M O R E  S T U F F

Manley Popcorn Machine 1948
Manley 1948 Theater popcorn machine.

P r i n t e d   M e d i a:

  • Manley Popcorn Anchored Kansas City's:
    Interview with Charles Manley (Jr) regarding Film Row, the district in which numerous motion picture distribution offices were located.
    Kansas City Business Journal, Century of Growth Supplement, Suzanne King , December 10-16, 1999, Issue: 14, Volume: 18, Page(s): 40
  • Burch Manufacturing Company: November 25, 1928 Kansas City Star
    Article describing the operations of the "Burch Manufacturing Company," a manufacturer of electric popcorn machines. Charles T. Manley was president and principal owner of the company.


History of the Manley Popcorn Company

Popcorn was first sold from wagons parked outside of movie theaters. Eventually theater owners realized they could be reaping these popcorn profits themselves. Charles T. Manley, an inventor from Butte, Montana, gave theater operators the chance to do just that. In 1925, Manley perfected the first electric popcorn machine and began selling it to movie theater operators. The irresistible trapped smell of fresh made popcorn quickly made it the movie snack of choice and the perfect partnership between popcorn and movies was born!

Around 1922, Julian R. Burch started producing popcorn machines under the name Burch Manufacturing Company. Six months later, Charles T. Manley joined him and they formed the Burch Manufacturing and Sales Company. The two entrepreneurs separated in less than 12 months. Burch went to St. Louis and started the Star Manufacturing Company. It wasn't until 1940 that Manley changed the name of the original company to Manley, Inc. The Manley Company soon became one of the leading providers of popcorn poppers and popcorn supplies to theaters and candy counters worldwide. During World War II, Manley took popcorn overseas with a government contract to make popcorn machines that created treats for American servicemen. By the 1950's Manley offered a full line of snack food processing equipment for the production of popcorn, caramel corn, extruded snacks and corn products. The Manley Popcorn company was located on he northwest corner of 19th Terrace and Wyandotte Ave. in Kansas City MO.

The photo below shows a a restored 1932 Burch World's Fair Model popcorn machine displayed at the Wyandot Popcorn Museum. It is Model No. 5 with parts from a Princess Pat which were used to complete the restoration.

Manley, Star, Burch Popcorn Antique

Manley Popcorn Building

Renovated in 1998 from the original 1910 Manley Popcorn building, the Popcorn Lofts are located in the heart of the Corssroads Arts District in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The address is 1920 Wyandotte Street, which is the northwest corner of the intersection of 19th Terrace and Wyandotte, just two blocks east of Broadway.

Northwest corner of 19th Terrace and Wyandotte Ave. in Kansas City MO.
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Brooks from the Wyandott Popcorn Museum shows Manley and Birch popcorn machines.

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