I have seen classic English movies with intervals/Intermission. Current Indian movie industries (Bollywood and others) use intervals and theaters introduce intervals in current English films by interrupting them. Are there other film industries who use intervals?

I am not asking about just theater practices. Movies often change tone after the interval so movie reviews compare both "halves". For example the first half of a movie may evoke laughter all the time while the second half is dead serious.

  • Oh. Well, then this seems more related to the films and the cinemas showing them and not so much the respective film industries of the countries, it seems.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Apr 13, 2016 at 15:16
  • 1
    British cinemas (at least mainstream multiplexes) absolutely do not do intervals. Interestingly though, one of the main reasons given for not doing so (patrons might sneak into other films) isn't something that concerns most owners. Those I've spoken to couldn't really care less if you watch two or even three films.
    – user7812
    Apr 13, 2016 at 15:25
  • 4
    Interval also give theatres time to sell there high prize poor food
    – Ankit Sharma
    Apr 13, 2016 at 18:06
  • 1
    The epic movie, Ben-Hur (1959 w/Charlton Heston, made and released in the US), not only had an intermission, it had an overture at the beginning of each half (which is a real treat since the movie score was written by the fabulous composer Miklos Rosza!) Apr 13, 2016 at 18:16
  • 2
    It's not surprisingly rare when you consider that Indian films are nearly always 3 hours long or longer and the average American film is 1.5-2 hours...
    – Catija
    Apr 13, 2016 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


Interval/Intermission were originated from west but its India which is still sticking with it.

Intermissions in early films had a practical purpose: they were needed to facilitate the changing of reels. When Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth (Queen Elizabeth), starring Sarah Bernhardt, opened on July 12, 1912, in the Lyceum Theatre in New York City, the four reel film was shown in four acts, with an intermission between each reel change. - Wikipedia

But with technology improvement this reel change process was eliminated so does intervals/intermission. But India still use them and they even place them in middle of foreign film too but they mostly repeat one scene before and after interval as this film didn't keep appropriate position for interval as Bollywood film do.

Form Wikipedia

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 customers buying snacks during these periods.

Indian films are also typically longer compared to films from other parts of the world. In 2011, a Bollywood film, Dhobi Ghat, was released without an intermission and was cited as a first in Indian cinema. Forced intermissions are common during screenings of western films in India.

But one point to be noted here that Dhobi Ghat was only 95 minute longer, that might be the reason for removing interval.

But there are exception in Hollywood too, they also have films with interval, latest example is Hateful Eight, from cinemablend.com :

So there will be two versions of The Hateful Eight hitting screens this December. The "roadshow" cut, which hits theaters first, will play in 70mm, but it will also be the longer, idealized version of the film. According to Tarantino, this version will have both an overture and an intermission to contend with. It will be approximately six-and-a-half minutes longer than the other, longer still if you count the intermission, and the whole shebang will clock in at just over three hours.

Same Wikipedia link* also list other Hollywood film with intermission/interval but they have warning of "citation needed", so I am excluding them from answer.

As per scoopwhoop.com

Hollywood films are written keeping the 'three-act structure' in mind. They set up the plot, introduce the conflict and then resolve it. And there is no point to have a break midway. enter image description here

But Bollywood films are written differently. We follow a different structure. In the first half, the characters and the plot is introduced. It is here when we are introduced with the conflict as well. The interval point acts as a cliffhanger. It keeps the audience hooked for the second half.

In fact, the interval point can be termed as a mini-climax which is of lesser intensity than the film's actual climax.

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