So Long, Sold Out Shows: The Best Movie Ticket Apps For Smartphones

With so many blockbusters slated for upcoming releases, 2013 is pretty much guaranteed to be a banner year for movie theaters. Don’t get us wrong – content everywhere is great, but there’s no denying that G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Great Gatsby, and Iron Man 3 are simply too epic to be viewed upon a tablet screen for the first time. And have you seen the trailer for Pacific Rim?

It’s the kind of movie a 72-foot 3D screen was made for. In short: we can hardly wait to set foot in a theater with the wafting scent of popped corn, soft baking pretzels, and effervescent edge-of-your seat anticipation in the air.

But if your idea of a bustling theater means long lines, sold out seats, and foraging for a single empty spot amongst a sea of shadow-cast faces, fret not. We’ve scoured Apple iTunes and the Google Play store to bring you the best smartphone apps for movie-ticket purchasing. Now catching a movie at the theater means easy-to-find showtimes, guaranteed tickets, and in some cases, reserved, premium seating. This is the future of movie ticket purchasing and it couldn’t be simpler:

Fandango – Available both for Apple and Android, Fandango is one of the most popular movie ticket purchasing smartphone apps on the market.  That’s likely because the app boasts some truly great features. The ‘Next Hour’ feature helps users find a movie playing nearby within the next 60 minutes, while helpful filters let you find a movie by MPAA rating, genre, and top box office choice. Fandango will also alert you when an indicated movie becomes available at your local theater. And if you have a specific kind of movie-viewing venue in mind, don’t worry: Fandango lets you put your favorites on a list and find amenities like stadium seating, and reserved theater seats where applicable.

Movies by Flixster – This smartphone app is a one-stop shop for all things film. Both iPhone and Android users can buy tickets, check showtimes, watch trailers, read reviews, and even download full films from Flixster. Movie enthusiasts will also be happy to know that you can manage your Netflix account via Flixster, and browse and save movies that you want to see in the future. Bonus: users get a brand new full-length gift movie when they sign up.

Popcorn: SG Movie Showtimes – Disclaimer: this Android and iPhone app only applies to residents of Singapore, but because it’s so wildly popular in the region, the app is set to branch out to other countries soon—and we’ll be glad when it does. Popcorn:SG Movie Showtimes delivers fast and accurate movie times at theaters across Singapore; users can check for available seats and theater promotions.

Movies by Moviefone – This might date us some, but we distinctly remember a time when you could literally dial up ‘Moviefone’ on a landline and listen to showtimes at theaters across New York City (Here’s a dose of nostalgia per the recording: “If you know the name of the movie you’d like to see, press 1 now!”). To keep up with the times, the all-encompassing movie showtime database has created its own stellar smartphone app. Movies by Moviefone offers users exclusives, nearby showtimes, maps and directions to theaters and it even plugs into Fandango so you can purchase tickets on the fly. Available for iTunes and Android devices.

Showtimes – Available on both iTunes and Android, this app is an easy and seamless way for cineastes to find showtimes playing wherever you are. You can save your favorite theaters, and using GPS, the app will direct you to a theater of your choice. Plus, users can read reviews, buy tickets via Fandango, and search by ratings, theater, and more.

Straight from the Source – Whether it’s AMC, Cinemark, or Regal Theaters; many of today’s top theaters are offering users smartphone apps with the most accurate showtime info out there. We love the Alamo Drafthouse app, which lets you purchase tickets for any of the theater chain’s locations and the iPic Theaters app lets users determine what type of premium seating they would like, in addition to tracking purchases and benefits earned at the luxury theater chain.


The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.