Theatre vs. Theater | Meaning, Spelling & Examples
Theatre and theater are two different spellings of the noun used to refer to the building in which theatrical performances are carried out and to the art or profession of theatrical production. The spelling varies based on whether you’re writing UK or US English.
- In UK English, “theatre” is standard.
- In US English, “theater” is more common.
Exception: The names of buildings and production companies
There’s an exception to the rule of distinguishing between theatre and theater based on the version of English. When the name of a building or company (e.g., Manhattan Theatre Club) uses an alternative spelling, it’s a proper noun and can’t be changed.
Movie theatre or theater
Movie theater is used in US English to refer to the building in which movies or films are shown. In UK English, this building is instead called a “cinema.” “Movie theatre” is rarely used.
Other interesting language articles
If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
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