Words & Wordplay....In a US context, is there a difference between a theater and a theatre?

Is a theater where movies are seen, and a theatre where stage productions are seen?

3 Answers

  • Speed
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Some people designate live performances on stage with the British spelling "theatre" and movies as "theater." Whether it's an affectation or useful distinction is in the eye of the beholder.

  • 8 months ago

    Could be both most likely theater..

  • 8 months ago

    We spell many words differently than the UK or Canada because we had a Simplified Spelling Movement about 100 years ago.  The movement got started during Teddy Roosevelt's administration, and Teddy endorsed it at first.  Then he got angry mail from college professors and he changed his mind, and the movement ended in the middle.  They changed flavour and colour and honour to flavor, color, honor.  But they stopped short of eliminating all 'gh' combinations--doughnut was changed to donut, tonight was changed, briefly, to tonite, but the rest were left as is.

    Today I think advertisers just see 'theatre' as somehow more classy than 'theater'.  If you look at web pages for theaters, you find the word spelled both ways! 

    In UK English, 'theater' or 'theatre' refer only to 'legitimate theater', i.e. live plays.  Movie theaters are called cinemas.

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