35 Useful Phrases Used at the Cinema in English

You’re at the cinema, eagerly anticipating the film you brought your snacks for, and the trailers start playing. But instead of getting lost in them, you find yourself thinking “Huh? What did they just say?” because of all the industry jargon.

Many moviegoers are familiar with the terms and phrases used at the cinemas, but for those who don’t, understanding a movie theatre’s language can make a big difference in the overall experience.

Common Phrases Used At The Cinema

The language used at the cinema is often a mixture of technical terms and slang phrases. Knowing these phrases will also help you navigate conversations with other cinephiles and understand what the critics are saying about films. This guide will cover some common phrases used at the cinema by staff, and audience members, as well as provide explanations for technical terms you might hear.

Understanding the language used at the cinema is important for several reasons. For starters, it makes it easier to communicate with staff and other patrons while in the theatre. It will also help you better understand movie reviews and discussions about films happening online or in person. Furthermore, being familiar with these phrases can make your time at the cinema more enjoyable and satisfactory.

Phrases Used At The Cinema Pin

Common Phrases Used at the Box Office

  1. “What can I get for you?” – This phrase is used to ask the customer what they would like to purchase.
  2. “What movie would you like to see?” – This question is used to determine the customer’s movie selection.
  3. “Do you have a reservation?” – This phrase is used to inquire if the customer has pre-booked their tickets.
  4. “Do you have a loyalty card?” – This phrase is used to ask if the customer has a cinema loyalty program membership.
  5. “How many tickets would you like?” – This question is used to determine the number of tickets the customer would like to purchase.
  6. “What seat would you prefer?” – This phrase is used to ask the customer their preferred seating arrangement.
  7. “Do you want any snacks or drinks?” – This question is used to offer additional items to the customer, such as concessions.
  8. “Is this for today’s show or for a later date?” – This phrase is used to determine the date and time of the customer’s movie selection.
  9. “Cash or card?” – This phrase is used to ask the customer their preferred method of payment.
  10. “We’re sold out for the next show.” – No more tickets are available for the current movie.

Common Phrases Used by Staff At The Cinema

The staff at the cinema is often referred to as “house staff” and they have specific lingo to help them work more efficiently. Their role is to ensure that the experience for all viewers is comfortable and enjoyable, with a few commonly used phrases at the cinema being:

  1. “Lights, Camera, Action!” – Signal the start of a movie
  2. “Roll credits” – Signal the end of a movie
  3. “Picture’s up!” – Announcement that the movie is about to start
  4. “Let’s get ready to rumble!” – Extra encouragement for viewers to take their seats and prepare for the movie
  5. “Places Everyone!” – Announcement that the theatre is about to be quiet
  6. “House Lights down, please” – Indicate that the lights in the theatre should be dimmed.
  7. “Please no food or drinks in the theater.” – Reminds moviegoers that food or drinks purchased outside of the theatre are not allowed inside.
  8. “Can I see your ticket, please?” – Used to ask moviegoers to show their tickets before entering the auditorium.
  9. “Enjoy the show” – Wish patrons a pleasant viewing experience.
  10. “Please turn off your cell phones.” – A request for customers to switch their mobile phones to silent mode during the movie.
  11. “Do you need any help finding your seat?” – Offering assistance to locate a customer’s assigned seat.

Phrases Used by Audience Members

Here is the list of common phrases used at the cinema by audience members:

  1. What time does the movie start?” – Asking for the start time of a specific movie.
  2. “Do you have any tickets available?” – Inquiring about the availability of tickets for a specific movie.
  3. “Can I bring my own food and drinks?” – Asking about the theater’s policy on outside food and drinks.
  4. “Is this seat taken?” – Asking if a particular seat is occupied before sitting.
  5. “Excuse me, can I get by?” – Requesting to pass by another person to reach a seat.
  6. “I love this part!” – Expression of enthusiasm or enjoyment of a particular scene or moment in the movie.
  7. “Can you believe that?” – Express disbelief at an unexpected plot twist.
  8. “The Plot was so twisted!” – Describe a movie with convoluted plot lines or unexpected twists.
  9. “That scene was intense!” – Show that a scene was exciting, thrilling, or suspenseful.
  10. “That was so cheesy!” – Describe a scene as corny or over-the-top.
  11. “That was so cliche!” – Describe a scene as overly familiar or derivative.
  12. “Let’s catch the next show!” – Suggest that they watch multiple films in one day.
  13. “I’m so excited for the sequel!” – Express anticipation for a follow-up to the movie.
  14. “Is this the right theater?” – Confirming the correct location of a movie before entering.

Technical Terms

  • Trailer: A short film or video advertising a movie, usually shown before the feature.
  • Intermission: A break between two halves of a movie that allows patrons to stretch their legs and visit the concession stand.
  • Blockbuster: A highly successful movie with large box office and merchandise sales.
  • Genre: A category or type of movie, such as action, drama, comedy, etc.
  • Critic: A professional writer who provides a review and an opinion of the movie being discussed.
  • Rating System: The set of symbols used to rate movies based on their content and suitability for different age groups.
  • Credits: The list of cast and crew members who worked on the production of a movie.
  • Soundtrack: A compilation of music featured in a movie, usually released on a CD or LP.


Cinemas can be confusing places for those unfamiliar with the common phrases used by staff and audience members. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Once you understand the phrases used at the cinema, you can enjoy your time there much more and have a better experience overall. Additionally, learning some of the technical terms associated with films will help improve your knowledge of the industry as a whole.