Moviefone's hanging up its phone service to focus on website and apps
Movie goers still relying on Moviefone's once-popular automated telephone system will have to look elsewhere for show times in the coming weeks. The AOL-owned movie information service once featured in an episode of Seinfeld is shutting down.
If you call Moviefone's 777-FILM phone number today you will be greeted by the service's typically enthusiastic greeting, "Hello, and welcome to Moviefone!" Then a very different voice will tell you that "the 777-FILM numbers will no longer be in service in the near future."
You will then be encouraged to download the Moviefone apps or visit the service's website, which will still be available.
The end of Moviefone's touchpad calling system will come in about a month, according to The New York Times. Around the same time, AOL is planning a Moviefone relaunch in partnership with media production company BermanBraun. In October, AOL said it would partner with BermanBraun to "reinvent" Moviefone starting in early 2014.
Many people will see the demise of Moviefone's telephone service as the inevitable result of the dominance of websites and mobile apps. Not all people feel the same, however. Moviefone co-founder Andrew Jarecki told the Times he blames AOL mismanagement for the end of the Moviefone phone.
"It’s a missed opportunity and unfortunately characterizes the way AOL has mismanaged the Moviefone business for quite a while,” Jarecki said.
Whether that's accurate or not, it's hard to see how anyone—save those without access to the web or a smartphone—would be willing to sit through Moviefone's interminable process for showtimes and movie tickets any longer.
Nevertheless, if you're feeling nostalgic about Moviefone's heyday and would like to relive the magic one last time, get dialing! You've only got a few weeks left before the service hangs up for good.