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British and Irish cinema names from a certain period seem to come from a pool that includes The Odeon, The Curzon, The Savoy, The Adelphi (maybe you can think of more). Where did these names come from? Are they prevalent in any other English speaking countries?

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My local childhood cinema in Edinburgh was the Ritz. It closed in the 80s. There is still a Ritzy in Brixton, London. I've no idea where this name comes from. –  FordBuchanan Aug 18 '10 at 11:44
    
Cindi, perhaps you didn't realize that accepting an answer does not award the bounty points. You have to click on the "+50" below the checkmark to award it. –  mmyers Aug 24 '10 at 21:06

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Savoy

The Savoy cinema opened in 1920 in Bradford/UK.

The Savoy Theatre opened in 1881 in London on the site of the old Savoy Palace.

The Savoy Palace was built on the land granted to Peter II, the Count of Savoy in 1246.

I'd say that the cinema name was derived as follows:

Count of Savoy > Savoy Palace > Savoy Theatre > Savoy Cinema

References:


Curzon

Apparently, it's just a family name. Note that this was not the original name of the cinema. The original name was "Picture House".

In 1945 the cinema (previously known as "the Picture House") was sold and changed its name to the "Maxime".[2] Another change of ownership in 1953 brought its current name.

References:


Note: Odeon and Adelphi are already on FordBuchanan's interesting answer.

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I imagine that the Curzon in Celvedon is named after the Curzon in Mayfair, which is named after a street, which in turn is named after a family. –  FordBuchanan Aug 18 '10 at 12:39
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@FordBuchanan - I think you're right. Curzon is a family name. –  b.roth Aug 18 '10 at 12:50

Odeon is derived from the name for an ancient Greek building used much like a contemporary convert hall. It was used as a name for cinemas in Italy and France before the Odeon chain was set up in the UK in the 1930s.

The Adelphi Theatre in London was named after a terrace of houses that used to be opposite, Adelphi Buildings. The area took the name Adelphi, and the theatre from that. As with Odeon and Savoy, names of cinemas were often taken from existing names for theatres.

The Curzon in Mayfair, London, takes its name from the street where it is located. As it opened in the 30s, I'd imagine that other Curzons are named after it.

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+ 1 Great answer. I confirmed what you said about Savoy (see my answer). –  b.roth Aug 18 '10 at 12:51

I believe there are a number of Odeon cinemas in the US, but never heard tell of the others.

One of the very early cinema chains in the US was the Biograph Theater, and I believe they spread to other English-speaking countries. There are at least two left in the US, in Washington DC, and Chicago.

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I am wondering what the music halls which preceded the cinemas were called. Similar names?

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Music Halls were often different. Palladium, Lyceum Empire are three that come to mind.

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