Movies and Theater History  


Movies and Theater History

A theater is a building where people can enjoy live performances or movies. Although both are popular forms of entertainment, the word "theater," used alone, often refers to live performances. Movie theaters, stage theaters, and theaters of all types can be found in countries around the world. They are a source of entertainment that anyone can enjoy, regardless of gender or age.

Ancient Theater

Theaters can be traced back as far as 600 B.C. to Ancient Greece, which was famous for both its dramas and tragedies. The Greek theater was home not only to performances, but also festivals, gymnastics, politics, and religious rituals and events. Rome adopted the idea of theater from the Greeks around 300 B.C. Their plays were often acted out by slaves and were held in immense theaters designed to hold large numbers of people. In addition to plays, Roman theater included acrobatics, dancing, and other forms of entertainment.

Medieval Theater

During medieval times in Europe, theaters were considered a sin and were not allowed; however, the Renaissance heralded a return to the arts, including the theater. Plays during that time were often performed on a daily basis and included themes of morality, and stories were universal. During this time theaters and performances began to divide based on class. Public theaters were available for the general population while private theaters were for people of the upper classes.

Modern Theater

During the 1600s, for fear of public disruption and disorder, theaters were banned in England for roughly 18 years. As a result, many of the public theaters in England were destroyed. The Restoration period saw the return of theater to England, and, with it, stage machinery and scenery made their debut. During the 18th and 19th centuries, theaters increased in both size and popularity, as did dramas and melodramas. Modern theaters evolved when interests expanded to newer forms of entertainment, including vaudeville and film. The first movie theaters were built in the late 1800s, although it was not until 1902 that the first permanent theater for movies was built.

Eastern Theater

Outside Europe, other countries developed unique forms of theater. For example, the Japanese had created the Kabuki Theater. This type of theater began in the 1600s and featured all-male actors. Another example is the Sanskrit theater in India, which is one of its earliest types of theater.

Theater Information

Theaters, whether movie or traditional, are typically one or more stories high. Seating on these various levels are arranged for maximum viewing of the stage or screen. In addition, American theaters must be made in a way that they are accessible to persons with disabilities. The theatergoers of today enjoy operas, musicals, and dramatic performances at traditional theaters, as well as concerts, and dance performances. Movie theaters feature a variety of movie types, ranging from kids' movies and cartoons to thrillers and horror films. Even performances from traditional theaters are filmed and played in certain movie theaters.