Tag: Manley Popcorn Machine

Just when did instruction manuals become so stuffy? Specifications, quick setups, safety warnings, troubleshooting tables. What ever happened to the simple enjoyment of a new purchase? The fun, the novelty?

That's why I was so pleased when I dug up the owner's manual on the antique Manley Aristocrat I recently found and came across the company's thoughtful inclusion of their helpful "7 Rules for Popcorn Profits," complete with illustrations sketched in that wonderfully campy '50s style.

I'm so tempted to turn Step 4 into a T-shirt. ... Continued

See video

As I was researching my newly acquired 1950s popcorn machine, I came across this classic and unforgettable snipe.

Just try and get it out of your head.

By the way, is it just me or does the popcorn machine shown at 0:13 have the same red-and-white light cabinet as my Manley Aristocrat?

"Hey, that's a pretty neat old popcorn machine."

"Yeah, we've been trying to get rid of it. Nobody will take it."

"Really? I wouldn't mind having it."


And that's how I inherited a vintage 1950s movie-theater popcorn machine.

I was on one of my research trips for the upcoming book Weird Oklahoma and was visiting the Shortgrass Playhouse in Hobart, a community theater that's reportedly haunted by the spirit of a man whose 1918 headstone was mysteriously discovered upstairs during renovations.

While I was being given a tour, I spotted the art-deco-style machine collecting dust in the corner. I was joking when I said I'd take it off their hands, but the owners were genuinely excited that someone was actually interested in hauling it off. So, last weekend I returned with a friend of mine to roll it out and lug it down the fire escape.

After I unloaded it at my father's workshop here in Texas, I scoured the Internet for any information I could find on the machine. I shouldn't have been surprised to discover there are quite a few people out there interested in restoring old popcorn makers, all of whom are eager to share what knowledge they have. ... Continued