An intermission (American, Canadian English) or interval (British English) is a recess between parts of a performance or production, such as a theatrical play , opera , concert , or film screening . It should not be confused with an entr’acte , which, in the 18th century, was a sung, danced, spoken, or musical performance that is occurring between the two acts, that is unrelated to the main performance, and so that in the world of opera and musical theater became an orchestral performance that spans an intermission and leads, without a break, into the next act. [1]

Jean-François Marmontel and Denis Diderot both viewed the intermission as a period in which the action was not in fact stopped, but continued off-stage. “The interval is a rest for the spectators, not for the action,” wrote Marmontel in 1763. “The characters are deemed to continue acting on the interval from one act to another.” However, intermissions are more than just dramatic breaks that are part of the shape of a dramatic structure. They also exist for more reasons, such that it is hard for a membership, and actors and performers need to rest. [2] [3] They afford opportunity for a scene and suit changes. [4]Performance come take advantage of the food and drink. [4]

Psychologically, intermissions cause to return to reality, and are a period in which they can engage critical faculties that they have suspended during the performance itself. [2] [4]


The term “Broadway Bladder” names “the alleged need of a Broadway audience to urinate every 75 minutes”. [5] Broadway Bladder, and other considerations (such as how much revenue has been lost in the future), the role of intermissions in performance, and their existence in performances, such as plays, that were not written / created with intermissions in mind. [5]

William Shakespeare

The plays of William Shakespeare were originally intended for performance without intermissions. The placement of intermissions in those plays in modern performance is thus a matter for the play’s director. [6] Reviewer Peter Holland analyzed the placement of intermissions in 1997:

  • Of The Winter’s Tale he noted that there was a break in the world, and that he had never seen it before. [5]
  • Trevor Nunn’s production of Measure for Measure in 1991 is given as an example of intermissions in the middle of a scene. It stopped halfway through act 3 scene 1, moving some of the lines in the scene to before the intermission. [5]
  • Performances of King Lear , he observed, often places the intermission “disproportionately late”, after the blinding of Gloucester. [5]
  • The 1991 RSC production of Julius Caesar directed by Stephen Pimlott is pointed out as noteworthy for its extraordinary intermission length. Pimlott had placed the intermission after act 4 scene 1, after the action leaves Rome. This allowed the striking of the scenery. Sometimes Took Aim it as much as forty minutes for training crew to remove the scenery, qui comprised a “massive set of columns and a doorway” designed by Tobias Hoheisel , a period That Was than along the remaining length of the performance, some thirty- five minutes. [7]

Many modern productions of Shakespeare play have thus been introduced to an intermission, choosing instead to perform straight through, as originally intended. [6]


The intermissions in Kabuki theater can last up to an hour. Because this is often the case, the playwrights generally take to writing “filler” scenes for the beginning of acts, containing characters and dialogue that are not important to the overall story. [8]


Intermissions in early movies had a practical purpose: they were needed to facilitate the changing of reels . [9] When Queen Elizabeth’s Loves ( The Loves of Queen Elizabeth ), starring Sarah Bernhardt , opened on July 12, 1912, in the Lyceum Theater in New York City , the film was shown in four acts, with an intermission between each reel change. [10]

The technology has become progressively longer, the intermission fulfilled other needs. It gives the audience a breather, and provides the theater management an opportunity to enter into its profitable concession stand . A 1957 animated musical snipe suggests , before the main feature in theaters and during intermission at drive-ins , ” let’s go to the lobby to get ourselves a treat “. And during the 3D movie The era of the early 1950s, which was one of the most important things in the world of cinema. an intermission to change the reels on both projectors.

The built-in intermission has-been phased out of Hollywood movies, the victim of the demand to pack in more screenings, advances in projector technology qui make real switches Either unnoticeable non-existent gold (Such As digital projection , Where real aussi No. along exist ) and also because of multiplexes , the break gave the bosses a better opportunity to sneak away to watch other pictures. [11]

Other notable films with intermissions include: citation needed ]

  • The Birth of a Nation (1915)
  • The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
  • Gone with the Wind (1939)
  • Fantasia (1940)
  • For Whom The Bell Tolls (1943)
  • Quo Vadis (1951)
  • House of Wax (1953)
  • Inferno (1953)
  • It Came from Outer Space (1953)
  • Dial M for Murder (1954)
  • Seven Samurai (1954)
  • A Star Is Born (1954)
  • Oklahoma! (1955)
  • East of Eden (1955)
  • Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
  • Giant (1956)
  • The Ten Commandments (1956)
  • Ben-Hur (1959)
  • Spartacus (1960)
  • The Alamo (1960)
  • King of Kings (1961)
  • West Side Story (1961)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Cleopatra (1963)
  • It’s Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
  • Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • Red Beard (1965)
  • Doctor Zhivago (1965)
  • The Great Race (1965)
  • Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965)
  • The Sound of Music (1965)
  • Grand Prix (1966)
  • The Sand Pebbles (1966)
  • Khartoum (1966)
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
  • The Happiest Millionaire (1967)
  • Camelot (1967)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
  • Oliver! (1968)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
  • Hello Dolly (1969)
  • The Adventurers (1970)
  • Woodstock (1970)
  • Patton (1970)
  • Ryan’s Daughter (1970)
  • Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
  • Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
  • The Cowboys (1972)
  • Barry Lyndon (1975)
  • Heaven’s Gate (1980)
  • Reds (1981)
  • Gandhi (1982)
  • The Right Stuff (1983)
  • Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
  • Gettysburg (1993)
  • Hamlet (1996)
  • Gods and Generals (2003)
  • The Hateful Eight (2015) [12] [13]

Indian cinema

Despite the phasing out of intermissions in the West, they have remained prevalent in India, and especially with Bollywood films. There is a mass reluctance to abolish intermissions as they bring a large revenue to cinemas through buying snacks during these periods. Indian movies are also typically compared to movies from other parts of the world. In 2011, a Bollywood movie, Dhobi Ghat , was released without an intermission and was cited as a first in Indian cinema. Forced intermissions are common on screenings of western movies in India. [14] [15]

Bollywood movies shown in cinemas in the United Kingdom also include intermissions. [16] Many Bollywood films released on DVD include the “intermission” card for cinematic screening. [17]


  1. Jump up^ Charlton 1986, p. 128.
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Pavis & Shantz 1998 , p. 187.
  3. Jump up^ Andrews 2011, p. 59.
  4. ^ Jump up to:c Goodridge 1999 , p. 85.
  5. ^ Jump up to:e Holland 1997 , p. 3.
  6. ^ Jump up to:b Dessen 2002 , p. 95.
  7. Jump up^ Holland 1997, p. 4.
  8. Jump up^ Brandon 1992, p. 29.
  9. Jump up^ “History: Intermission” . Cliftex: Texas’ Oldest, Continuously Operating Movie Theater. Archived from the original on February 1, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012 .
  10. Jump up^ “The Roadshow Era” . Cinema Sightlines . Retrieved May 11, 2012 .
  11. Jump up^ Peter Hartlaub (December 19, 2003). “Longer movies, bigger drinks and no intermissions, a new kind of epic struggle in the theater: one bowl to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them” . San Francisco Chronicle.
  12. Jump up^ Tapley, Kristopher (October 13, 2015). Quentin Tarantino Says He Cut Two Different Versions of ‘The Hateful Eight’. Variety
  13. Jump up^
  14. Jump up^ Sharma. “Do we need the intermission?” . THE TIMES OF INDIA . Retrieved 9 August 2012 .
  15. Jump up^ Steph. “Intermission” . Retrieved 9 August 2012 .
  16. Jump up^ “Free Movies UK” . Retrieved 9 August 2012 .
  17. Jump up^ Blase. “Music paste up: MIA and terrifying things to do, Clean Bandit provides local sauce, and the dance movie season is upon us” . Retrieved 9 August 2012 .