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Oz Cinemas Unveil Comparison Website

HONG KONG — Several of Australia’s largest cinema operators have combined forces to launch a nationwide cinema information website, Movietimes.

The site (www.movietimes.com.au) provides movie, cinema and session times, facility details and in many cases booking links for 120 venues and nearly 1,000 screens. It is intended to make comparisons easier and to eliminate the need for film-goers to use multiple websites before making their choices.

The service is available in web and mobile versions and an app is expected to be launched in a few months.

It currently includes details for all Event, HoytsGreater Union and Village cinemas as well as a number of smaller local cinemas. Not included are Dendy or Palace theaters.

“Over the next few months it is expected that most other cinemas will have their cinema and session information included on MovieTimes making it a truly national service for movie goers,” said Mark Emerson, MovieTimes’ general manager.

Precise ownership of the site has not been disclosed, though Emerson and the site both describe MovieTimes as: “initially founded as a joint initiative of Event Cinemas, Hoyts Cinemas and Village Cinemas.”

The website makes an appeal for currently non-affiliated cinemas to join: “It is free for you to list the movies you are ‘now showing’ and have ‘coming soon,’ the session times and the location(s) of your cinema(s).  You are also able to list information about your cinema(s) such as address, contact details, parking information and the like.”

Australia has one of the world’s highest rates of per capita cinema attendance and a large proportion of tickets are pre-booked. “In Australia, there are more movie tickets sold each year than any other form of ticketed entertainment with some cinema sites now experiencing up to 50% of their sales online,” said Emerson in a statement.

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