SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Make sure to visit your local movie theater this Thursday, January 19, National Popcorn Day. 

The theater chain Megaplex Theaters will offer free popcorn, including the 2023 MegaTub or NFT popcorn refills to celebrate the national holiday. 

“To celebrate National Popcorn Day and thank our loyal guests, we’ll fill any Megaplex MegaTub with a valid 2023 Tag with freshly popped Orville Redenbacher’s® gourmet popcorn topped with REAL® butter,” said Blake Andersen, Megaplex Theatres president. “And since we believe that everyone needs to celebrate National Popcorn Day, our team is standing by to help qualify anyone who craves free Megaplex popcorn this Thursday.”

For those who can’t go to a movie, Megaplex is also offering home or office delivery of their popcorn through DoorDash or UberEats.  

The National Day Calendar is also celebrating National Popcorn Day. They ask anyone who wants to participate to please snap a photo of with popcorn and share it over social media using #NationalPopcornDay. 

Four surprising facts about popcorn

Nebraska produces the most popcorn

The state is known as the Cornhusker State for a reason. While it’s third in overall corn production, it is the top popcorn producer in the United States. 

It’s actually surprisingly healthy

That is, of course, when you don’t have all that butter and salt piled on the snack. The healthiest way to have popcorn is to air dry it and lightly season it. Not only is the snack high in fiber, but it also contains phenolic acids, a type of antioxidant. Since popcorn is a whole grain it can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension in humans.

Popcorn became popular in 1890

The popularity occurred when candy-store owner, Charles Cretors, transformed a machine from roasting peanuts to the first-ever machine to pop corn. Then, by 1900, he had horse-drawn popcorn wagons throughout the streets of Chicago. It wouldn’t be until 1981 when food processing company General Mills issued the first patent for a microwave popcorn bag, which increased popcorn consumption by tens of thousands of pounds in the following years. 

Microwave popcorn put popcorn into theaters 

In 1938, Midwestern theater owner Glen W. Dickson first installed popcorn machines in his movie theater lobbies. Despite the cost of popcorn machines, Dickson quickly recouped his losses and soon, other theaters followed suit.

Sources: WebMD,, and PBS