A concession stand (American English), snack kiosk or snack bar (British English, Irish English) is the term used to refer to a place where patrons can purchase snacks or food at a cinema, fair, stadium, or other entertainment venue. Some events or venues contract out the right to sell food to third parties. Those contracts are often referred to as a concession — hence the name for a stand where food is sold. Usually prices for goods at concession stands are greater than elsewhere for the convenience of being close to an attraction.
Concession stands were not originally operated by the movie theaters, and food was often sold by people attending the film or by vendors outside of the theater. Movie theaters were at first hostile to food in their facilities, but during the Great Depression, theaters added concession stands as a way to increase revenue in the economically stagnant times. By the 1930s, concession stands were a main fixture in many theaters. During World War II, candy was scarce at concession stands because of the sugar rationing going on at the time, and popcorn became more popular than before. In the late 1940s, and early 1950s, as movie ticket sales were down, sales of food at concession stands increased. In the US concession owners are represented by the National Association of Concessionaires and the National Independent Concessionaires Association.
Types of food
The types of food sold at concession stands are often junk food; such as french fries, ice cream, popcorn, pizza, hot dogs, soft drinks, candy, snow cones, cotton candy, pretzels, and churros. However, many newer arenas now include multiple concession stands that essentially form a food court, serving a variety of fast food. At temporary outdoor events such as fairs, food trucks may operate as concession stands.
- Jill Hunter Pellettieri (June 26, 2007). "Make It a Large for a Quarter More?". Slate. Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
- Sarah Sluis (July 25, 2013). "All that jazz! Concessionaires head to the Big Easy for NAC Convention". Film Journal International. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- "Concessionaire to lead stands Tom Hodson will head a national organization for concessions". York Daily Record. September 13, 2008. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
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