A movie theater/theatre (American English), cinema (British English) or cinema hall (Indian English) is a building that contains an auditorium for viewing films (also called movies) for entertainment. Most, but not all, theaters are commercial operations catering to the general public, who attend by purchasing a ticket. Some movie theaters, however, are operated by non-profit organizations or societies which charge members a membership fee to view films. The film is projected with a Movie projector onto a large projection screen at the front of the auditorium while the dialogue, sounds and music are played through a number of wall-mounted speakers. Since the 1970s, subwoofers have been used for low-pitched sounds. In the 2010s, most movie theaters are equipped for digital cinema projection, removing the need to create and transport a physical film print on a heavy reel. A great variety of films are shown at cinemas, ranging from animated films to blockbusters to documentaries. The smallest movie theaters have a single viewing room with a single screen. In the 2010s, most movie theaters have multiple screens. The largest theater complexes, which are called multiplexes—a design developed in the U.S. in the 1960s—have up to thirty screens.
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