As a certified—and possibly certifiable—movie trailer aficionado, I’ve been a devoted visitor of Apple’s trailers page for years. But if you want to go a step beyond finding out what’s coming down the pike to knowing what’s playing near you right now, Apple’s taking a shot at solving that problem with its new showtimes feature.
Now, of course, there are any number of services that help you find movie showtimes—even Google will do it—but none arguably have the elegant appeal of Apple’s approach. When you visit the page, your Web browser will ask to use your current location, after which it will display a small Google Map highlighting nearby theaters (you can also enter your own ZIP code or city and state).
Clicking on any of the theaters in the map (or on their entry in the list below the map) will show you a thumbnail grid of the posters for all the films playing at that location. You can even flip through multiple pages of theaters if the one you’re looking for didn’t show up in the top five. Hovering your cursor over any of the posters tells you when the next showing at that theater is.
If you’re taking a more film-centric approach, then all you have to do is click on any movie poster and you’ll get a full list of theaters currently playing that movie, along with a set of timelines displaying the showtimes (they’re even color coded, with green dots representing bargain ticket prices). Want to buy tickets? Just click on one of the showtimes and you’ll be taken to the appropriate site.
Best of all, because it’s all made in HTML5—no Flash here, folks—it’ll work on your iPhone or iPad (albeit, in my quick test, a little less smoothly).