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TOPIC: What's In A Name

What's In A Name 23 Mar 2001 13:45 #19638

  • take2
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I've noticed while I've been visiting different movie and theater web sites that there are a lot of theaters out there with names like The Capital, The Regency, and The Roxy. Are these just common names for theaters or do they have some historical value? Just thought it would be something interesting to kick around.
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Re: What's In A Name 24 Mar 2001 01:10 #19639

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Theatre names have come from every conceivable theme or subject. During the movie palace era, the 20s and slightly beyond, theatres were given names that suggested luxury, largeness, and opulance. Names such as Majestic, Palace, Regent, Ritz, Regal, Paradise, Crowd, Jewel, Royal, King, Queen, De Lux, and Grand.

Names that used a diplomatic, military or patriotic theme were Imperial, Embassy, Liberty, National, Senate and State.

Theatres owned by the studios often used their names as in Paramount, Fox, Warner, United Artist and Orpheum (as in RKO, Radio,- Kieth - Orpheum).

Names of exotic places such as Oriental, Egyptian, Chinese or Casba were used as well.

Some theatres were named after famous theatrical managers and showman such as Roxy, Kieths, Proctors and of course Loew's.

Other names were meant to let you know what it was that you were entering like Photoplay, Photoland, Dreamland, Pix and Show.

Often the theatres location within the community was responsible for it's name as in Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, Avenue and Center, while many theatres were named after the town or city themselves.

Theatres were named after wealthy families as a way to add that special touch of class as in Astor or Biltmore.

The type of policy that a theatre followed would in some cases determine it's name. Theatres that specialized in westerns were sometimes named Ranchhouse, Rodeo or West. Newsreel theatres were named the telenews or just plain News, and sometimes the Globe or World.

But why theatres were named the Bugg, Rig, Ora, Odemand, Hi Ho, Tegu, Firmage and the IT is beyond me.

I though it quite clever that in a town in western Pennsylvania that had two theatres, one was named the Aladin, the other the Lamp.

I could go on and on, but I'll leave some interesting names and why they were used for others to comment on.

Those names were certainly much nicer then what is generally used today. Now everyone uses the company name, the location... as in name of shopping center or mall, and the number of screens. Examples: AMC Ridgeway 12, or Hoydt's Havertown 16 or Loew's Mercer Mall 18. Very original, aren't they?
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Re: What's In A Name 27 Mar 2001 09:49 #19640

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Thanks for the insights. Your information was very interesting. It's sad that we have abandoned some of thoses good old names for the more generic Cinema I, II, III, ect. Just because they happen to be in a shopping mall it dosen't mean they have to have such stock names does it?
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Re: What's In A Name 28 Mar 2001 10:26 #19641

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And what about The Colonial's? There were a ton of them. In Belfast there was The Star, Dreamland, City Theatre. Instead of naming our screens #1, #2, #3 we named each one after closed local theatres. I agree re: Hoyts Bangor 16. You got to love that original naming but it kind of goes with the management style.
Michael Hurley
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