R.I.P. — Movie Time Listings in Newspapers

By  · Published on September 7th, 2009

I realize that none of you have even heard of newspapers before, but the simple fact is that they’ve been around for a couple of decades serving a greater purpose for humanity by allowing them to play the Jumble everyday and occasionally providing information regarding the happenings of the world around us.

But newspapers will no longer carry any information regarding when you should head down to your local theater for a screening of the weekend’s new releases.

According to several news sources including Variety, the major cinema corps have decided to whittle down their ad placement in newspapers, another crushing blow to an information delivery method you didn’t even realize existed. Regal and AMC have already sung a similar tune that they see little benefit to paying the (small) fee to have movie times appear in print because most people are getting that information online and over the phone. In not paying the fee, they are also helping themselves on the back end by increasing traffic to their websites from fans needing accurate starting times.

Traditionally, marketing companies for specific movies will purchase ads in newspapers while the theater chain would be responsible for purchasing space for the show times. Apparently, no longer.

This should come as little surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the newspaper world’s woes over the past three years. The question is whether subscribers would stop taking the paper over it. I realize that a lot of people like the listings for shows and concerts and art openings and cheese tastings and all that, but I don’t think the newspapers will lose much from his except the small amount in revenue they were taking in from it in the first place. Still, it might not seem like much, but the profession is already strapped for cash.

I assume without these listings, everyone will have to do what I do: keep Mr. Moviefone tied up in my basement.

What do you think?

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector [email protected] | Writing short stories at Adventitious.