If you call 777-FILM right now to try and order movie tickets, the greeting will be a warm bath of nostalgia for anyone who saw Titanic or Dumb and Dumber in theaters: “Hello, and welcome to Moviefone!” Hang up immediately. What comes next is a different, sadder voice, asking you to hang up the phone and download the Moviefone app instead. That’s because after 25 years, Moviefone is shutting down its phone lines in the next month.
Mr. Moviefone’s lines are going dead. For 25 years, residents of America’s biggest cities have been able to call 777-FILM to receive movie listing information and buy tickets. The service’s goofily booming greeting became a cultural catchphrase: “Hello, and welcome to Moviefone!” Over the weekend, callers were told that the automated service would soon go silent, overtaken by new technology and shifting consumer habits. “The 777-FILM numbers will no longer be in service in the near future,” intones a man with a voice decidedly scrawnier in timbre than Mr. Moviefone’s. “To buy tickets and for all of your showtime information please download the free Moviefone app on your smartphone or iPad.”