Empire Theatres Showtimes Anyone?

I want to find out what’s playing at the movies tonight in Charlottetown, so I surf on over to Empire Theatres’ website.

All I want to know is what’s playing. I don’t need to be convinced what to see, I don’t want to hold a birthday party, I don’t want a Subway breakfast sandwich. And yet look at their website:

Empire Theatres Website

One of the smallest things on the page is the link to “showtimes by theatre” — but isn’t that what theatre websites are for? It gets worse: I click on “by theatre” and go to:

Empire Theatres Website

So here I get a jazzy Star Wars-style graphic telling me that I can go to Empire Theatres FROM COAST TO COAST. As I’m not considering going to the movies in Alberta tonight, this is of little relevance to me. I locate the link for Prince Edward Island and click, leading me to:

Empire Theatres Website

Note that on this page I can’t actually click on the icon placed on the map over Charlottetown, I have to click on “Empire Studio 8” (a name I have never heard uttered by anyone — there is, after all, only one multiplex in the city). Note how the “Empire Studio 8” is located several inches from Charlottetown, just to further confuse me. Finally I end up at:

Empire Theatres Website

Finally, showtimes! And Subway sandwiches and Ant Bully ads. But that’s okay, I’ve got my showtimes now. The clever amongst you might be thinking “you should bookmark this page now so you can quickly return in the future.” Alas this isn’t possible: the URL for this page is inanely constructed so that it’s good for today only. There is no way to construct a hyperlink to the “Empire Studio 8” showtimes page; indeed attempting to make the URL “universal” by stripping off the date results in this unhelpful page:

Empire Theatres Website

Not entirely useless, I suppose, as you can use it to plan your cinema outings for New Year’s Eve Eve.

I wonder whether anyone at Empire Theatres has ever actually tried to find out what’s playing at their theatres.

Disclaimer: I maintain the website for City Cinema, which is an Empire Theatres competitor. Indeed normally I’d be looking to go to movies there, but I just can’t abide Garrison Keillor tonight, or, actually, ever. I’ve always prided myself that finding out “what’s playing” at City Cinema takes no clicks at all.


al's picture
al on August 12, 2006 - 23:24 Permalink

It must be remembered, of course, that this website is for the same people who actually _enjoy_ watching advertizements before the movie starts.

Charles's picture
Charles on August 12, 2006 - 23:25 Permalink

If you put a date too far in the past in, it will give you todays listings. I use the following URL:


It is a pretty bad design though.

davem's picture
davem on August 13, 2006 - 01:22 Permalink

Hey Grandpa!

The music too loud for you too? Write a letter to the editor why don’t ya! :)
I’ve had the page bookmarked for years, Pete. Works just fine.

coco's picture
coco on August 13, 2006 - 03:34 Permalink

I use http://www.cinemaclock.com/Cha… to avoid this very hassle.
Plus you can search by movie OR theatre….ooh la la!

(admittedly this feature is much more useful in a place with more than one ‘proper’ theatre, but, whatev….)

Marian's picture
Marian on August 13, 2006 - 13:04 Permalink

I didn’t realise that anyone had such strong negative feelings about Garrison Keillor…I have to confess that I have a soft spot for Keillor or any writer who can create such extensive and hilarious fictional footnotes, one of which features an irate and rebellious son who sends a manifesto entitled (I believe) “95 thesis 95” (based on a famous protest by Martin Luther) to the local paper. I think of that manifesto every time I write a letter to the editor, or meet someone who isn’t quite over their parents. Very funny and probably describes some aspects of people here and elsewhere in the

Derek Martin's picture
Derek Martin on August 13, 2006 - 16:35 Permalink

And for some reason, Empire chooses not to list themselves in the yellow pages under cinemas, only under theatres. As a result I get a few hundred phone calls at City Cinema every summer from people who can’t find them in the book (as well as a few for the drive-in). Many many people have no idea they’re called Empire. I mentioned this to their head office a few years ago, I guess economies of scale may prohibit such a move, who knows?

Isaac's picture
Isaac on August 14, 2006 - 13:19 Permalink

I use the handy google showtimes to see what’s playing at empire (which empire theatres occasionally breaks by changing<sup>1</sup> their url scheme sadly) — and often wish city cinema was included as well


1. About six months ago, they did the oh so clever switch from new_showtime_by_theatre.asp to new_showtime_by_theatre1.asp — which i can only assume as to temporarily stop places like google movies from skimming their showtimes.

Business's picture
Business on August 14, 2006 - 20:08 Permalink

This post is pretty lame. I won’t mention conflict of interest (cough citycinema cough). Your sounding more like a politician.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 14, 2006 - 20:18 Permalink

For the record, the City Cinema website is a pro bono project, and has been for almost 10 years.

Marian's picture
Marian on August 15, 2006 - 13:35 Permalink

I guess it’s this line in particular from “95 theses 95” that I was thinking of as it relates to the blogosphere “I wasted years in diametrical opposition, thinking you were completely mistaken, and wound up living a life based more on yours than if I’d stayed home.” The character says this in relation to his parents, but for the blogosphere it has to do with blogger relationships with the MSM/Rightwingpolitics/Leftwingpolitics… etc. insert specific diametrical opposition here. The following is a link to 95 theses 95: http://www.secretions.net/ops/… online if any are interested. I know. I’m off topic. But in a way, I’m not.

Andrew Chisholm's picture
Andrew Chisholm on August 16, 2006 - 16:55 Permalink

If you are trying to find a show time just Google the name of a movie you know if playing, Google will prompt you for the city name and then display the show times for all movies playing in your local cinema.

donna's picture
donna on November 9, 2006 - 14:23 Permalink

I love those subway sandwiches. The coupon is gone from this page. Does anyone know whwere I can get one.