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Farewell, Moviefone: What Today's Teens Will Never Know

Feb 24 2014 - 12:30pm

Source: NBC [1]

With Moviefone shutting down its call-in service [2] next month to focus on its more 2014-appropriate app, those of us who once called 777-FILM on Friday nights are left feeling more than a little nostalgic. Remember using the touchtone keypad to select the first three letters of the movie title? And, really, who could forget that Mr. Moviefone voice? The voice that said, "Hello, and welcome to Moviefone" was that of Russ Leatherman, a founder who left the company this past November, and his robotic voice was so engrained in everyday culture that it made its way onto Seinfeld with Kramer's impersonation. Alas, that's now a scene today's teens will struggle to understand as they turn to one of their apps for movie showtimes. As we say good-bye to Mr. Moviefone, let's relive the glory days of what it was like to call 777-FILM.

You'd just be hanging out with friends, doing makeovers and making up dances.

Maybe you'd squeeze in a few video games.

Source: Nickelodeon [3]

Eventually, you'd get bored and decide to check movie times.

Source: Nickelodeon [4]

Out came the landline phone.

Or maybe you were at a pay phone.

Either way, when you heard Mr. Moviefone's voice, it felt like a friend on the line.

He asked you to press one, then use your touchtone keypad to enter the movie title.

Source: Fox [5]

FYI: A "touchtone keypad" means the letters as they appear on the phone's number keys. As in, the numbers you used to type things out back in the T9 texting days.

Inevitably, you typed the wrong number.

Or the wrong theater came up first.

Mr. Moviefone kept asking question after question to help you find your showtime.

Source: PBS [6]

You kept typing the wrong thing, and he kept asking you to press more buttons.

Sometimes, the process seemed to take forever.

But then — an answer! Mr. Moviefone was always right in the end.

You knew you could count on him.

And so next week, you'd call again — you had 777-FILM on speed dial.

And now that Mr. Moviefone's leaving, you're feeling weirdly emotional about.

Source: Nickelodeon [7]

It's the end of an era.

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