Difference Between a Movie & Cinema

Movie, cinema, flick, film, show, and theater are some of the terms people use when they plan to go to a hall to watch a movie. Although movies or cinema are an essential aspect of our lives, most people don’t distinguish between the two and use the terms interchangeably as if they were synonyms. While one can use either of the two words when going to watch a film in a theater, the two terms carry different connotations. Movie is often perceived as popular culture, whereas cinema is seen as a medium of art. In this article, we will discuss other differences between movie and cinema.

In various countries and cultures, the same medium of art is known and popular with a different name. For instance, in the US, it is called a movie, in France, a film or cinema, in the UK, cinema, and in India, a film. Regardless of the country or culture, most people understand that cinema and movie are words used for the same medium of entertainment. In the UK, the term “show” has become more popular, with people discussing going to a show rather than a cinema as if they are doing something classier.


The word “cinema” comes from the French word “cinematograph,” which refers to the device that projects a motion picture onto a screen. This French term, in turn, comes from the Greek “kinein,” which means to move. When we use the term “cinema” for a film, we are referring to an art form that was initially called a motion picture or moving picture. Over time, cinema evolved into a medium of entertainment, and any motion picture came to be known as cinema. In some countries, theaters that show movies are also called cinema halls, indicating that cinema is a term used for the building where moving pictures are exhibited for viewing.


In most parts of the world, the word “movie” is commonly used for the medium of entertainment also called cinema and film. Movie is a more popular term than cinema and represents popular culture more than a medium of art. However, using the word “movie” for a moving picture is not pejorative or implies a film with any lesser artistic value. Movie is an alternative name for a motion picture used worldwide.

Key Takeaways

  • Cinema is a term derived from the French “cinematograph” and is used to refer to a moving picture.
  • Movie is a term commonly used worldwide for motion pictures.
  • Movie is more popular than cinema, which seems to have artistic connotations, but using the word “movie” does not lower the artistic aspect of any film.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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