fact that despite its “explosion” on the American food scene at fairs and circuses during the late 1800s, movie theaters pooh-poohed popcorn because owners wanted to mimic live theaters by appealing to a highbrow crowd. (Nor did they want deal with the mess or crunching noises.)

Well, that didn’t work. Popcorn has become the base layer of the movie food pyramid along with Milk Duds and the ICEE.

And here is a newsworthy note: If you plan on going to see a movie, head out Jan. 19. Regal Cinemas will sell popcorn discounted at 50 percent (all sizes) to celebrate National Popcorn Day.

The East Aurora Theatre's Popcorn Shop offers many flavors of popcorn. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

East Aurora Theater's Aurora Popcorn Shop will also celebrate with special popcorn prices along with tastings at its popcorn tasting bar. Guests can try two new flavors: birthday cake and salted caramel.

For those who cannot make these local events, Dipson Theatres offer half-priced popcorn every Tuesday on its Ultimate Bargain Day.

For those who like to eat popcorn at home (or in the car on the way home), a couple of local shops specialize in popcorn.

WNY Fun Foods (456 Hinman Ave.; Facebook) sells caramel corn and Buffalo wing popcorn among others. It is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Main Street Popcorn (5546 Main St., Williamsville) makes staples like a movie theater version, caramel, caramel with chocolate or nuts, kettle corn and cheese. It is open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

If all else fails, fire up your stock pot with some cooking oil, dump in the kernels and go to town. Just don’t forget the cover  - or to make melted butter.

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