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Google Movie Showtimes

Google is indeed the daddy of all search engines. No other search gives relevant search results as quickly or in as many categories as Google. No wonder Google now holds over 57% of the internet search market share. Users of Yahoo and Live search (now Bing) quickly found that Google is much easier to use, and with a little knowledge of power search, you can actually get results like stock quotes, weather and movie show times!

Yes, it is this feature of Google search that this article covers. Through its local search options, Google provides movie show times for theatres near your home. For convenience sake, I have divided the search methods into two categories: the easy way (for the average joe) and the geeky way (for Mr.Gadget types).

Note that the geeky way is not all that geeky, it just explores multiple ways of getting the same results as the noob way, only using search operators and no additional navigation from the Google search page.

The easy way:

1) Using Google local search (http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features.html#local): Type either ‘movies’ or the name of a specific movie or movies followed by your area’s zip code to find movies running in theatres close to your home, show timings and even reviews. The results show two theatres, click ‘more theatres’ to show the entire listing.

2) Go to movies.google.com. You can set your location so the next time you visit, you get movie results directly for your location. You can also skip this step if you have set your location using the search preferences.

3) Most of us use iGoogle for our home page, which provides easy access to mail, weather and news, using gadgets. Using the link above will give you access to multiple movie gadgets like Google movies, Fandango movie show times and many others on your iGoogle page.

4) Google toolbar is another addition to our browsers like Firefox. But did you know that you can add toolbar buttons that add more functionality to your plain jane search? Visit (http://www.google.com/gadgets/directory?synd=toolbar&q=movie+time) to add nifty buttons like Movie Tickets by Doug Jobes that gives you lists of movies playing in your area and show timings. You can also add Movie Trailer of the day and Rotten Tomatoes buttons for access to trailers and reviews.

5) Do you use Google Desktop? I do, because it provides easy access to all my needs like the weather, news etc. through nifty gadgets in a slick interface ala the Vista sidebar. How about some movie info from this tool? Add the Movies (http://desktop.google.com/url?id=Movies) gadget or search for ‘movies’ from Google Desktop gadgets to get some really useful applications like ‘Tim’s movie site’ and ‘top 10 reviews’ for movie enthusiasts.

The geeky way:

1) Search directly from Google for [showtimes zip_code] to get the show timings for your area of all films.

2) Instead of using Google movies, use Google search. The syntax for this is movie: followed by the movie name and your city name and state or zip code. Capitalization doesn’t matter. You may leave out stop words.

Eg. Transformers revenge fallen 91210

This returns not only theatres in your area and show timings, but also links to reviews and driving instructions if you click on the ‘map’ link next to the result.

You may also just use ‘movies’ followed by the movie name

Eg. Movies transformers revenge of the fallen US 91210

For most of these searches, it helps if you already have your local settings done. Try these methods, experiment, check which provides the best results for you.Also, I have checked that the search operators and movie search works for movie timings even outside the US eg.Mumbai, India. Just be sure to use Google search page,as someof these eg.’movie:’ searches do not work directly from Firefox or browser address bar like normal name lookup searches. You may, however, search directly fromthe address bar using the ‘movies’ and ‘showtimes’ operators.

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