Theater Guidelines

When adding or editing movie theaters on Cinema Treasures, the following policies should be followed:

General style

Theater descriptions should be well-written; with no grammatical mistakes, typos, mispellings, or other errors. When in doubt, please consult the Chicago Manual of Style.

Basic grammar

  • Correct nouns that are unnecessarily capitalized.

    BAD: The Marquee of the State Theatre was full of Neon Lights.

    GOOD: The marquee of the State Theatre was full of neon lights.

  • Remove unneeded apostrophes.

    BAD: Many of the theater’s that Rapp & Rapp designed were in French Renaissance style.

    GOOD: Many of the theaters that Rapp & Rapp designed were in French Renaissance style.

  • Replace abbreviations with complete words.

    BAD: The theater is now open only on wkends, Fri-Sun.

    GOOD: The theater is now only open on weekends, Friday through Sunday.

  • Separate sentences with a single space. Remove duplicate spaces and other whitespace (tabs, line breaks).
  • Use double quotes to quote text. (Single quotes should be used when quoting within a quote.)

    According one report: “Marcus Loew looked at his new theater and said, ‘Imagine if I had never met Adolph Zukor?’”

  • Break long paragraphs into shorter paragraphs to make text easier to read online. However, when making such changes, please try to break text into self-contained passages that make sense.
  • Limit use of ampersands to proper nouns.

    BAD: The drive-in had a full service concession stand with great hot dogs & hamburgers.

    GOOD: The drive-in had a full service concession stand with great hot dogs and hamburgers.

    GOOD: The building is a wonderful example of a Rapp & Rapp theater.


  • Spell out numbers from 1 - 100:

    Ninety-nine year lease; fifty-four dollars; thirteen blocks; etc.

  • Use numerals for numbers greater than 101 (but spell out round numbers like one thousand)

    Two thousand seats; four million dollars; 5,763 people attended

  • Spell out numbers beginning a sentence. If this seems awkard, use numerals instead.

    Ten thousand people attended the opening of the Roxy Theatre.

    In all, 110 candidates were accepted.

  • Use numerals when listing several numbers in a sequence (such as in a description of seats)

    BAD: The theater was divided into five screens; 671 seats in the balcony, four hundred seats in the front orchestra, 268 seats in one half of the balcony, two hundred seats in the other half of the balcony and a mini screen seating ninety eight in what had originally been the shop unit.

    GOOD: The theater was divided into five screens; 671 seats in the balcony, 400 seats in the front orchestra, 268 seats in one half of the balcony, 200 seats in the other half of the balcony and a mini screen seating 98 in what had originally been the shop unit.


  • Books and movies should be placed in quotes. Date of publication or release should be include in parentheses:

    The premiere of “Casablanca” (1942) was held here on ...

    This theater was featured in David Naylor’s “Great American Movie Theaters” (1987) ...

Neutral point of view

  • Always use a third-person point of view that presents information in a neutral way
  • If a new theater has been submitted by theater management, the entry should be rewritten to reflect a third-person point of view.
  • Make sure memories and anecdotes are given proper attribution:

    BAD: This theater opened in either 1932 or 1934. I used to go here on Saturdays when they handed out moon pies.

    GOOD: This theater opened circa 1932. John Smith recalls, “I used to go here on Saturdays when they handed out moon pies.”

Theater names


  • Theater names should never use all caps. (Grand Theatre, not: GRAND THEATRE)

Theater vs Theatre

  • When a theater name contains “theatre” or “theater", use the name provided by the theater in question. Do not deviate from an official theater name or listing.
  • When referring to a theater in the generic sense, always use “theater” — unless you are referring to a theater by its name.
  • For European theaters, as well as those in Australia, the term “cinema” should be used instead of “theater” or “theatre”.

Official names

  • Verify theater names by checking for the name as it appears on the theater’s official website or marketing materials. Movie ticketing websites like Moviefone and Fandango are also good places to check.

Circuit names

  • If the theater’s official name includes the circuit name, the circuit should remain part of the theater name. Otherwise, it should be removed.

Historical names

  • Older theater names should be listed in the previous name field. If more than one previous name exists, list the names in comma-separated order from oldest to newest name (left to right).

    Also known as Roxy Cinemas, Roxy Theater, Strand Theatre

  • Always refer to a theater by the name in use during the period being discussed. For instance, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was known as the Mann’s Chinese Theatre in 1977, so this name should be used when describing this era.

    The Tustin Theatre opened for burlesque shows in 1922. While it remained crowded until 1929, the advent of sound motion pictures encouraged the owners to change its programming and install a new screen and Western Electric equipment. The Tustin reopened as the Radioland Theater on December 4, 1929. It remained a popular movie house for nearly forty years. In 1968, the Radioland was sold to George Forester who twinned the theater and renamed it Movies I-II. The Movies I-II always booked MGM and Paramount films in the 1970s. The theater closed in 1977 after a difficult period for the city of Fayette. The Movies I-II remained closed until 1993 when the city claimed it under eminent domain. It was extensively renovated and the wall that divided the balcony and the auditorium was demolished. In 1998, it reopened as a concert venue known as the Fayette. The Fayette later sold its naming rights to the Fayette Federal Savings Bank in 2000 and is now known as the Fayette Federal Savings Theatre.


  • When referring to IMAX theaters or films, use all caps.

    BAD: The Empire has one imax screen.

    GOOD: The Empire has one IMAX screen.


  • Drive-in theaters should be listed by their working names. Do not add “Drive-In” to the end of a drive-in theater’s name unless it’s official.

Common terms

  • Use “vertical sign” instead of “blade” or “vertical marquee”
  • Use “drive-in” instead of “ozoner”
  • Use “multiplex” when referring to theaters with less than 16 screens
  • Use “megaplex” when referring to theaters with more than 16 screens
  • Replace “cineplex” with “multiplex” (except in theater names)
  • “Airdomes” should be spelled as such. They are not “airdromes,” “aerodromes,” “air domes,” etc.


  • Make sure address information is always accurate.
  • If an address is incomplete, try using information available on official or ticketing websites.
  • Add missing postal codes. (This helps improve our zipcode search, as well as Google Maps.)
  • Street/road names should be fully spelled out. (Street, Boulevard, Drive, Road, Way, Highway, Lane, etc.)

Phone numbers

  • If a theater is open or otherwise in operation, please add phone numbers.
  • Likewise, please remove phone numbers that are no longer operative.
  • Before adding a phone number, please make sure the number is operational. This can be done by checking the theater’s official website or newspaper advertisements. Alternately, if the theater is in your local dialing area, you could check the number by calling.


  • When selecting a function, review all available functions and choose the most appropriate.
  • If a theater is closed but is currently used as a store, church, bingo hall, offices, etc, update the theater function to reflect the current function of the theater (which is not movie-related).
  • If a theater is closed and not currently being used or demolished, the function field should be left blank.


  • When adding a new style, please include a description of the style (definition, notable examples of the style, etc.)
  • Where possible, confirm a theater belongs to a specific style by reviewing available photographic and textual evidence.
  • When adding or reviewing a drive-in theater, the style should not be listed as “atmospheric”.


  • Do not list seat capacity for drive-in theaters. Auto capacity is not the same as seat capacity.
  • For now, please add auto capacity information to the theater’s description.
  • Add hyphens between numbers and the seat/screen totals:

    This was an an elaborate eight-screen multiplex.

    This 5,924-seat gem was torn down in 1961.


  • When a website link is official, it should be flagged as official.
  • When editing a theater, verify all website links are working
  • If a link is broken, it should be removed (unless the website is temporarily offline).
  • Do not link to any related websites within a theater description. If a description contains an official website link, the link should be removed and then added to the “Related websites” list.
  • Otherwise, contextual links within theater descriptions are acceptable.