Plot Twist! Movie Theaters Fear Popcorn Shortfall Will Be a Spoiler

Film fans are returning to the cinema after two years of dark screens, but supply-chain issues foreshadow shortages at the concession stand

By Erich Schwartzel / Photographs by Saeed Rahbaran for The Wall Street Journal

Now playing at a theater near you: a suspense drama over whether there will be enough popcorn for the summer moviegoing season.

The plot was palpable at CinemaCon, an annual convention for movie-theater operators this spring. The Las Vegas event floor had a festive vibe, coming after two years of pandemic-darkened screens. A-list vendors such as Mars Wrigley (M&M’s, Snickers, Twix) hawked sugary wares near makers of polyester theater-worker vests and seating experts modeling the latest in auditorium recliners.

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