more by MaryAnn

fueled by caffeine and rage | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is there one simple symbol or icon that represents movies today?

clapper board

So, I found yesterday’s question — about the New York Times’ summer-movies cover contest — via my colleague Karen Krizanovich, whose tweet about the contest read, in part:

Can’t quite illustrate a digital projector yet – and who still uses a clapper board?

The entries in the Times’ contest use an array of would-be iconic images: popcorn, digital and film projectors (or other items meant to suggest them), film reels, strips of celluoid, clapper boards, directors’ chairs, tickets, 3D glasses. Some of these are outdated — 3D glasses are no longer blue-red; movies are increasingly unlikely to come on reels anymore — and some are so iconic that they’re clichéd, like the clapper.
But it got me thinking: Is there one simple symbol or icon that represents movies today? I can’t think of one that feels very satisfying.

Old-fashioned, outdated icons continue to surround us, of course. These, for instance:

phone icons

say “telephone” more quickly to more people than these do:

phone icons

Still, is there a better way to represent the idea of movies quickly and iconically that feels 21st century?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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