During quarantine, many of us have started to miss things we took for granted, like the occasional trip to the movie theater (and the popcorn and candy that went along with it). And while we're nostalgic for the candy of years gone by, we're starting to feel nostalgic for the theater experience itself, too. With the news that Regal Cinemas is closing all locations in the U.S. and the U.K., there's never been a more bittersweet time to reflect upon the moviegoing experience.
Here are some of the most iconic movie theater candies that theatergoers have enjoyed over the years. Grab a box of these, pop some microwave popcorn, and cue up Netflix. It's not the same, but it's better than nothing.
And for more, don't miss these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.
M&Ms are the ultimate theater candy. You pour a box of them into your popcorn for a salty-sweet combo that's hard to resist. And they don't melt because of the candy coating! It's an A+ experience all around.
Mike and Ike
Lovers of fruit-flavored candy flock to Mike and Ike in the theater checkout lanes—or they used to, at least.
For moviegoers who don't want chocolate candy, it's hard to resist the allure of chewy Twizzlers. Plus, they aren't crunchy, so you wouldn't have to worry about eating loudly and disturbing your fellow theatergoers.
If you love licorice but don't want to deal with biting off a piece of Twizzlers, the licorice-flavored Good&Plenty are a solid option.
Forget fancy nonpareils. Sno-Caps will do the job just fine. Long before sprinkles dominated '90s snacks, Sno-Caps proved that anything is better with a bit of crunchy sugar on top.
Blame E.T. for this one! Reese's Pieces are almost as iconic a movie treat as M&Ms are.
There aren't many U.S. movie theaters where you can order a malted milkshake and enjoy it during the film. You can, however, buy a box of Whoppers and get all of that malt goodness right from a box.
Another entry in the fruit-flavored candy cannon, Swedish Fish is a fun movie snack. The candy is less fun when you try to bring home the pieces you didn't eat, only to discover that the bag isn't recloseable and end up with a sticky, gummy mess.
Sour Patch Kids
Sour Punch Straws are tastier than Sour Patch Kids. But Sour Patch Kids are infinitely easier to eat in a movie theater (or any other public place, really).
As fun as Nerds are to eat, buying these at the movie theater wouldn't bring you any favors from the other theatergoers. The rattling of the small candies within the box could be irritating if you timed your snacking wrong.
There's nothing "junior" about the refreshing flavor of Junior Mints. Who hasn't sat in a chilly movie theater, trying in vain to get to that last mint that's melted and adhered itself to the inside of the box?
By now, most of us know that candy is still candy, even if it contains fruit. But in the '80s, Raisinets appealed to customers who wanted to make what was seen as a healthier alternative to other candies. They're still around if that's your thing—just don't think you're making a better-for-you choice.
You wouldn't think that candy with "dud" in its name would be such a hit, but Milk Duds have broken the mold. The chocolatey, caramel-filled balls are the perfect movie candy, whether you're in a theater or at home.
Cookie Dough Bites
Long before edible cookie dough was available in grocery store refrigerators, moviegoers could get the batter-filled taste thanks to this iconic candy. Today, there are multiple flavors available in addition to the classic original flavor. Peanut butter cookie dough bites, anyone?
What '90s kid didn't add a box of this to their popcorn and enjoy the melty, chocolaty goodness?
For more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.