If I had to name a single benefit of the internet that has greatly improved the standard of living of the world as we know it, it’s definitely the ability to check movie show times in your area from the comfort of your living room. Gone are the days when you have to drive all the way to town just to park near the billboard and squint through the windshield at the titles and showtimes of the current movies. Today, you’ve got the internet and with the wonder of Web 2.0 technologies, you’ve also got convenience.
Method #1: Do It Old School
Ever since college in the 90’s, I can remember rushing to the computer center on Friday afternoon to check the internet for movie times. Back then, Yahoo and other sites offered some of the most basic search capabilities, and the results were in the form of some of the dullest looking table-formatted web pages. Today, there are several state-of-the-art movie websites that go out of their way to provide you with slick search widgets and results that leave nothing to the imagination.
For example, Fandango offers the most advanced website I’ve seen anywhere, for looking up movie theaters and show times in your area, as well as learning everything you’ve ever wanted to know about movies, celebrities, and entertainment news.
There are a number of other identical websites like Fandango that offer the same features, including top rated movies, entertainment news, and of course theater and show time searches. The top among all of them include Yahoo Movies and AOL’s Moviefone, but what sets Fandango apart is that it’s one of the first movie sites that have caught on to the internet’s social networking craze.
Once you sign up for an account at Fandango, you get your own “My Fandango” page, where you can rank and review movies and provide fan comments about whether certain movies were awesome or if you thought that they tanked.
The social networking aspect comes into play due to the fact that other Fandango users can read your reviews and ratings – making Fandango a perfect platform for an amateur movie critic looking for an audience. If you write good reviews, you could potentially find your own fan club at Fandango.
The personal account also lets you create a customized search called “My Theaters” so that you don’t have to repeat the same search every time you log onto the website. Just log into your account and your theaters, along with all of their movie listings, are ready to review. Yahoo and Moviefone also offer the same feature, but they lack the same sort of fan community that Fandango has put together.
Method #2: Widgets
One of the more convenient methods to check movie show times and screenings in your area is by setting up a widget on your own website or blog. If you like more than one movie site, just add a widget from each one and collect the information on your own page without having to visit several sites.
- Facebook widget (the one shown on the left)
- Coming Soon – Displays upcoming movies
- Movie Search – Search for movies on your page
- New In Theaters – Movies opening in theaters this week
- New on DVD – Newest DVD releases
Fandango also offers a variety of six widgets that you can embed on your page. Your visitors can search movie show times for free, and Fandango gets free advertising – it’s a win-win.
Rotten Tomatoes, one of the premier movie websites, also offers “enhanced syndication,” in the form of web page widgets.
Method #3: Mobile Access to Movie Show Times
If you have a cellphone with a data plan, then you can make use of the mobile internet offerings these movie sites provide.
For example, Fandango offers a variety of mobile options.
These include direct WAP access through your cell phone or iphone (mobile.fandango.com or iphone.fandango.com). AOL Moviefone provides the same access at wap.aol.com/moviefone.
If your cellphone doesn’t have a data plan, you’re not stuck. You can still get mobile movie times through a text message. Just text your zip code to FNDGO (36346) or “m” plus your zip to 4INFO (44636), then you you’ll get a text message back with movie show times in your area (US only).
In other words, no matter where you are, you always have access to the latest movie show times in your area.
How do you get movie times? What sites do you frequent?