Hello, and no more Moviefone: Call-in service to be disconnected
Further proof that phones aren’t used for calls anymore, movie showtime and ticket company Moviefone will be shutting down its call-in line — you know, the reason it was formed at all and the inspiration for its name.
“The call-in service has been in pretty steady decline,” Jeff Berman, president of BermanBraun, who will take over the brand, told The New York Times. “Our customers are much more interested in our award-winning app, and we need to invest our resources in the future, part of which involves a major reimagining of Moviefone.”
Moviefone was launched in 1989, first in New York City and Los Angeles, then in other major cities. Its simple phone number — 777-FILM — and chirpy, sometimes inaccurate automated system. It was big enough to enter popular culture: An episode of “Seinfeld” had Kramer pretending to be the even less competent voice of Moviefone.
One of the founders of Moviefone, Andrew Jarecki, used the money he made to become a filmmaker. He directed the acclaimed documentary “Capturing the Friedmans,” as well as the docudrama “All Good Things,” starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. Jarecki says hundreds of thousands of people still call the number, although its popularity was already slipping in 1999, when it was bought by AOL.
New owners BermanBraun will be overseeing the restructuring of Moviefone, which still exists online. If you enjoy the sonorous baritone of the Moviefone guy’s voice, you have about a month left until it goes the way of the rotary phone.