For the longest time, cinemas (British variation)/movie theaters (North American variation) have been the go-to places for film entertainment. From the James Bond series to Fast & Furious and Mission Impossible, the thrill people get from watching a blockbuster in a cinema is unmatched. Besides the giant screens and amazing surround sound system, movie theaters show some films before they are available on Blu-ray and to the general public. Keep reading to find out some fascinating movie theater facts you probably didn’t know.

1. Movie Theaters in Some Regions Have Intermissions in the Middle of the Films

Usually, when a movie starts showing in a theater, it runs to the end. Any audience member wanting a break can leave the room at the expense of missing out on some parts of the film or the remainder of it.

However, in countries such as Switzerland, Egypt, Iceland, India, and Turkey, there are intermissions in the middle of the movies, lasting around 10 minutes. This allows the viewer to hit the concession stalls or visit the restroom without missing a part of the movie.

2. Actor William Thomas Hader Jr. Was Fired for Spoiling the Ending of Titanic at a Movie Theater

William Thomas Hader Jr. is a writer, actor, producer, and comedian known for his role on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. However, before he became famous, the actor did some odd jobs, including working as an usher at a Tempe cinema. There, he was allowed to watch films for free but was soon fired for spoiling the ending of Titanic (1997) for some customers.

3. Children Were Once Banned in Quebec Movie Theaters

Until 1961, children under 16 were prohibited in movie theaters in Quebec, Canada. This was after a fire erupted in one of the facilities in 1927, killing 78 people, most of whom were children.

4. Movie Theaters Occasionally Show the Wrong Film

Over the existence of movie theaters, audiences have occasionally been treated to films they didn’t ask to watch. One of the most common examples is when Nottingham’s Cineworld cinema accidentally projected the supernatural horror film “Paranormal Activity 4” instead of “Madagascar 3.”

By the time the attendants at the cinema noticed the glitch, a scene of a bloodied female corpse had already been shown, and parents were scampering their kids out of the auditorium.

5. A Visit to a Movie Theater Once Cured a “Stereoblind” Neuro-Scientist

Bruce Bridgeman, a 67-year-old neuroscientist, was cured of his “stereoblindness” (inability to see depth) after watching a 3D film at a movie theater. Sadly, while he was permanently able to perceive depth, he could no longer perceive height.

6. Chinese Pranksters Once Purchased All Odd-Numbered Cinema Seats Forcing Couples to Sit Apart

On Valentine’s Day of 2014, pranksters in China bought all odd-numbered cinema seats, so couples had to sit apart. The group purchased tickets to a 7:30 pm screening (primetime), hugely inconveniencing couples that had planned to have a good time together. The film at play was “Beijing Love Story,” and the movie theater in question was Shanghai Xintiandi Cinema.

7. Some Movie Theaters Include Movie Trivia in their Shows

For the longest time, moviegoers have often complained that movie theaters play too much advertising shorts before films. Robert Ebert, a famous film historian and critic, has advocated for the reduction of movie trailers and other side shows for better customer experience. Today, most cinemas play slideshows featuring a loop of movie trivia between showings.

8. A Movie Theater Once Gambled Its Entire Existence on the Success of the Lord of the Rings Franchise

Before it was absorbed by Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), the New Line Cinema was a distribution company that showed films on college campuses. At one point, the startup company gambled its existence by investing in the success of the Lord of the Rings franchise. New Line Cinema committed to all three films from the franchise by paying over $270 million in advance. Their gamble paid off, as the show was a hit.

9. Movie Theaters Were Very Popular in the 1930s

In the United States, records show that about 65% of the population went to the cinema weekly. However, by 1964, the culture had shifted significantly, with more people preferring to watch TV at home. Today, only about 10% of the United States population goes to the cinema weekly.

10. Carlsberg Once Ran a Social Experiment in a Cinema in Belgium

Carlsberg once ran a social experiment in a cinema as part of its marketing campaign in Belgium. It involved filling the auditorium with well-built bikers, leaving only two spare seats right in the middle of them all. The producers followed the reactions of couples who came in to find only the two seats. Of course, the majority choose to walk away. The few that sat on the spare seats anyway were rewarded with a bottle of Carlsberg.

11. A Movie Theater Once Hired “Ninjas” to Scare Disruptive Moviegoers

The London-based Prince Charles Cinema is famous for hiring “ninjas” dressed in black morph suits to scare disruptive moviegoers. Usually, the personnel would wait in the back of the theater, and when anyone used their phone or talked loudly, they would appear and cover their mouths with their hands.

12. A Cinema in Australia Used to Have a Pram Room for Customers with Kids

Between the 1940s and 60s, the Melbourne Sun Theatre Cinema had a pram room where parents would leave their babies. Each pram was marked with a number that the responsible parents knew. So, if a baby started crying, the number would flash on the screen, and the parent/s would attend to them.

13. Glasgow Hosts the World’s Tallest Cinema

With an overall height of 62 meters (203.41 ft.), the UGC Cinema complex is among the world’s tallest cinemas. Located in Glasgow, UK, the building is 12 stories high, has a seating capacity of 4,277, and can hold 18 screens. It opened its doors on September 21, 2001.

14. AMC Theaters Owns the Biggest Share of U.S. Theater Markets

Originally an abbreviation for American Multi-Cinema, AMC theatres consist of several movie theaters operating all over the United States. Founded in 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri, AMC is currently one of the largest shareholders of the U.S. theater market. It ranks ahead of Regal and Cinemark Theatres.

Besides the about 8,000 screens that AMC owns in American theaters, the entertainment giant has 2,807 screens in 353 European theaters. It became the world’s largest movie theater chain in the world in 2016 when it acquired UCI Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas, and Odeon Cinemas.

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Entertainment, Movies & TV,

Last Update: May 7, 2024