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MovieFone Expands Relationships with Theater Chains

MovieFone Inc., a movie listing and ticketing service, reported record usage of its services and said it has signed new, expanded relationships with three of the country's top theater chains.

The company said that use of the MovieFone telephone service and its online sister service, Movielink.com, is expected to be up 30 percent, to 110 million user sessions for the year, representing over 250 million moviegoers, or nearly 20 percent of all U.S. moviegoers in 1998.

The company also said that Loews Cineplex Entertainment, United Artists Theatre Circuit and AMC Entertainment Inc. have each signed agreements to increase the depth of their relationships with MovieFone both on the phone and the Web.

As a result, the number of screens for which MovieFone sells tickets will increase by 1,000 screens--or 40 percent. Teleticketing will now be available for approximately 60 percent of all movie screens in the top five movie cities (New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco) and 25 percent of all movie screens in the 34 major cities served by MovieFone.

"This strong increase in usage of our services shows that today's moviegoers, especially the younger generation that accounts for the majority of movie admissions, are moving away from traditional movie information sources and are demanding instant access to listings and tickets," said Andrew R. Jarecki, CEO of MovieFone. "Our expanded relationships with the country's top theater chains show that the industry is embracing new technology as it responds to the needs of its patrons."

MovieFone also said it will provide theater-specific three-digit express codes so that moviegoers loyal to a particular theater may have instant access to listings and tickets for that theater.

In many cases, theaters will replace their own individual phone lines with local numbers provided by MovieFone to eliminate busy signals and enhance customer service.

MovieFone also will promote these chains through advertising on MovieFone and Movielink.com and through its national network of media partners, including newspapers, radio stations, etc.

The company, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, says it has received over 325 million calls and logged over 40 million online users.