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TOPIC: Kettle Size/Product Output

Kettle Size/Product Output 23 Oct 2003 07:56 #26409

  • NanEman
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I'm trying to decide what size popcorn popper to use for a 275 seat/4 screen cinema cafe operation.

I've checked out numerous models from Gold Medal and am trying to figure out what size kettle model would be best for us. Because popcorn will be a smaller proportion of food sales for us than at a traditional theater, do you think that a 6 oz.-8 oz. size kettle would suffice? The catalog tells you the machine production volume on some models, but not all. It's very hard to tell the difference between models with such short descriptions.

Are there other brands I should be looking at? Any and all advice is appreciated.
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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 23 Oct 2003 10:08 #26410

  • BurneyFalls
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Cretors also makes a very good popper. http://www.cretors.com/
I have a 32 oz. in a single screen and it works hard on busy nights. Of course, my place is not a cinema cafe.
It is always possible to make just a half batch when attendance is down or for that last--somebody might still want some--batch.


[This message has been edited by BurneyFalls (edited October 23, 2003).]
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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 23 Oct 2003 13:35 #26411

  • outaframe
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Based on your information, I'd vote for a Cretors 8 Oz... Brand names are usually a matter of choice, and I believe Cretors have the best mechancal/electrical features... These things are usually built with little change for years, and you should easily find a used one, if you want... In rush times, you can have some popped ahead, and nothing sells popcorn like the sight and smell of it actually popping... The warming pan already in the machine will keep a reasonable amount fresh and hot for a day or two, and always leave it on 24/7 as long as there's any already popped corn left in the machine...
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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 28 Oct 2003 12:09 #26412

  • NanEman
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Thanks so much for your advice. I'm waiting for a Cretors catalog now and will look closely at the 8 oz. size.
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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 28 Oct 2003 12:25 #26413

  • BECKWITH1
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We ran a 14 oz Gold Medal popper( Deluxe Citation) in our single screen (322) seats. It required some careful corn management to keep up with the crowds but is quite do-able. Don't forget that the popcorn needs to be seen and smelled by the people coming into your theater. Also, spend the extra money to get the automatic oil pump. It is important for your business that the popcorn always tastes consistent by using the same proportions of ingredients. Gold Medal poppers have an advantage over Cretors in that the kettles can come out of the popper to be cleaned. While Cretors has a following I have found Gold Medal to be just as good and trouble free.
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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 31 Oct 2003 00:30 #26414

  • Barry Floyd
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We've got a 32oz. Gold Medal... and absolutely love it. Now, I will fess up and say I've never used ANY popper until we bought this one.. I just can't imagine how much better a popper could get.

Ours has a 32oz. kettle with the "Big Eye" temperature controls, Neon Header, and the Bag-In-Box automatic oil pump system.

Our machine worked pretty screwy for the first couple of weeks, but the problem was traced back to the the building's power panel. Once that was fixed... that sucker will pop some corn. Only problem we have is that on colder nights the coconut oil turns soild and won't pump. A hair dryer and a space heater in the cabinet fixes it though.

I'll give Gold Medal credit. When we were having these "problems" with our machine, I called their techinal service guys and they were very helpful. They faxed schematics, drawings, part numbers, etc. They even called me back several days later and wanted to know the outcome of our situation. My dealer I bought it from was the one who sent the guy who actually found the problem and fixed it in the power panel.

If I had to do it again, I'd go with Gold Medal.

Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee
Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee
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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 31 Oct 2003 13:17 #26415

  • NanEman
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Barry -

Thanks for your imput. I remember your post when you were thinking of buying your popper, it sounded like a really nice model. I seem to remember you got a nice deal on it.

I know you said you have the automatic pump on your machine, but are you using bag-in-a-box? If so, Gold Medal sells a Pre-Heater with a four box capacity. At $495. it's pricey, but in a cold climate it just might be worth it not to have staff taking time to manually heat the product. Having given you my two cents worth, add a dime and it won't even buy you a cup of coffee these days!


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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 31 Oct 2003 17:16 #26416

  • outaframe
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A couple of comments: IF I were buying it would be a Cretors, but what I am actually using is an old Manley... Many years ago, when I was working as projectionist here, the theater had a beautiful all stainless-steel 32oz. Cretors Hollywood popper, but a concessions worker once left the kettle "on" overnight, and next day when she added the oil it caught on fire!... An even bigger idiot put it out with a soda-acid extinguisher which absolutely ruined that gorgeous popper: it corroded EVERYTHING beyond repair... This old Manley was available locally (I think it cost $25, at that time)... The Cretors sat backstage for 10 years or so, after I bought the theater, and I finally had to admit to myself that it was beyond repair and scrapped it out... One element in the Manley kettle gave out about 15 years ago, so I cut the elements off the kettle and installed a new 6" electric stove element and SCR electric stove temp control... The stirrer motor was originally located in the top of the machine, and connected to the kettle by a co-ax cable similar to a extra heavy speedometer cable... These things were rediculously expensive, and would only last about a year... I made up different adapters and made replacements from semi-truck stainless steel air hose line, which usually would last a couple of years, but finally relocated the stirrer motor directly on the kettle top, under a stainless steel cover, and eliminated all the problems... The base of the machine has since been built into my concessions counter, and covered with formica... I built a new top for it with a flashing LED "Fresh Hot Popcorn" sign, and it looks like a brand new machine to the customers, however it's still the same ugly old brute underneath, but works flawlessly... Necessity IS the Mother of Invention!... I keep a 1 1/2 quart stainless steel coffee carafe and a stainless steel measuring cup setting on a flat area of the warming pan... Fill it every night before closing, more if necessary... In extremely cold weather, the colored coconut oil will sometimes solidify in the drums kept in the storage closet, but I use a sharp ice scraper to shave it off and fill the carafe when that happens... No equipment cost, no electrical cost, simple and it works fine!...




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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 31 Oct 2003 17:20 #26417

  • Large
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Ah, a handyman.
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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 31 Oct 2003 18:07 #26418

  • outaframe
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Ya gotta be handy in this biz... It's a business of nickles and dimes, and ya hafta keep as many as possible if ya like eating regularly!...
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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 31 Oct 2003 18:40 #26419

  • John Pytlak
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People who groove on the technology of showing movies tend to be tinkerers and handy with tools.


John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Cell: +1 585-781-4036 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: Kettle Size/Product Output 01 Nov 2003 16:57 #26420

  • BECKWITH1
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Those of us who have a big popper with bag in a box and the automatic pump just leave the Oil System Master switch on overnight in cold weather. That will keep the warming pan warm so that our two boxes of oil are nice and warm the next day. When we used the 50lb drum we had a warming belt that could be used to warm up the can but it was much more difficult than the bag in a box. That is primarily why we just spent $1,000 to replace the original broken warmer/pump with a new Cretors replacement unit.
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