From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A movie theater (North America), also known as a cinema (Australia, United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as North America), a movie house, or the pictures, is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ("movies" or "films"). Most cinemas are commercial operations catering to the general public, who attend by purchasing a ticket.
Movie theaters may be classified by the type of movies or when they are shown:
- First-run theater: A theater that runs primarily mainstream film fare from the major film companies and distributors, during the initial new release period of each film.
- Second-run or discount theater: A theater that runs films that have already shown in the first-run theaters and presented at a lower ticket price. (These are sometimes known as dollar theaters or "Cheap Seats".)
- Repertoire/repertory theater or arthouse: A theater that presents more alternative and art films as well as second-run and classic films (often known as an "Independent Cinema" in the UK).
- An adult theater or sex theater specializes in showing pornographic movies.
- IMAX theaters can show conventional movies, but the major benefits of the IMAX system are only available when showing movies filmed using it. While a few mainstream feature films have been produced in IMAX, IMAX movies are often documentaries featuring spectacular natural scenery, and may be limited to the 45-minute length of a single reel of IMAX film.
- British Board of Film Classification
- Film screening
- Fictional film
- Home cinema
- List of film formats
- Motion Picture Association of America
- Movie palace
- Nickelodeon movie theater