• It's (Really) Showtime
  • May 19, 2005
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • Over the next month Loews Cineplex Entertainment will begin publishing the actual start times of movies at its theaters nationwide. The new policy will allow moviegoers to skip ads and previews without missing the start of a film.

    The move by the nationwide movie theater chain follows on the heels of pressure by customers and legislators. Earlier this year, a bill was introduced in the New York City Council that, if passed, would have authorized fines up to $1,000 whenever a movie started after its listed time.

    Advertisements and coming attractions can delay actual showtimes for featured movies by as much as 25 minutes after the published times. Starting May 13, Loews began publishing the actual start times of featured presentations at its theaters in Connecticut. Over the next month, the theater chain will include the information for its eight Manhattan theaters and all its other locations nationwide.

    Significance: On its face, Loews' decision is good news for moviegoers who don't like ads and previews and bad news for advertisers. However, it will be interesting to see whether it actually changes moviegoers' behavior. Getting a good seat still matters to most moviegoers, and that usually means arriving at the theater earlier rather than later.