- Movie theaters are changing, and that means once-popular concession candies like Red Vines, Sugar Babies, and Goobers are becoming harder to find.
- In an effort to modernize, cinemas are offering more expansive menus like gourmet pizzas and specialty cocktails.
- Luckily, many of these nostalgic confections are still available at specialty stores and online. Some independent theaters might still carry them.
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If you’re old enough, you may remember that old cartoon where anthropomorphic concession-stand products ushered moviegoers to the lobby for snacks, singing “Let’s all go to the lobby.”
That cartoon, like many aspects of movie theaters, is a thing of the past. Cinemas have been forced to modernize to compete with more entertainment options, especially streaming services like Netflix. More theater chains are now offering payment subscriptions for loyal fans and changing up their menu with specialty cocktails and high-end meals like gourmet pizzas.
But don’t worry, popcorn isn’t going anywhere (in fact, it’s been a movie-theater staple since the Great Depression). While theaters will likely never run out of popcorn, some candies that used to be concession-stand staples are now harder to find.
Classics like Sno-Caps, Milk Duds, and Junior Mints might still be around, but others are slowly being displaced by these expansive menus. Many of the candies on this list are still found in specialty shops and independent movie theaters, though, so your local cinema might still stock enough Red Vines to sustain itself for years.
Here are 11 once-popular candies that are harder to find at the movies these days.
These proto-Twizzlers date back to 1914, when the American Licorice Company was founded in Chicago. That year, Black Licorice Vines were first to be sold, until Classic Raspberry Vines debuted in 1920.
Red Vines as we know them today are essentially the same as Classic Raspberry Vines – they were rebranded in 1952.
Jujyfruits, the original gummy fruit-flavored candies, were first made in 1920 by Ferrara Candy Company. These were once so ubiquitous in movie theaters, they were used as a joke in an episode of “Seinfeld.”
If you were ever curious, its shapes are Asparagus Bundle, Banana, Grape Bundle, Pea Pod, Pineapple, Raspberry, and Tomato. Luckily, the shapes don’t correspond to its flavors at all. That red one isn’t tomato-flavored, for example – it’s raspberry.
Jujubes, the sister candy of Jujyfruits, also began production in 1920 by Ferrara Candy Company. The main difference with Jujubes is their harder texture and uniform shape.
These jelly candies with a sugary coating date back to 1921. They were only made in one factory in Danville, Illinois, until Nabisco bought them in 1970, when they were mass-produced.
They can still be found on some newsstands, but they’re much harder to find in movie theaters.
Charleston Chew, contrary to popular belief, is not named after the city in South Carolina. It debuted in 1925, a time when the most popular dance was the Charleston, the chocolatey toffee candy bar’s namesake.
Unfortunately, the Charleston isn’t seen on dance floors much anymore, and Charleston Chews are hardly seen in movie theaters either.
Boston Baked Beans
With perhaps the most unappetizing name for a candy on this list, Boston Baked Beans aren’t beans at all – they’re candy-coated peanuts.
Developed in the early 1930s by the Ferrara Candy company, these confections aren’t as popular today as a remarkably similar candy: peanut M&M’s.
Along with Boston Baked Beans, Ferrara Candy Company debuted Red Hots, a kind of cinnamon hard candy, in the 1930s. They were also known as “cinnamon imperials,” a common name for similar candies of the era.
If you’ve ever had Dots (which are still commonly found in theaters), then you may recognize their licorice-flavored counterparts. Crows, originally known as “Mason Black Crows,” were first sold in the 1910s, but are much harder to come by now.
Sugar Babies are candy-coated caramels. First made in 1935, their name refers to young women who were spoiled by their older boyfriends, or sugar daddies.
Sugar Daddies – caramel lollipops – were already a popular candy made by the James O. Welch company, but their follow-up, Sugar Babies, proved an even bigger hit.
Goobers were once just another name for the peanut, but ever since this candy became popular in 1925, Goobers became synonymous with the chocolate-covered candy.