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Issue 75: Support Use Case: I want to Movie X right now: where is it playing next / nearest?
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Reported by brownsug...@gmail.com, Sep 3, 2008
Very often people know what movie they want to see, and want to know if it
is playing soon and/or nearby.  The Theaters:Distance list doesn't work for
this, because I'd have to check each theater in the list until I find the
closest one showing the movie, but even then I don't know if that's the
soonest.

The listings on the movie's page works better, but it doesn't make it easy.
 For where the movie is playing in time order, I have to scan through all
of the times to see which one is soonest, and even so I can't get the same
quick grasp of options as a list that shows where the movie is playing in
time order.  As for distance, because you place favorites at the top
(similar problem as  bug 68 ), I don't actually have a distance order list. 

Recommended solution: place a Segmented Control at the head of the showtime
listing on each movie page with three options: Time, Distance, Favorites. 
The Segmented Control has the added benefit of visually demarcating the
movie info section above from the showtime info below.

Sep 3, 2008
Project Member #1 cyrus.na...@gmail.com
Interesting suggestion.  

However, i'm not quite seeing the problem.  Say you want to see Dark Knight at 8pm (in 10009).  You go to 
Dark Knight (since that's what you want to see) and you start scrolling down the list.   You get to check your 
favorite theaters first to see if they have times that work for you.  They don't, so you scroll a bit further.  You 
hen see the AMC empire 25 is playing.  

I dislike the 'favorites' button as well.  "i marked it as a favorite.  now i have to tell you to tell me about it?"

Distance seems to naturally be a way to order (since most people would like a closer theater for a particular 
time than one that's further away).  

If i allow sorting by time then you could have this problem:

It's 5:45 pm.  You ask to sort by time and get:

Movie at 5:50, 50 miles away
Movie at 5:55, 40 miles away
Movie at 6:00, 30 miles away
Movie at 6:05, 20 miles away
Movie at 6:10, 10 miles away
Movie at 6:15, 5 miles away

In all likelyhood, the person would want to go to the one at 6:15 that's 5 miles away.

Heck, with driving distances, they likely would not be able to even make the starting times for many of the the 
theaters.  So in order to deal with a 'sort by time', distance would *have* to be considered in order to judge if 
they could actually make the theater or not.

It all sounds too complicated.  vs now where you can quickly scan your theaters in an increasing radius from 
you to decide if any are best.  This allows you to make the determination between starting time/distance as it 
makes sense to you.
Sep 3, 2008
#2 brownsug...@gmail.com
My guess is that you live in a small city, Cyrus. You're biggest customer base is
going to be in big cities, in which case the list you provide above would be more like: 

Movie at 5:50, 9 miles away
Movie at 6:15, 4 miles away
Movie at 6:25, 1 miles away
Movie at 6:45, 8 miles away *favorite*
Movie at 7:00, 6 miles away
Movie at 7:15, 5 miles away *favorite*

If you don't believe me, try a big release like The Dark Knight in Seattle. But even
for smaller releases, there are typically three theaters playing the same movie in a
10 if not 5 mile radius.  

> So in order to deal with a 'sort by time', distance would *have* to be considered
in order to judge if they could actually make the theater or not.

Sure, I thought about that. And you may be right that it isn't worth it, though it's
not that complicated to factor in a conservative driving time, say 30 mph.  But even
if you don't include Time, as I point out in  bug 68 , a distance list should be a
distance list, and pushing favorites to the top breaks that. 
Sep 3, 2008
Project Member #3 cyrus.na...@gmail.com
I live in Manhattan.
Sep 3, 2008
Project Member #4 cyrus.na...@gmail.com
So, using your numbers... i'm not seeing why the current set up is undesirable.

You first check your two favorite theaters, and see that it's pretty long from now.  So you then see the theater 
playing it at 6:25 that's 1 mile away.  Right off the bat you'll likely go see that.  If you're *really* earnestly 
wanting to see it earlier, you'll look to the next theater, note that it's at a slightly better time, and probably 
can be driven to, and you make the decision if time/distance is worth it.

"as I point out in  bug 68 , a distance list should be a distance list"

I don't accept that as an axiom.

"and pushing favorites to the top breaks that. "

I don't accept that necessarily either.

Cheers!
Sep 3, 2008
Project Member #5 cyrus.na...@gmail.com
Note: living in a big city *highly* exacerbates this problem.

Manhattan has *112* theaters (at least in my data feed).  If you order by time, then you see a *lot* of theaters 
show up on any 5/10/15 minute interval, *most* of which are completely inappropriate and useless to the user.

"Great, there are 25 theaters playing this in the next hour... but which ones are actually close to me?"
Sep 3, 2008
#6 brownsug...@gmail.com
> You first check your two favorite theaters, and see that it's pretty long from now.
 So you then see the theater playing it at 6:25 that's 1 mile away.  Right off the
bat you'll likely go see that. 

But you can't. The showtimes on movie pages doesn't show distance information other
than the ordering. I have know idea its 1 mile away, especially if I'm visiting
Manhattan and am only familiar with the few theaters that are my favorites if any at
all. 

> Manhattan has *112* theaters (at least in my data feed).  If you order by time,
then you see a *lot* of theaters show up on any 5/10/15 minute interval, *most* of
which are completely inappropriate and useless to the user.

Not if you are only showing the times for a single movie, and include only those
closer or are favorites.  You're thinking this is all too complicated, but that's the
kind of movie app that's going to become number one -- one that intelligently aids
the user.  From your own examples... search algorithms incorporate ranking and
relevancy algorithms, not hard coded top results (Current Location is a very special
case). If you use firefox play with typing items in the location bar -- favorites are
not always on top.

Sep 3, 2008
Project Member #7 cyrus.na...@gmail.com
"But you can't. The showtimes on movie pages doesn't show distance information other
than the ordering. I have know idea its 1 mile away, especially if I'm visiting
Manhattan and am only familiar with the few theaters that are my favorites if any at
all. "

That's a good point.  I'll add something in the UI to indicate how far away the theater is.
Sep 3, 2008
Project Member #8 cyrus.na...@gmail.com
"Not if you are only showing the times for a single movie, and include only those
closer or are favorites. "

Yes.  Even then.

Only showing favorites is not beneficial.  The user already sees the favorites at the top.
I'm not sure what "include those closer" means.

In Manhattan i see a wealth of theaters that are unhelpful to me if i sort by time.  
Sep 3, 2008
Project Member #9 cyrus.na...@gmail.com
"You're thinking this is all too complicated, but that's the
kind of movie app that's going to become number one"

that's not an answer.  saying "being complicated is ok" doesn't actually help.  I need an actual *methodology* 
that will produce useful results.  So far that has not been provided. I've already mentioned the issues i have with 
the offered solutions.

Cheers!
Nov 6, 2008
#10 niftyh...@gmail.com
This is my thought on a simple solution for this issue:
1. In the Movies Menu, provide an option "Timing" next to Release, Title, Score.
2. Navigating to this tab will list upcoming movie timings for the current day till
midnight in an sort order of timing ascending for all the nearby theaters set for the
zipcode in the settings section.
3. When a user selects a time, list movies playing at that time
4. User selects the movie
5. User picks a theater and purchases the ticket for that time, else selects a
different time.

As simple as it gets.. :)

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