January 16, 2000 1:50 PM   Subscribe

MovieFone (or, or AOL/Moviefone if you want to be official) has long been my favorite place to look up movie showtimes, but lately I've been running into problems. The biggest one is this: if you search for movies by theater, then hit "more" a couple times, it reaches a limit of about 12 theaters. Here in LA, that limit corresponds to a 4-5 mile radius. The theater I want to look up movie times at is maybe 7-8 miles away, but no where in the interface is a real "search." It's all just lists and lists. Eventually, I found a list of local theaters (covering about a 20 mile radius) in the theater codes section, but it's not a real search engine, so looking up times at out of town theaters requires you to know the zip code of the place you're going to. I know they're trying to simplify their site by taking out a search engine, but what about the people that know exactly what they want? I use moviefone on the web because using it on a telephone requires you to navigate convoluted menu systems, but they've transferred the phone experience to the web quite well.
posted by mathowie (2 comments total)
At the theaters in college (Loews?) they showed MovieFone ads before the movie. This one had a couple of '30s-style executives trying to come up with MovieFone improvements. Then the silhouette of a guy -- designed to look like it's coming front the front row -- stands up and yells at the screen, "What about the previews?!" And that is how MovieFone advertised its preview feature.

After about the 20th time seeing this, I would stand up and yell along with the silhouette. "What about the previews?!" Oh, God, it was so much fun.

Does this ad still run anywhere?
posted by luke at 2:30 PM on January 16, 2000

If you have a Pilot check out Showtimes, a very cool and extremely configurable movie and showtime tracking tool. (one warning: it gets its data from Yahoo! Movies, which occasionally has errors with late shows)
posted by faisal at 1:12 PM on January 18, 2000

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