Does the Demise of Moviefone Signify the Demise of Moviegoing?

Moviefone, once the go-to source for movie showtimes, has officially announced that it will no longer be in service. The famous 777-FILM number is no more, signaling a somewhat telling trend in moviegoing interest (or rather, lack thereof). The once iconic voice of Russ Leatherman (see: Seinfeld) stopped its sonorous recitations of movie showtimes at your local theater in November of last year, leaving Moviefone all but powerless in the face of more convenient methods (e.g. just typing the movie you want to see into Google or, shit, even using Fandango).

There can be no denying that the allure of going to a movie theater has lost some of its appeal, particularly with the cost being as high as fifteen dollars in major cities like New York. Crowding into a darkened room with strangers certainly isn’t as romantic as it used to be in the 1960s either (think: Don Draper going to a matinee during work. Now if you go to the movies in the day, you’re a jobless bum or a sociopath).

Moviefone is now transitioning solely to mobile app form.
Moviefone is now transitioning solely to mobile app form.

Plus, when you can simply stream a movie online, very few people see the appeal of spending an amount of money greater than or equal to an hour’s worth of minimum wage in most states. Still, there is something about the act of going to a theater that offers far more in the way of escapism (just ask Paul Reubens). But the eradication of this classic emblem of passionate filmgoing is somewhat troubling to an industry that’s already holding on by a thin thread.