Bits & Bytes
RESERVE A SEAT FOR "THE NET" ON THE NET
MOVIES ON DEMAND WERE supposed to be the "killer app" of the Information Superhighway. But despite all the hype and all the millions, widespread availability of that service is still years off. In the meantime, however, how about movie tickets on demand? That's the idea behind a new Internet service from MovieFone Inc., the New York-based company that lets moviegoers skip long lines by reserving seats by phone. Now, they can scan local movie listings and buy tickets ever the Internet's World Wide Web by typing http://www. movielink.com.
The Web site's main attraction is a listing of theater locations and showtimes in 25 major cities. For many of those cities, the system also accepts credit-card payments for tickets.
For all visitors, though, the site provides synopses and production information for selected movies and an electronic bulletin board where movie fans can "chat" with one another. Click on an icon and find a movie by title. Click on another and browse by theater. There's even a section that tells parents why certain movies are rated as they are. And for those with patience, there are trailers, stored as lengthy data files, that users can copy into their own computers for viewing. What's paying for all this? Movie companies buying ad space to promote their latest flicks.EDITED BY JOHN W. VERITY