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Standing in the frontlines of popcorn here.

I can report that the concession at the newly – fantastically – refurbished Village Theater in Coronado is dishing out Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, with real butter.

I was there at the last opening ceremony, the ten o’clock, and totally blown away by what they’ve done (see Matt Lickona’s Big Screen blog), and authentic popcorn hands – greasy – to prove it.

But who gets the credit/blame for the choice of popcorn? I’m guessing Joe Ditler, buddy of mine who, one, organized the press for this event, but, two, actually was a buddy of the man himself, Orville Redenbacher.

Turns out Orville lived out his last years in Coronado. He and Joe looked so similar, people thought Joe was his son.

They got along famously too. Joe would go and – yes – share a bowl of popcorn with the affable old guy at his ocean-hugging condo.

So would he have cared whether they serve his popcorn at another institution brought back from the dead?

“He’d be thrilled,” says Joe. “He was a kid at heart. He’d look at me with those eyes and go ‘Joe…this your doing?’”


Joe Ditler, friend of Orville Redenbacher. Does he look like a (okay, younger) Orville or what?


Village Theater Coronado's new/old popcorn stand. Who is the happy kid? See "Miracle Kid" story, coming next

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