2 definitions by A. Barrett

Top Definition
1. Originally, a smaller silent movie theater, often made out of an old converted storefront, which cost a five cents for admission. The literal definition of the word nickelodeon is "nickel theater", from "nickel" (a five cent piece), and "odeon" (the Greek word for theater).

2. A term applied to any American-made coin operated piano or orchestrion. This usage came about because many nickelodeon theatre owners who could not afford a live pianist or orchestra to accompany the film would buy a coin piano or orchestrion and turn it on and let it play all day, with the assumption that any music (even if it was not coordinated with what was going on on the screen) was better than no music at all! Later, special instruments such as the photoplayer and theatre organ were produced specifically to accompany silent movies, and these could be operated by a single person, either playing manually with the keyboards and controls, or using special "mood music" rolls they could coordinate with the action on the screen.

3. A TV channel for kids, with both animated and live-action shows, some of which are exclusive to that network. It has been around since about c.1990, and the quality and programming has been somewhat controversial.

4. A movie made in 1976 starring Ryan O'Neal and Burt Reynolds. It was directed by Peter Bogdanovich and tells the tale of a couple of early silent film actors/makers. Was not terribly successful, and has been alternately maligned and praised.

5. For some reason, dictionaries have listed the word "nickelodeon" as a slang term for "jukebox", which in itself is a slang term for a coin-operated phonograph. I have never personally heard this usage, as most people who see a jukebox know what it is called. This usage, if indeed it exists, probably comes from the fact that the jukebox largely replaced the coin piano and orchestrion in public places such as bars and restaurants by performing essentially the same function: providing music for money. This changeover happened about 1930 or so.
1. "It's Saturday, what shall we do to-day?"
"Why don't we go down to the nickelodeon and see that new Charlie Chaplin movie, it's supposed to be very funny."

2. barfly to another barfly "Drop a nickel in the nickelodeon; I want some music to go with my 'suds'."

3."What do you think of Nickelodeon nowadays?"
"I think it would be better if they stuck with shows like Hey! Arnold and Pete and Pete, instead of all this new stuff that's really too bland and trendy."

4. {girl to another girl) "So how was 'Nickelodeon'?"
"I liked Burt Reynolds better in 'White Lightning'."

5. "Hey brother, do you have a dime? They got that new Fats Domino record in the nickelodeon."
"That ain't no 'nickelodeon', man, that's a juke box."
by A. Barrett November 22, 2005
A term collectors and enthusiasts of automatic musical instruments use as shorthand to describe any sort of automatic instrument, to distinguish it from the regular hand-played version to which it is similar.

Also used as an adjective to emphasize the automatic capapility of the instrument.
"That piano has the most wonderful touch."...
"Not only that, it's also a player!"

"Here's the piano I have for sale."
"That's good, but is it a player?"

"The organ not only has the regular console, but it is a player as well."
by A. Barrett November 15, 2005

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