Movie theaters cut back on printing show times in paper

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Finding movie listings in the newspaper could become a thing of the past.

The top two U.S. chains, Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment Inc., have started reducing or eliminating listings showing the start times for movies.

Theaters typically must pay newspapers to print that information. To cut costs, the theater chains are instead directing consumers to their Internet sites or third-party sites, like Fandango, Moviefone or Flixster, which offer those listings for free. Those sites make money from the fees they charge for selling advance tickets to movies. Many of those sites also feature film reviews and movie trailers.

AMC helped shine a spotlight on the trend last month when it pulled its listings from The Washington Post. That prompted the newspaper's ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, to respond to angry readers in his blog.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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