Art Deco was an opulent style, and its lavishness is attributed to reaction to the forced austerity imposed by World War I. Its rich, festive character fitted it for modern contexts, including the Golden Gate Bridge, interiors of cinema theaters (a prime example being the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California) and ocean liners such as the Île de France, Queen Mary, and Normandie. Art Deco was employed extensively throughout the United States' train stations in the 1930s, designed to reflect the modernity and efficiency of the train. Around the world, a number of amusement parks were constructed in inter-war art-deco architecture, of which surviving examples include Playland (New York) and Luna Park Sydney.
Art Deco made use of many distinctive styles, but one of the most significant of its features was its dependence upon a range of ornaments and motifs.
The style is said to have reflected the tensions in the cultural politics of its day, with eclecticism having been one of its defining features. In the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the distinctive style of Art Deco was shaped by 'all the nervous energy stored up and expended in the War'. Art Deco has been influenced in part by movements such as Cubism, Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism, which are all evident in Art Deco decorative arts'.