Texans Eat Pickles at the Movie Theater, and They're Surprised To Learn No One Else Does

Popcorn and pickle, anyone?

No matter how long it's been since you last visited a movie theater (or even a drive-in movie theater), we'd bet that you can still remember how it smells, largely thanks to the concession stand. Buying a selection of overpriced movie snacks you eat before the movie starts playing is practically a requirement for the experience. That popcorn isn't making it far past the first scene. That much we know.

And while you might be familiar with the usual suspects like boxes of candy, big cups of Coke, and a tub full of buttery popcorn, there's one unconventional concession stand snack that only Texans have been ordering for decades—pickles. Texans lovingly refer to them as "movie theater pickles" and are surprised to find out that no one else in the country really knows about this popular movie theater menu item. In fact, those who move away from the Lone Star State might not realize until they ask for one at their new local movie theater (and will be greeted with confused looks.)

So, in what form might you see these pickles available in a Texas movie theater? Decades ago, it'd be a large glass jar, and a concessions stand staff member would retrieve for you a big, fat pickle using tongs. It'd probably cost 25 cents. Nowadays, fewer theaters might house a jar full of pickles. Instead, you might see individual bags of pickles, and you'll have the option of having the juice drained for you. So polite. Some patrons even request that the pickle be thrown right into the tub with their popcorn—this is charmingly called a "popcorn pickle."

All we can say is that amongst all the buttery, sugary, cheese-drizzled, and caffeinated options, a pickle might be one of the healthiest—albeit unusual—choices at the movie theater concession stand. While you might be able to track down select small local theaters in other states that offer pickles, it seems to be primarily a Texas thing. Perhaps, like the growing string of Buc-ee's convenience stores popping up throughout the South, we might also start seeing big glass jars of pickles permeating movie theaters. Now, wouldn't that be a scene worth seeing?

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles