Google Showtimes Is No More, The Site Is Offline

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Trying to find movie showtimes in your area can be a pain, depending on how you go about it. Services like Fandango or a trip to a local theater's website usually provide a limited selection, with many users decrying them for being unnecessarily heavy-handed and laggy on some devices. A quick trip to Google or a query to Google Now or Google Assistant are among the most painless ways to do things, but Google Showtimes was a small, separate service dedicated to showing you all of the options for movies near you. The squeaky-clean interface showed only the relevant information, and loaded quickly, even on low-end devices or slow connections. It was recently discovered that the service met an end as clean and unceremonious as itself, as of November 1st.

The page for Google Showtimes, if navigated to manually, will now simply give you the dreaded 404 error, complete with the infamous broken robot. The about page for the service states what it was, and tells you that its functionality has been mostly rolled into Google's normal search product. This is, for the most part, true. Asking Google Now or Assistant, "What's playing on Saturday near me?", or typing "movies near me Saturday night" into Google will net you a list of currently playing pictures and their showtimes in your immediate area within the specified timeframe. Being presented with a smorgasbord of various options, such as 3D, iMAX, and other frills for various movies all on one page was Google Showtimes' game, rather than the search-centric approach that entails finding a movie you like in the local area within your schedule first, then browsing the locations and perks available. While a few user-generated solutions may pop up in the wake of the shutdown, those looking for what Google Showtimes did best are, for now, mostly out of luck.

While many may not have known that the service existed and some that used it won't miss it much, there are a number of vocal users who are disappointed to see the service go. Calling Google Showtimes a victim of Google's push for centralization may be just a tad melodramatic; this is Google we're talking about, and they do want more people using their search and AI assistant products, but the service had been around for quite some time in close to its current form, and likely wasn't getting the sort of user numbers that would justify continued support.

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