5 Popular Chinese Movie Snacks for the Big Screen

Plums instead of popcorn? Here are the five most popular Chinese movie snacks for the big screen.


When you’re at the movies, of course, you have to buy something to munch on while staring at the big screen. Or just to keep you occupied during the previews. In U.S. movie theaters, you’ll see buttered popcorn, giant slurpees, and a huge variety of candy. 

Movie theaters in China are extremely popular. In fact, China is the world’s second-largest movie market. What foods are eaten in these Chinese movie theaters? 

Here are 5 of the most popular theater snacks in China!

  1. 1 Dried Plums

    Salted and dried plums are a savory/sweet snack. The bite-sized pieces are tender and satisfying to eat. There are also plum candy varieties. They are hard, sugary, and sour. They will make you want to eat just one more after every plum you swallow! 

  2. 2 Sunflower Seeds

    Sunflower seeds have been proven to be one of the most popular snacks in China, and not just in movie theaters. They come in many different flavors - roasted and salted, spicy, or even sweet. Once you get the hang of cracking the shell, you will be mindlessly popping them into your mouth. 

  3. 3 Dried Squid

    Dried squid shreds are thin, light, and crunchy. It’s made of squid (obviously) that’s been dried, shredded, and salted. Dried squid is like beef jerky, but not as hard to chew. You can even dip it in hot sauce to add a little more taste! 

  4. 4 Coconut Juice

    Coconut juice is one of the most popular beverages in China. It’s served everywhere -- in hotels, restaurants, markets, and movie theaters. It’s a refreshing drink that is sweet when it’s first poured into your mouth, then follows with a slight tang. 

  5. 5 Kettle Corn

    Popcorn is a universal movie theater snack, but how do the Chinese like it? In comparison to the western buttered popcorn, most Chinese popcorn is kettle corn. It’s sweet, with no hints of saltiness. 

    Traditionally, Chinese street vendors will pop the corn in a cast iron (shaped like a cannon) with a wheel attached to the end. They will slowly turn the wheel, then a huge “BANG” signals that the popcorn is finished.

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Elim Chen


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  1. Omg!!!! I didn’t know about these beforehand, thanks for helping me learn more about chinese culture!!!!! These sound super interesting and now I want to try them!! Super exciting!!!!

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