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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Theatre or Cinema? (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Theatre or Cinema?
Paul P. Meyers
New Member

Posts: 42
From: Detroit, MI
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted October 11, 2003 11:25 AM      Profile for Paul P. Meyers   Email Paul P. Meyers         Edit/Delete Post 
What is your linguistic preferance?
Do you go to the Theatre or to the Cinema ? Or to "the movies"
Does anyone say the phrase "picture show" anymore? I hear that in South Africa the prefered term is (or was) "Biograph". And in England the term "electric theatre" was used to differentiate a place that shows movies from one that presented live entertainment. And speaking of terms what are the many ways to name a "house of projection" (my term I just thought of). Left over from the days of vaudville and music halls are such now quaint names as Rialto, Variety, Bijou etc. Other names conjure up the days of neighborhood theatres such as the likes of Civic, Majestic etc. Or a cinema could be named after the town it is/was in, or street it is/was on. Movie Palaces are surely known by bearing the names of the studios that built them, for example, Fox or Paramount. The days of the multiplex offer up the formulae
C + S# = N
[Name of Theatre Chain plus Number of Screens = Location Name]
What other ways are there to name a movie theatre, motion picture theatre, or cinema if you so will. Or what memorably unusual names have you come across?

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Ken Roe
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Posts: 66
From: London, England
Registered: May 2003


 - posted October 11, 2003 03:39 PM      Profile for Ken Roe   Author's Homepage   Email Ken Roe         Edit/Delete Post 
Here in the U.K. the term used is to go to the 'flick's, the 'pictures' or 'out to the cinema>(by name ie Odeon etc)

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Bob Allen
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Posts: 79
From: Toledo, OR
Registered: May 2003


 - posted October 11, 2003 05:03 PM      Profile for Bob Allen   Email Bob Allen         Edit/Delete Post 
I still use the term "theatre" but will often use "cinema" to distinguish it from a live venue as that term has come into a more common use for identifying movie theatres in the U.S. and there has been an increase of live venues ("performing arts centers") in this country.

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Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

Posts: 685
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 12, 2003 05:26 PM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
I use "Movie Theatre".

For example:

Lets go to the movie theatre.

Then we name which one by name.
AMC Covina
Arclight
Pacific Paseo
etc....

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Daniel Fuentz
Member

Posts: 212
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted October 12, 2003 07:52 PM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
I always say "to the movies". Normally this will be followed by the specific theatre, (Edwards, Signature, etc.) except if the film is an exclusive at an older UA which my friends and I call the "ghettoplex". Sometimes, if we are being extremely silly we will say, in a "Beverly Hillbillies" type voice, "We're goin' to the movin' pitchers!" [Big Grin]

[ October 14, 2003, 01:37 AM: Message edited by: Daniel Fuentz ]

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Darren Snow
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Posts: 9
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted October 15, 2003 01:32 PM      Profile for Darren Snow   Email Darren Snow         Edit/Delete Post 
We just say we're going to see (insert name of movie here), and it's a given that we're seeing it at the cinema, or theater, or kino, or whatever...
The other day, one of the kids in "Family Circus" referred to a movie as a "picture," and my wife groaned, "NO five-year-old calls a movie a picture!" I told her Bil Keane probably did when he was five...they probably didn't have sound yet!

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Jim Rankin
(Jim passed away in December 2006)
Posts: 123
From: Milwaukee, WI
Registered: Oct 2003


 - posted November 24, 2003 08:30 AM      Profile for Jim Rankin   Email Jim Rankin         Edit/Delete Post 
The Theatre Historical Society of America will be establishing a GLOSSARY OF THEATRE TERMS on their web site in future, but for now possibly this will help:

CINEMA: A venue primarily for the showing of films, which venue does not have the traditional stagehouse and other provisions for live action theatre. "Cinema" is a corruption of the Greek 'Kinema' a verb meaning 'to move' and earlier a mythical goddess, and the word 'kino' for a cinema is also derived from this root. The television term 'kinoscpoe' (for a filming of a live video monitor, before the days of video tape) was also derived from this root. The word had much greater currency in England and Europe, but is fast becoming standard in the USA in response to the advent of the 'Multiplex' cinemas which could hardly be designated as theatres, or even cinemas if one used the single-screen house as the standard of old. It appears that the multiplex will now be the definition of 'cinemas' in the USA.

THEATRE or THEATER: This adopted French word is originally from the Greek 'theatron' for a live action performance venue ('playhouse'), and the word was adopted in the Germanic lands with the Germanic spelling 'theatER'. There are many kinds of theatres due to confusion of the term when someone wanted to denote some form of public entertainment, hence its use in the USA to denote a 'cinema' where primarily movies were shown. This confusion was occasioned by the changeover from purely film showings as in the "Nickelodeons" to the "Photoplay Parlors" which superseeded them, sometimes with small stage actions. When Vaudeville started to die in the 1920s, many Vaudeville theatres started showing films and many of them ended their days doing that, so it became natural to say one went to the 'movies' at a 'theatre.' Many of the 'movie palaces' were also 'Presentation Houses' which were really traditional theatres in design, but adapted specifically for large stage productions (presentations) in addition to showing films. While the Theatre Historical Soc. has "standardized" the spelling in the 'RE' format, the way the word is spelled will largely depend upon what place one refers to and where he is located.

"Picture Show" (once preferred in the rural South of the USA) and "Electric Theatre" (an older British term) are mostly historic terms with only quaint relevancy. "Biograph" was a trade name of a particular film studio, so never was truly generic for a 'cinema.' 'Variety' was a term used in Vaudeville and Burlesque to denote a varied bill of fare, and is there an elliptical formation from 'variety theatre.' 'Bijou' is French for 'jewel' and was often used for the smaller theatres, and later, cinemas. 'Rialto' is the name of a famous covered bridge in Venice, Italy, where for centuries many little novelty shops were built constituting the entertainment sector of the city in the olden days when the average citized had no real public entertainment, since the Theatre and Opera were only for the nobility and wealthy. Therefore the idea of entertainment is carried with the name, as is the case with the theatre name 'Tivoli.'

"Civic" was often used as a place-associated name, as was 'Main' or 'Varsity', while 'Majestic' was just the opposite of 'Bijou' (whether the theatre was really majestic or not!), and like the names 'Grand' or 'Palace' was intended as promotional hyberbole.

Names like 'Fox' and 'Paramount' were the names of chains of theatres, of course, named after the studions which originally owned them, before the 1948 "Paramount Decree" by the supreme court which determined that such chains constituted monopolies under the definition of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The court ordered the severance of the theatres from the studios and thus effectively ended the days of the chains, though now the chains have returned under ownerships independent of the studios. There were many dozens of chains at one time, some national, many only regional.

"Roxy" was a popular name for theatres and cinemas at one time due to this nickname for Samuel L. Rothapfel becoming the name of his giant 'Presentation House' in New York City from 1927 to 1960. That name spread like wildfire throughout the nation, onto many theatres, but also many other businesses to this day! Likewise, many such names are entirely idiosyncratic, with pertinance only to the owners, but few are repeated as was the famous 'ROXY'!

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Ron Newman
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Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted February 21, 2005 09:24 PM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
One term I haven't seen mentioned here is 'Moviehouse'.

In the 1970s, Justin Freed operated two repertory cinemas in Boston which he called the Park Square Moviehouse and the Kenmore Square Moviehouse. In 1977 he bought another theatre in Brookline's Coolidge Corner and closed the first two. He carried the 'Moviehouse' name over to his new location.

The Coolidge is now owned by a non-profit foundation and has gone through several changes of management, but the main auditorium is still 'Moviehouse One' and the upstairs (former balcony) is 'Moviehouse Two'.

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The Evil Sam Graham
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Posts: 85
From: Des Moines, IA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted February 23, 2005 05:57 PM      Profile for The Evil Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email The Evil Sam Graham         Edit/Delete Post 
I simply refer to cinemas by the brand name.

"I'm going to the Cinemark." "I'm going to the Century." "I'm going to Jordan Commons, so I'll be back in about a week" (because that's, like, 1,100 miles thataway. But I love that place dearly).

I hardly ever say "movies", "cinema" "multiplex", etc.

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Kevin Dupruy
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Posts: 10
From: Baton Rouge, LA
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted May 04, 2005 06:09 PM      Profile for Kevin Dupruy   Author's Homepage           Edit/Delete Post 
I use "theater", or in my case, "Rave", becouse thats the only theater I go to since I live right next to it.

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William Hooper
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Posts: 82
From: Mobile, AL
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted May 04, 2005 10:47 PM      Profile for William Hooper   Email William Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
It still is unclear when you're going to a rave that's in a theater or theatre, though.
http://www.ravers.org/

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Jim Rankin
(Jim passed away in December 2006)
Posts: 123
From: Milwaukee, WI
Registered: Oct 2003


 - posted May 05, 2005 06:22 AM      Profile for Jim Rankin   Email Jim Rankin         Edit/Delete Post 
AS was once brought out by the famous lexicographer, Alfred Funk, the spelling of the word 'Theater' will depend upon the geographical locus of the writer of the word, since the 'ER' spelling is germain to Germanic lands and languages, whereas the 'RE' spelling is found in those lands dominated by French influence since that is how the French spelled the word when they were in England. Even though English is said to be a German-based language, that is only really true of about 30% of it, the remaining 70% being primarily Latin based and most of that through the Norman invasion of England by the French. Therefore, both spellings are acceptable in the USA.

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William Hooper
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Posts: 82
From: Mobile, AL
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted May 05, 2005 10:53 PM      Profile for William Hooper   Email William Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
Rave theaters & theatres don't usually have raves.

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Kevin Dupruy
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Posts: 10
From: Baton Rouge, LA
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted May 24, 2005 07:08 PM      Profile for Kevin Dupruy   Author's Homepage           Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I can say "Rave Motion Pictures".

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William Hooper
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Posts: 82
From: Mobile, AL
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted May 24, 2005 11:07 PM      Profile for William Hooper   Email William Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
Rave theaters & theatres don't show motion pictures all the time; what do you say then?

Rave theatre motion picture:
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