Prior to the 1960’s, concession sales in theatres were not a universal thing, and before the 1950’s, they were rare indeed. It was thought that eating or drinking inside a theatre violated a sense of decorum. General Cinema was no exception to this practice, selling refreshments in its drive-ins but not in its enclosed theatres, or “hardtops”, as they were nicknamed within the industry by that time.
By the time GCC launched its shopping center theatre expansion, the company had undergone a change of heart, and concession counters became a standard component of their theatres, shopping center-located or otherwise. They made such a significant impact on the bottom line that the “sense of decorum” was, shall we say, redefined. Most of their competition followed suit within a very short time.
One thing’s for sure - this great modernist lobby, from 1966’s Richland Plaza Cinema in Fort Worth, Texas doesn’t violate my sense of decorum.