Friday, March 18, 2011

Where Did You Say That Movie Is Playing?

(UPDATE: Here's a good link to find movies in our area.)

It doesn’t seem that long ago that all one had to do to find a movie to attend this evening was to pick up a daily newspaper, turn to the entertainment section and look at the movie ads.

A couple of years ago, those movie listings turned into on-line listings that were much more convenient, if you had a computer (if you didn't, you still had the paper), and linked to each movie so you could see what it was about.

Now it appears that the latest development—at least in the Roanoke Valley—is that some of the movie theaters (notably the Grandin) aren’t advertising, aren’t being listed online as part of any larger grouping and, frankly, we seem to be on our own. In the olden days, newspapers would furnish these listings in their news sections because people wanted to know them and they were, thus, news. Now, it seems, they are advertising and damn the news value.

I asked a friend to see if she could find a good movie for us to go to tonight and here’s what I got back:

First, the general movie advisory: "The Lincoln Lawyer: (that Matthew McConaughey legal story) opens this weekend. As far as I can tell, it's at Salem, Tanglewood, and Valley View, with a 1-ish, a 4-ish and a 7-ish. 

"But now for the ongoing rant about trying to find movie listings, cuz it's getting worse. Today, lists only a fraction of what's at Valley View, and NONE of what's at Tanglewood! As we know, the Grandin's listings haven't been on there for a while now. So, I went to the Carmike site, and the drop-down menu that shows the cities where they have theaters is not alphabetized. Not by state or city. Sheesh! 

Even after scrolling all the way through I could only find Salem. I finally found the Tanglewood listings on one of those generic movie sites. I found the full Valley View listings on the Regal site. 

Is the Times trying to help Netflix stage a bloodless coup of the movie business or what? I mean, maybe they're p.o.'d because the theaters aren't advertising. But I have to wonder what the Times did to drive the theaters away. 

Frankly, the newspaper ought to cut movie theaters a generous deal, because some people WILL BUY THE PAPER TO GET THE MOVIE LISTINGS! I mean, Hell-O!!! Anyway, maybe we can catch "Lawyer" sometime this weekend, if we can find it! 

As we all know, the daily newspaper seems hell bent on making itself as useless as possible as fast as it can and it is well on its way. Success comes in some odd forms.


  1. I noticed that as well. Here's a site which is very helpful in finding a local flick...


    I always go online to check for movies and times.


  3. It's all about the revenue. Circulation and ad revenues are down, so instead of thinking outside the box and speaking to their audience (what's left of it) and advertisers, and delivering a product that is cost effective and results-oriented, they choose to charge a premium for advertising that is costly and ineffective. Instead of setting the trends, they chase them. The "Paper" is the last place I put my advertising dollars. They just don't get it!

  4. Elena: Thank you.
    Di: I think my date was saying she went on line and went on line and went on line and went ... Gotta be a better way.
    Kathy: Marvelously (and sadly) put. The paper is simply awful these days. Awful.

  5. Lincoln Lawyer is rad, a fun movie for grown-ups! We drove by Tanglewood at 7 p.m. and got lucky.

  6. Sally: Agreed, though "rad" probably isn't the term I would have used.