Movie theaters bring down the curtain on newspaper listings

Movie show times percolating through the pages of newspaper arts sections may be going the way of black-and-white newsreels.

According to an AP article on Friday, two major U.S. movie chains, Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment, have begun pulling their listings from papers across the country in an effort to cut costs, a snowballing strategy that first surfaced last month when AMC pulled their fine print from the Washington Post. Ensuing ire from entertainment-savvy readers rocketed AMC’s decision to the internets, where Post blogger and ombudsman Andrew Alexander was forced to counter accusations that the move was initiated by the Post.

And in another blow to print, both entertainment chains reported substantial increases in Web site traffic in July, leading the theaters to consider pulling more of their listings in favor of promoting traffic to their own sites and third-party sites such as Movies.com and Fandango.

Said Justin Scott, spokesman for AMC:

In an era when many moviegoers are using alternative resources to access show times, AMC has chosen to reallocate its show-time information methods.

So advertisers are defecting from print, coupon distributors have chickened out and theaters are dropping their listings. Is anything in an actual newspaper anymore?

Well, news. But that’s so retro.

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3 responses to “Movie theaters bring down the curtain on newspaper listings

  1. So interesting. The movie industry has its share of problems, too. Will we see online-only newspapers advertising online-only movies?

  2. Good observation, Seth. The good news is that we, the audience members, will be able to offer real-time commentary at the on-line premieres.

  3. Internet is more of a convenience now a days for most people. I can check movie times through my blackberry. With access literally being one click of a button away, it’s not surprising that big movie companies are pulling ads out of the newspaper. Consumers won’t take the time out of there day to search for something that’s already available.

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