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The Importance of Supporting Local Businesses

Local businesses are the lifeblood of the local community. Employing over 53% of the working population in America, small businesses are critical contributors to the success of a local economy. Over 90% of all businesses in America are local businesses that only service their region. At Montague Cinemas, we know the importance that a local business can having on a community, both economically and emotionally. Today, we look at the top reasons as to why supporting local businesses is important.

Local Businesses Give Back to the Community

Money that is spent at small businesses is much more likely to stay and be reinvested within the local community. For every $100 spent at local businesses, almost $70 will remain within the community. This contrasts with large, chain retailers or international businesses which are closer to only $43 out of every $100. Small, local businesses are significantly more likely to spend money at other local businesses such as banks, shops, and services. For example, a local restaurant might get some of their groceries from a local supermarket which gets the food from local farms around the region. This reinvestment creates a chain effect as money stays in the local economy for a longer period and leads to more local businesses prospering. 

More Personalized Customer Service

One of the greatest benefits of supporting local businesses is that you have better, personalized customer service. Because local businesses generally do not deal with the same massive number of customers as chain retailers, the companies are able to ensure that their customers have the best possible service while they are there. This can be anything from greeting you by name when you enter to placing orders for you. Small businesses rely on their primary customers and word of mouth for their business to succeed and have a vested interest in ensuring that every customer has immaculate customer service and leaves happy. Being a local business within San Francisco, we understand the importance of exceptional customer service and it has been our dedicated customers that have helped us to remain in business for almost 80 years.

Environmental Sustainability

Supporting local businesses is one of the most sustainable economic choices that one can make. Local businesses often get their supplies from within a 50-mile radius of the town greatly reducing the environmental impact that comes from transporting goods across the globe. Additionally, local businesses likely have smaller carbon footprints than large chain retailers. This means that by shopping locally, not only are you helping to keep money within the city, but you are also being green. Finally, local businesses are key to creating and sustaining a lively town center which leads to reduced urban sprawl and lowers the necessity of vehicles. 

In conclusion, local businesses are very often the most important businesses within a community. While large chain retailers are a necessity, local businesses create opportunities for people across America. At Montague Cinemas, we cannot understate the importance of supporting local businesses to keep cities thriving. 

The History of Having Popcorn at the Movies

One of the most common pastimes in America is going to the movies. And what better to enjoy at the movies than a delicious container of buttery popcorn. Popcorn has become so intimately connected to movie theaters that the very thought of going to the movies evokes thoughts of popcorn. The question now is, how and why did popcorn become the movie theater delicacy of choice? 

The Earliest Movie Theaters

As crazy as it might seem now, originally movie theatres did not sell popcorn. Rather, movie theaters detested the thought of selling popcorn. When movie theaters were just beginning, they attempted to market themselves to the public as being the newest form of the theater. Real theaters would never associate themselves with noisy, messy food like popcorn and so movie theaters would not either. Movies at this time were silent films therefore people at the theatres had to be literate to be able to understand the movie. The silent films were another reason why movie theaters forewent popcorn originally as people believed that the sound of patrons munching on popcorn would ruin the ambiance of the movie and create a big mess.

When Everything Changed

In 1927, The Jazz Singer, was the first movie with sound released to the public. With the release of “talkies” as movies with sound were called at the time, movies moved away from their sophisticated audience to the much broader, general American audience that we know today. Now, everyone could understand and enjoy the entertainment that movies provided. The release of “talkies” happened to coincide with the Great Depression, and movies were a cheap form of entertainment that could distract them from the problems that citizens were facing. Since many movie theaters were not equipped to make popcorn, or simply did not want to, street vendors set up shop outside, selling popcorn to movie patrons at five to ten cents a bag. Eventually movie theaters realized that their patrons wanted to have popcorn during the movies, and they cut out the street vendors entirely and sold popcorn themselves.

World War II

The second World War was what cemented the relationship between popcorn and movie theaters in America. During the war, America suffered a sugar shortage as the countries where America traditionally imported sugar from were cut off. The only sugar that was available was either heavily rationed or sent to the American troops fighting in the war. Due to the lack of sugar, movie theaters could no longer sell competing snacks such as soda and candy. What was not in short supply however was salt and popcorn kernels. By the end of the war, popcorn and the movie theaters were irreversibly tied together with over half of all popcorn eaten in America being eaten in theaters.

After World War II, the rest is history. While popcorn has not always been connected to movie theaters, for decades now a movie theater would not be considered complete without people having a bag of popcorn.