In England the cinema is usually called “the pictures”. The American name “the movies” is sometimes used. The first performance or “showing” as it is called, begins about two o’clock in the afternoon and the show goes on from then until about half past ten. You can go in at any time and leave at any time. There is usually one main film, a shorter one, a news film, some advertisements and a “trailer” telling about the film for the next week. Cinemas were more popular in the past than they are now. Many people went to the cinema two or three times a week, but today people like to stay at home to watch television, especially if it is cold and wet outside. The prices of cinema seats outside London are lower than the prices in London.
Cinemas in England are usually larger and more comfortable than the theatres. Often there is a restaurant, so that it is possible to spend a pleasant afternoon and evening there. There is a stage behind the cinema screen; so that the building can be used for concerts and other performances. In some British towns the cinemas are closed on Sunday. In cinemas you can see films of all kinds. Films are given classification. “U”, “A”, or “X”. An “U” film is suitable for general exhibition, so anybody can see it. Children can go to an “A”, but they must be accompanied by an adult in the evening. An “X” film can only be shown to people over the age of 18.