Better ways of discussing themed places

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Temple in Disney's Animal Kingdom area for Asia

English themed bar in Tokyo

As themed places increase in number, we must describe them more carefully so we can appreciate and evaluate them. Disneyland is not the whole story. Better terminology will let us see that theming is not some alien perversion, but one modulation of the conditions that make an area into a place.

It would help to begin by making some distinctions, rather than lumping all themed places together. For instance, we could distinguish a theme park that contains only staff and customers, from a themed place that has residents or users for whom its theme forms a background to other activities than showing or consuming the theme. Manhattan's Battery Park City themes the New York of the 1920s, but people live and do other work there; they don't just consume the theme. Then we could distinguish many different kinds and degrees of theming, and the number of themes in a place.