OPINION: What's In A Name?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Confident with the English language? The difference between two simple words has a few confused people waiting for live artistic performances in Riverdale and asking for 3D glasses at DRTCC.

A “theatre” is primarily a live performing arts venue with a stage for such. Movies are occasionally shown in theatres on a drop down screen creating the term “movie theatre”. But films are not their primary purpose. A venue where the primary purpose is to show movies is called a “cinema”, where there is a fixed screen. But cinemas don’t stage performing arts because there is no stage.

the.a.tre [thee-uh-ter]
1. a building designed for the performance of plays, operas, etc
From the Latin theātrum and from the Greek theatron meaning "a place for viewing"
Example: Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre

cin.e.ma [sin-uh-muh]
1. a place designed for the exhibition of films
From the French cinéma, shortened from cinématographe, meaning "a movie hall"
Example: Reading Cinemas

So, a cinema shows movies but not live performances and therefore is not a theatre. A theatre can stage live performances and show movies but is still not a cinema.

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