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What's New - The Archive
This is the archive of past "What's New" postings. As such, the links and information contained may be outdated. For current site news, please click here.
New "Reviews" Page Added for Movies [03/23/2006]
Deciding what movie to see can be a difficult process, and if you're a parent trying to find a good movie for your family to see, it's even more difficult. For many years, we've featured reviews from regarded critic James Berardinelli as well as reviews written by our readers (Reader Reviews). Links to the Reader Reviews and Featured Critic review have been consolidated on the new Reviews page.
Additionally, we're working on adding more information that you can use to decide whether to see a particular movie. The first release towards this goal is the addition of links to two family-oriented web sites that review movies; Screen It! and Plugged In. Their reviews provide detailed information about the content of a movie, including the amount of violence, language, sexuality, and other categories of interest. Because of this detail, the reviews may contain spoilers, but we feel that they are worth making available to our readers.
To see an example of this in action, check out the Reviews page for King Kong.
Now Showing Pages are Faster [02/07/2006]
Technology has been added to the Now Showing pages that compresses the content before it is sent to you, resuling in smaller file downloads and subsequently faster page displays. For example, the Alphabetical list of movies view is around 65KB. Compressed, it is 6.4KB, which is more than 90% smaller. Current browsers support this technology, and older browsers that do not are automatically detected and sent the data normally. This has been tested thoroughly (it's been running on The Marquee and in Reader Reviews for quite some time), but if you experience problems, please use the Feedback Form and let us know so that it can be investigated.
Favorite Movies Module Added to Home Page [02/06/2006]
For a long time now, the Favorite Movies view has provided a way for our readers to highlight movies that they are looking forward to and/or want to keep handy for easy reference. For additional convenience, the five most recently released movies that appear in your Favorite Movies list now appear at the top of the right-hand column of the home page.
Due to the resources involved in creating and maintaining this feature, it is available only to our VIP Members. This is just another in the long list of enhanced features that are available to those readers who choose to support our site directly (see complete list).
Now Showing Changes [01/13/2006]
It had been a while since we last changed the Now Showing main pages (New Movies, Favorites, etc.) and the dust was starting to collect. Rather than wait for spring, we've done a little cleaning and tidying up this week, and we hope you like the look of the place!
The New Movies page was changed the most, with the number of movies reduced to just those opening in the past week (instead of two weeks, which made it difficult to pick out the ones that open each Friday). Since the list is much smaller now, poster art now graces each movie to add to the visual appeal. The other main pages in Now Showing mainly got a light cleaning, with the most noticeable change coming with the addition of the Sort Change buttons in the upper right corner, just below the tabs.
We hope that you like the changes that were made, and we're always interested in hearing constructive comments. Please use the Feedback Form to let us know how we're doing!
Theater Announcements Now Available [10/07/2005]
We are now providing theaters with a way to post announcements for our readers. Special promotions, discounts, and other news that they want to display can be found on their respective "Announcements" page which can be found in the sidebar when you visit a theater that has something to display (the link will only be shown when announcements are available).
Examples (current as of 10/7/2005)
Look Near and Far for Nearby Theaters [10/07/2005]
Our "Nearby Theaters" page in The Marquee and the "Nearby Theaters" view on movie schedule pages have always shown all theaters within 30 miles of your specified location. Based on feedback from our readers, we realize that the concentration of theaters varies greatly around the country, and that you prefer not to sift through 100+ theaters in the larger metropolitan areas that are within 30 miles of each other.
As a result, the "Nearby Theaters" functions now allow you to change the distance range you would like it to use when searching for theaters near your location. The value you choose is saved for the duration of your visit so that you do not have to reset it each time you visit a relevant page.
Check it out at:
Photo Gallery Feature Now with 50% Larger Photos [08/05/2005]
Beginning today, all new Photo Gallery additions hosted on our site will feature photos and poster artwork that are 50% larger than before. This will provide you with a closer look at photos taken during the production of the movie and of the poster artwork, which can often be quite detailed.
The new larger images that we are offering are larger than any other popular movie web sites we could find! This change was made possible by our recent move to a new server and is part of the constant improvements that we are making to The BigScreen Cinema Guide. As before, the Photo Galleries hosted our site are available exclusively to our VIP Members, as our way of thanking them for their direct support.
The first such addition is for Elizabethtown, starring Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom.
Photo Gallery Feature Expanded with More Photos for More Movies [06/15/2005]
We have enhanced our Photo Galleries feature for movies by adding links to external photo galleries in addition to the ones hosted on The BigScreen Cinema Guide. These new photo galleries are open to the public, while the local ones remain available exclusively to our VIP Members.
This enhancement allows us to provide photos for many movies, including those currently playing, opening soon in theaters, and movies from the past. As of today, we have 1,191 movies that have photo galleries attached to them, including:
Move to New Server Complete -- Better, Faster, Stronger [05/24/2005]
Today we moved to a new web server, which will provide more performance, better reliability, and a platform that we can use to launch many new features. Our many thanks go out to our readers, whose loyalty forces us to upgrade our servers on a regular basis to continue delivering a quality publication!
Movie Trailers, Clips, and Featurettes! [05/23/2005]
We are happy to announce the addition of thousands of movie clips, movie trailers, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and other media files for movies in The BigScreen Cinema Guide! Instead of a single link for a movie trailer, we are now able to provide multiple links for each version that is released (when available), plus additional clips including TV spots and segments of the movie as they are made available to us.
You will find these by clicking on the new "Movie Trailer/Clips" link in the sidebar on movie-related pages. This link replaces the single "Movie Trailer" link that existed previously.
Examples of movies with trailers and clips:
- Madagascar - 3 trailers and 4 movie clips
- National Treasure - 2 trailers, 6 featurettes, and 2 exclusive clips
- The Incredibles - 3 trailers, 3 movie clips, an exclusive clip, and a featurette
Major Changes to Handling of Showtime Dates [04/26/2005]
In the row of available dates for a particular movie or theater that appears before the rows of showtimes, an issue arose whenever we had showtimes well in advance of a movie's release. The most recent example of this is Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. The list of dates extended past the cutoff that we had in place of 24 days, which caused a problem of being able to navigate to those future dates. Displaying 24 dates in that row also made it quite crowded.
That's fixed with the changes released today. The number of days displayed at once is capped at 14, with navigation arrows before and after the list of shown dates (where appropriate) which provide you with a way of browsing through all the possible dates. There is still some tweaking to be done in the display, but the functionality was too important to delay any longer.
As with any of the features on this site, if you have any comments or questions regarding this change, please feel free to use the Feedback Form
Directors Added to Movie Information [03/18/2005]
The movie information we provide now displays the director for the movie in addition to the lead cast. The Search tool has been updated to support searching for directors by name as well. For example, a search for "Peter Jackson" will return a list of his recent movies. Currently, 229 movies have had directors added to them, and most movies released from today going forward will have that information added when possible.
New Movies Module Added to Index Page [03/17/2005]
To make navigation easier, there is now a "New Movies" module on the Index page. This module lists the movies that have been released within the past week, so it provides a quick and easy way to get to the latest releases without going to the Now Showing "New Movies" page first. It appears at the top of the left-hand column for our VIP members, in the place of the badge ad that non VIP's see.
Site Layout Updates [02/04/2005]
We're making some changes and tweaks to the web site, starting with the index page and continuing through the rest of the site. The index page has been rearranged so that information about new movies and your favorite theaters is easier to find, plus we've added the Box Office Report so you can see what movie was #1 last weekend.
As always, we're taking suggestions for how we can make the site better, so use the Feedback Form and let us know what you think!
Movie Photo Gallery Feature [06/30/2004]
The Photo Gallery feature is now available for those movies in which the studios have provided us with photos from the production and stills from the movie. Here is a list of the movies for which we have a Photo Gallery:
- Spider-Man 2
- White Chicks
- Little Black Book
- Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
- Alien vs. Predator
- I, Robot
- The Day After Tomorrow
- Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Server Upgrade [04/12/2004]
We have upgraded the server to a new provider and a better machine, which should result in more stability and better performance. There may be a few temporary glitches as the DNS pointers change around the world, but they should be temporary. Please use our Feedback Form if you notice any non-temporary problems.
DLP Digital Projection Indicator Added to Showtimes [03/19/2004]
With the recent addition of the AMC Framingham 16, we now have Digital Cinema presentations in The Bigscreen Cinema Guide. To help you find them, we have added a graphic indicator in the center column of the schedules (in the same area as the digital sound, THX, and Stadium Seating indicators. Clicking on this graphic will take you to some help text that helps to explain digital projection and what it means to your movie-going experience.
Check out the AMC Framingham 16 schedule page to see the indicator in action.
While there is some difficulty in the industry agreeing on the rollout of digital cinema on a wide scale, we believe that it is the wave of the future. The digital cinema presentations we've seen have been very good, especially when it comes to a complete lack of "jump" where the image is jittering vertically, and also no "weave" which is horizontal jittering.
Poster Art Added to Search [01/28/2004]
VIP Members now enjoy poster art added to the Search results for Movies. Check out what other exclusive features are available to VIP's and sign up!
New Feature: Favorite Movies [08/22/2003]
One of the primary uses for this new feature is the ability to mark those movies that are coming soon that you are interested in seeing when they are released or available on DVD. In the future, we plan to include favorite movie indicators throughout the site, and possibly E-Mail you when they are released in theaters, but we'll see what our readers tell us they'd like to see.
Check out the new "Favorite Movies" page in Now Showing!
Now Showing Section Has Been Completely Re-written [08/12/2003]
The final step in the current phase of our site improvements is complete with the release of the new Now Showing section! As with The Marquee a few weeks ago, we examined every line of code that produces the movie lists, schedules, and information to make it better, faster, and stronger. Bugs were squashed and improvements were made, so check out these new and improved features:
- Refined layout on the index pages (New Movies, Alphabetical, MPAA, Genre, Coming Soon) and added useful information
- Added Poster Art for VIP Members to "New Movies" and "Coming Soon"
- Added "Recently Updated" indicator to "Coming Soon" to identify which movies have had their information updated recently
- You can now sort the "Alphabetical" listing by Movie, Release Date, MPAA Rating, and Genre
- The messages shown when movies are not currently playing have been clarified to better explain the particular instance (coming soon, not in nearby theaters, etc.)
- Schedule layout has been improved to save space when no "center column" information is present for one item (THX, digital sound, stadium seating)
- Schedules now show additional notes provided by theaters (Open Caption, Special Engagements, Summer Kids Camp, etc.)
The Marquee Section Completely Re-written [07/28/2003]
As an ongoing part of our sitewide improvements, we've completely rewritten The Marquee, which contains theater schedules and information. You'll notice a few cosmetic changes, maybe even a few bug fixes that came along for the ride, plus a few minor tweaks and enhancements as long as we were rewriting everything anyway. Here are a few of the improvements and new features:
- Refined layout on the index pages (Your Theaters, Nearby Theaters, By Region) and added useful information
- The messages shown when showtimes are not present have been clarified to better explain the particular instance (information not available yet for upcoming days, etc.)
- Schedule layout has been improved to save space when no "center column" information is present for one item (THX, digital sound, stadium seating)
- Schedules now show additional notes provided by theaters (Open Caption, Special Engagements, Summer Kids Camp, etc.)
Customize Section Completely Re-written, Adding/Removing Favorite Theaters More Streamlined [07/18/2003]
In preparation for some new features, and the fact that this part of the site hasn't been touched in quite some time, we've completely rewritten the Site Customization part of our site.
Along with squashing some long-standing (albeit minor) bugs, this change has streamlined the process of adding or removing a single theater from that theater's schedule page. Now, you can add a theater without leaving the page by clicking on the "add to favorites" link in the upper right corner of the schedule page.
As stated earlier, this change will allow us to add more customized features in the future, so keep an eye out for announcements of new features coming soon!
Announcing our New Weekly Newsletter [05/15/2003]
You now can subscribe to our "BigScreen Weekly" newsletter, which will contain a list of the new movies being released each week, announcements of new features on our site, plus other news and related tidbits of information that our staff wants to pass along. There might just be an offer to win free stuff, so be sure to get BigScreen Weekly in your Inbox to stay updated and informed!
Major Changes to Reader Reviews, including new VIP-Only Features [02/12/2003]
The Reader Reviews section has been completely rewritten to provide more features, some new features available to VIP Members, and room for future expansion! Here is a list of some of the new features:
- New main page graphics and layout
- "Your Reviews" page showing all the movies you've reviewed
- Alphabetical List of Reviews page has been cleaned up so that the entire list of reviews does not appear on one page (almost 1,000 movies have been reviewed so far).
- Layout of Reader Review page has been redesigned for better readability (see example)
- You can now rate a movie (See Now!, Good, etc.) without comments
- Streamlined review submission form to make it easier to write reviews
- Compare your reviews to another reviewer (see demo)
- Automatic posting of movie reviews from VIP Members
- VIP Members can review movies even after they're no longer playing in theaters
We've Made Searching Easier [01/06/2003]
We've rewritten the search feature on the site so that it's more consistent across the board. When searching for movies, only those movies that are currently playing or are coming soon are listed by default, and you still have the option of searching through all eight years' worth of movie information!
Shop Online at Our New Gift Shop [12/04/2002]
Ok, you've seen the movie... but do you have the music? You can by visiting our new Gift Shop! Just in time for the Holidays, we're compiling some of the best gift ideas for yourself or your favorite movie fan. We'll keep the page updated with the latest and greatest items, with more arriving from our Shopping Partners every day. Every purchase made at the Gift Shop brings a small percentage in commission back to us for maintaining and improving the site, so buying through us helps to support your favorite movie site. Many people, including our staff, buy from places like Amazon.com already, so why not buy from them through our site?
Block Annoying Banner and Popup Ads with VIP Service! [08/24/2002]
You've told us that you don't like banner ads, and especially annoying popup advertising. Unfortunately, without needed revenue, sites like ours won't exist. Rather than be caught between a rock and a hard place, we're giving our readers an option! For a very low yearly price, you can block all banner, popup, popunder, and overlay advertising on this site with our new VIP Service! For a limited time, we've cut the standard price in half, so sign up now!
Layout Changes in Development [05/01/2002]
We're working towards a refined version of the site layout, and getting every page to have a white background was the first major step towards that goal. The (very) dark blue background was a little too dark for our taste, and reading text on a dark background can be tedious. Please be patient with us as we track down any display glitches left over from the dark days!
New Help Documentation [08/10/2001]
A new help system is now in place, which will enable us to provide much more help documentation than previously possible. As the site expands with more features, we feel that expanded help documentation will help our readers understand the features available on the site. This, of course, will not stop us from trying to make the site as easy to use as possible, so keep that feedback coming!
View Movie Schedules for Nearby Theaters Even When Customized [07/22/2001]
Previously, you could only view movie schedules for your favorite theaters when you customized the site. Now, the default view on movie schedule pages is still your favorite theaters (if you have customized the site, but you all have, haven't you?), but you have the option of choosing the link in the title bar that reads "Show Nearby Theaters" so that you can see if any nearby theaters are also playing a particular film. To see an example, just go to any movie schedule page, while customized, and you will see the link in the title bar.
New Search Features [05/24/2001]
The Search functionality has been improved to allow you to search for movies by title or by actor, and for theaters by name or by city. On the index page is a combination search that lets you search for either movies or theaters quickly. Movies currently playing, coming soon, and those that have played in the past are now searchable, turning The BigScreen Cinema Guide into a movie database covering movies showing in theaters since January 1995. We've been offering Reader Reviews for movies since 1996, so be sure to check here when you're looking to rent your next film, you may just find a few useful comments to help you make your choice!
Pivot on Actor/Actress [05/17/2001]
You are now able to click on a name in the "Starring" list on a movie schedule, and see other movies that are in our database starring that actor or actress. For example, go to the movie schedule page for Cast Away and click on "Tom Hanks" to see other films that he stars in.
Revamped Home Page [05/10/2001]
We have improved the home page to display more useful information, including more details about the featured movie and a list of your favorite theaters (if you have customized the site). More features are on the way, so keep your eyes open! If you have ideas for improvements that we could make to the site, please feel free to send us feedback using the link at the bottom of every page of the site.
Reader Reviews "Find Reviewer" Listings Improved [05/08/2001]
We changed the organization of the movies that are listed when you click on a reviewer's name in Reader Reviews to see what else they've written. Instead of straight alphabetical order, the movies are sorted by the rating that reviewer gave each film, starting with "See Now" and ending with "Stay Away." For an example of how this works, take a look at the reviews written by one of our readers.
We also added more breadcrumb navigation to our pages. Breadcrumbs are navigational aids (in the upper left corner of our Now Showing and The Marquee pages) that help you to know where you are on the site, and give you the ability to navigate the upper levels of the section you are currently in.
Print Your Own Tickets at Home [04/24/2001]
Select theaters are offering the ability to print your electronic tickets at home, saving you the hassle of standing in line because the ticket kiosk in the lobby is out of paper (or out of order completely). During your order through our online ticket vendor, MovieTickets.com, you can select to print your own tickets as one of the options. Currently, a few Marcus theaters are accepting home-printed tickets, with more to follow. To see how this works, visit the schedule page for Marcus Ridge Cinema, and click on a showtime.
More Information on Movies Coming Soon [04/16/2001]
Have you seen a trailer for a film opening in a couple of months? Ever wonder when that movie you heard about is going to be released? We are now providing information for many more movies on our Coming Soon page in the Now Showing section! Cast listings, official web sites, trailers, and much more are available for more movies than ever before!
Advance Schedules Appearing on Tuesdays [01/16/2001]
A frequent request we get via feedback is getting the showtimes earlier in the week. In cooperation with our source for showtime information, we have arranged to receive schedule information for theaters as early as Tuesday. Theaters that compile their schedule information and submit it on Monday will have their schedules for the upcoming week present as early as Tuesday's update.
We also cleaned up some code today, which should make the site run just a little faster and handle the increased traffic we're receiving. If you notice any problems with nearby theater information, please let us know right away!
More Theaters Offering Online Ticketing [01/07/2001]
Marcus Corp. is now offering online ticketing for more theaters. Those theaters will now have links on their showtimes, which will take you to our online ticketing partner, movietickets.com, to purchase tickets. Check your favorite theater to see if it is offering online ticketing.
"Area Theaters" Feature Added to Theater Schedules [10/19/2000]
Looking for alternatives to the theaters you usually visit? A new feature called "Area Theaters" in the right-hand sidebar of theater schedules now offers the ability to view a list of theaters near that theater. This can help you when a particular theater is not showing a movie you're looking for, or you just want to try a different theater in the same area. To see how this works, visit a theater schedule page, and look in the sidebar on the right for "Area Theaters" under the heading "Theater Information."
Select Marcus Theaters Offer Online Ticketing [10/06/2000]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide welcomes 11 Marcus theaters to online ticketing! Some Marcus theaters, including Ridge Cinema in New Berlin, the Menomonee Falls Cinema, and North Shore Cinema in Mequon (all in Wisconsin) are now offering the ability to purchase tickets online. The BigScreen Cinema Guide is offering this service at no extra charge!* In a partnership with MovieTickets.com, we make showtimes clickable right from our schedule pages for those theaters that are doing online ticketing through MovieTickets.com. To see an example of how this works, check out the schedule for Marcus Ridge in New Berlin, Wisconsin. As more theaters join the MovieTickets.com system, their tickets will be available on our movie and theater schedule pages automatically. * The cost may not always be free, but at the time of this post, there are no plans to charge for this service.
Update 10/09/2000: We have been informed that some theaters are adding a surcharge to purchases made over the web, much like what is done on the phone ordering systems of some theater chains. Please keep in mind that we do not have any control over these surcharges, and not all theaters are charging additional fees for online ticketing.
Free Online Movie Ticketing for Select Theaters [10/01/2000]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide is now offering the ability to purchase tickets online for participating theaters at no extra charge!* In a partnership with MovieTickets.com, we make showtimes clickable right from our schedule pages for those theaters that are doing online ticketing through MovieTickets.com. To see an example of how this works, check out the schedule for AMC's South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Illinois. As more theaters join the MovieTickets.com system, their tickets will be available on our movie and theater schedule pages automatically. Watch for upcoming announcements from theaters that we currently list very soon!* The cost may not always be free, but at the time of this post, there are no plans to charge for this service.
Search Function Replaces Alphabetical Theater Listing [9/20/2000]
As we continue to add more theaters, the Alphabetical Listing was getting really out of hand. This page worked well when there were just a few dozen theaters listed, but it's time has come. Now, with the new "Search" page in The Marquee, you can search for a theater by its name or the city it's in.
Pass List Information Added to Schedules [8/24/2000]
A much-requested feature has been the notation of when particular movies are noted as "Pass List Suspended" or "No Passes" shows. Many theaters have discount tickets or passes that cannot be used when a movie has this notation. We have hesitated to offer this feature, due to some potential confusion, but we wanted to provide useful information to our readers as well. You said it was important, and we have delivered it! However, please read our Help Documentation regarding the "No Passes" notation on our schedules.
"Nearby Theaters" tab added to The Marquee [8/22/2000]
There have been lots of little changes and improvements going on, but none have been worth mention here, until now. If you visit the section titled "The Marquee" you will see that a new feature has been added. We are now providing a display of theaters nearby to a particular location! Just give us your ZIP code (or we'll use the one you've already given us), and we'll show you every theater within 30 miles of your location. For those readers who have not customized the site, this feature provides you with the ability to see nearby theaters very quickly, and for those who have customized, it gives you the extra option of seeing theaters nearby that you don't have in your favorites list.
We Celebrate 5 Years with New Site Design With Customization, More Theaters, and Advance Schedules. [2/3/2000]
We've been stockpiling some new features and introducing them in this anniversary release. Many theaters have been pounding on our door, asking to be listed, but we just couldn't add them to the already long list of theaters that appear on each movie's schedule page.
With this release, you are able to see theaters near where you live by entering your ZIP code. Yeah, we know, everybody does that. We took that one step further and gave you the ability to select exactly which theaters you would like to have in your movie schedule listings! Just select the "Customize" link on the main page, and in just a few seconds, you can have BigScreen showing you only the theaters you visit.
In addition to the customization features, we are now able to provide you with schedules for the following week as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday. Due to some improvements in technology, we are able to provide you with schedules as soon as we receive them, instead of having to wait until they all came in to do an update. At the top of the schedule tables, you will see a listing of all the days for which we have schedule information. This was a much-requested feature, and we're very happy to be able to provide advance information!
There are also numerous improvements all over the place, so take a look around, you might find some new information!
This was a major renovation to BigScreen, so not all of the walls are painted, and you may find some inconsistencies floating around yet, but we think that this is a big improvement over what we had before. If you find something out of place, please don't hesitate to let us know, and we'll send an usher out to clean it up right away.
5 Years and Still Going Strong! [2/1/2000]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide has been providing movie schedule information on the Internet since 1995. We believe that makes us one of the longest running movie schedule publications still in existence! We would like to extend a big thank-you to everyone that has helped to make BigScreen the success that it is - we couldn't have done it without you!
Dolby Digital EX Notations [5/21/99]
A new notation has been added to schedules to indicate the presentation of a movie in Dolby Digital EX, the newest digital sound format.
More Theaters! [5/14/99]
Academy - Kenosha, Budget 6 - Green Bay, Fox Bay Cinema Grill - Whitefish Bay, Muskego Movie-plex - Muskego.
Times Classics Schedule Returns [4/16/99]
In cooperation with the Times Cinema in Milwaukee, we will be publishing their entire schedule of classics again. In addition to the standard HTML listing, we will also be publishing their printed schedule in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format for easy printing. The PDF file is available now, and look for the HTML list to begin next month.
Academy Award® Indicators [2/19/99]
When a movie has been nominated for, or won, a major Academy Award, that is noted on the pages of "Now Showing" as well as on the schedule page. This gives you instant access to those movies which have been identified as having great merit and/or great performances by the cast.
'ACADEMY AWARDS®' and 'OSCAR®' are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Star Wars Countdown Section [12/23/98]
As the opening night of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace approaches, the hype surrounding the first prequel to the most popular movie franchise will go through the roof. We've had the chance to see the trailer, both online and in the theaters (I tried to endure The Waterboy just to see the trailer!), and now you just can't wait until the big night? We're compiling a collection of books, games, music, and the best web sites to satisfy your need for Star Wars stuff in our Countdown to Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace.
Support BigScreen by Visiting Amazon.com [11/20/98]
In order to provide us with some much-needed revenue, we are expanding our efforts to include links to partner sites for related content, such as Movie Soundtracks and Video Releases. Now that Amazon.com has released the Video Store section of their site, we feel that Amazon.com is a very good site in which to find both music and movies at very reasonable prices. For an example of how we will be linking to Amazon.com, take a look at the Reader Review page for Armageddon. From this one page, you will be able to find the soundtrack, the original score, plus the VHS and DVD copies of the movie released on video.
Following the links to Amazon.com from The BigScreen Cinema Guide and purchasing items provides us with a share of each sale, which will help us to defray the costs involved in producing The BigScreen Cinema Guide each week. Every site has to support itself in one way or another, and we're doing our best to find ways which also help our readers by adding value as well. Personally, I have found their prices to be some of the best available from the major online retailers, and I'm not just a partner site, I'm also a customer!
Legal Stuff: AMAZON.COM is the registered trademark of Amazon.com, Inc.
Now Published by SVJ Designs... Again [11/13/98]
Due to a re-focusing of efforts on the part of ExecPC InterActive, The BigScreen Cinema Guide has been transferred back to SVJ Designs, as it was two years ago. The same people will be maintaining the site, just not under the realm of ExecPC InterActive. This means that we're looking for ways to pay our bills, so we'll be looking for revenue in many different ways. If you're interested in sponsoring a section of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, this is your big chance! Please send inquiries to Business@bigscreen.com
Recognizing the value of this fine publication, ExecPC is providing web hosting and bandwidth sponsorship, so we will continue to be fast and well-connected to the outside world. Thanks, ExecPC! If you need web site hosting, or just a plain Internet access account, give them a call at 414-789-4200, and tell them The BigScreen Cinema Guide sent you!
Interface Modifications to Now Showing and The Marquee [9/25/98]
We've added tabs to the Now Showing and The Marquee sections to aid in finding the information in those sections. Previously, there were single pages for each section, resulting in very large documents that took a long time to load on slower connections. We never really liked having all that information on one page, so we finally did something about it!
Printable Schedules! [7/29/98]
One of the most needed (and one of the most requested) enhancements to our service has finally arrived! You are now able to select to view a printable version of each schedule, which have no graphics and are tightly formatted to make it easy to print. Except for the longest of schedules, the entire schedule will almost always print on one page. To see an example of this, check out the Printable Schedule for Ridge Cinema.
Review Summaries [7/24/98]
Our Reader Reviews have become so popular, that it was time to help you get an impression for what the reviewers in general thought. We devised a handy table that shows you how many people reviewed a particular movie, how many rated the movie according to the four Reader Review ratings, and also a composite "score" based on a number value assigned to each rating (4 being the highest, 1 being the lowest). To see an example of this in action, take a look at the Reader Review for Titanic, there's over 150 reviews at last count, making the summary information a welcome addition!
Links to Nearby Theaters [7/17/98]
At the bottom of Theater Schedule pages, you will see a link to see theaters nearby the current theater. This will help you find schedules for theaters close to the one you were looking at, in case that particular theater wasn't showing the movie you were hoping for, or you'd just like to see what other movies are playing in the area. This is using our "Theater Finder" program, so it is zip code based. Instead of your zip code as the base, we use the zip code for the theater and find the theaters closest to that zip code.
New Review Buttons and "Go" Button Added to Movie Schedule Pages [6/12/98]
After a few years of having the same buttons for Reader Reviews and Featured Critic, we restyled them to take up less horizontal space, and they look a little better, too. A "Go" button has been added to all movie schedule pages, providing convenient access to other movie schedule pages.
Interface Tweaks for Main Sections and BigScreen Main Page [6/12/98]
Made minor tweaks to the Marquee and Now Showing pages to make them look as good as possible in text browsers, such as Lynx. These changes do not affect how the pages are rendered in most graphical browsers, and help the readability for those with text-based systems. This is consistent with our goal of maximum compatibility for as many browsers and environments as possible.
We also added the list of movies currently playing to a drop-down "Go" button on the BigScreen Main page. This gives our readers quicker access to the information they're looking for! (This "Go" button will appear on the bottom of schedule pages as well, first a movie "Go" button on movie schedule pages, and then a theater "Go" button on theater schedule pages.)
Schedule Page Layout Changes [6/5/98]
We've changed the relative text sizes in schedule grids to decrease the overall screen real estate taken up by longer movie and theater names. The pivot button has been absorbed into the movie/theater name, so that clicking on the name goes to the associated schedule, much like the pivot button used to do. If you would like to see the InfoPage for a theater from a movie schedule page, you now have to pivot to that theater's schedule page by clicking on the theater name, and then click on the theater name at the top of the theater schedule page.
The "Week of" information has been moved from the top of the page to the top of the schedule grid. In the future, we hope to offer advance schedule information, and this will reduce the confusion as to what week the schedule information pertains to. We also added links on theater schedule pages for Map/Directions info, as well as Area Dining information.>
Theater Photos [3/13/98]
We've added some photos of theaters to the schedule pages and InfoPages. As more photos become available, they will be added where applicable. For an example, take a look at Ridge's schedule and Capitol Cinema's InfoPage.
The First-Ever BigScreen Movies Chat Session! [1/16/98]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide will be holding a weekly movies chat session on Fridays between 3pm-5pm (Central Time) at http://chat.execpc.com. This chat server is usually limited to ExecPC customers only, but it will be open to the public during these sessions. Please join other readers in the "BigScreen Cinema Guide" room and let's talk about movies!
Layout Tweaking [1/16/98]
After quite some time, we thought it was a good idea to fine-tune the layout of the publication. Nothing feature-wise has changed yet, but the new look is a little more eye-catching. This also gave us an excuse to go in and clean up a few things and schedule more cleaning in the near future to prepare for upcoming features.
The Shepherd Express Becomes a Primary Sponsor [1/8/98]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide is now sponsored by a Milwaukee newspaper, the Shepherd Express. Through this association, we hope to bring to our readers even more cool features and events than ever before!
The BigScreen Cinema Guide Selected as Best of the Web by Snap! Online [10/31/97]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide has been chosen by the editors of Snap! Online as Best of the Web in the Local Channel. Snap! editors choose Best of the Web (BoW) from the thousands of offerings in a given channel. "These are the sites that we tell our friends about and bookmark for return visits" states Vin Diec from Snap! Online. Read the Story...
Links to Official Movie Sites and Trailers Added to Schedules [9/23/97]
When available, we have added links to the official web sites and trailers for movies. These links appear on the movie schedules, just below the other movie information (such as the Starring list and buttons for Reader Reviews). Watch out for those trailers, they can get very large to download!
New Theaters! Luxury 10 Cinemas in Beloit, WI. [8/22/97]
The City of Beloit, Wisconsin now has access to theater schedules on the Internet! The Luxury 10 Cinemas joins the other Wildwood Theaters already listed in The BigScreen Cinema Guide.
Banner Ads Come to The BigScreen Cinema Guide [7/22/97]
It was inevitable. Every site must earn its keep, and The BigScreen Cinema Guide is no exception. In order to keep this publication free for both the readers and the theaters, we are accepting banner advertising on most every page of The BigScreen Cinema Guide. We are hoping to attract the interest of theaters and the movie studios, so that the ads you see will be more relevant to the topic being covered.
New Review Submission Processor [6/26/97]
We have added a new Reader Review submissions processor, which will allow us to post Reader Reviews faster. It also tells you if you forgot to fill in one of the blanks, so there is no additional delay in posting your reviews.
Faster Access to Theaters in Metro Areas with "Jump the Ropes" [6/12/97]
To make finding theaters in similar areas easier, we have grouped together theaters in three major metropolitan areas in drop-down lists in the "Now Showing" section. This should make it easier to find theaters in your area until we can begin implementing custom lists.
New Web Address - www.bigscreen.com! [6/9/97]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide is now located at http://www.bigscreen.com! After waiting a long time for the domain to become available, we now have an address that is much easier to type and to remember!
More Theater InfoPages! [6/6/97]
We have added more theater InfoPages! Now you will be able to see maps, directions, area dining, and other theater information for your favorite theater, since every theater in The BigScreen Cinema Guide now has its own InfoPage!
New Links in Reader Reviews [5/30/97]
We have enhanced the ever-popular Reader Reviews by adding the ability to see the current schedule for a movie and to write your own review for the movie. These features only appear in reviews for movies that are currently playing in theaters.
New Theaters! All Remaining Marcus Theaters in Wisconsin! [5/9/97]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide now lists all the Marcus theaters in the state of Wisconsin! Cities such as Madison, Green Bay, LaCrosse, Appleton, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, and many more have been added to the guide. Soon, Marcus theaters in Gurnee, Addison, and Western Heights, Illinois will be added as well.
New Theaters! Rock Theatre,
Park Place Cinemas, and Mall Cinemas
in Janesville [5/2/97]
The City of Janesville, Wisconsin now has access to theater schedules on the Internet! All three theaters are part of the Wildwood Theaters chain, joining Capitol Cinemas in Pewaukee in being listed in The BigScreen Cinema Guide.
New Theaters! Star Cinemas in Sparta, Prairie du Chien, and Reedsburg [4/25/97]
Star Cinemas, the only theater chain in Wisconsin to bring you THX-certified theaters (Johnson Creek), is now fully represented in The BigScreen Cinema Guide!
Geographically Sorted List of Theaters [4/15/97]
Added a geographically sorted list of theaters to The Marquee page. Theaters can be found easily in a list organized by state, county, and city in which the theater resides.
"Write Your Own Reader Review" Link on Movie Schedules [4/15/97]
On each movie schedule page, we have added a link to the Reader Review Submission Form, to provide instant access to contributing to The BigScreen Cinema Guide's Reader Reviews section. Tell others what you think about the movies that are currently playing!
Featured Critic Reviews [4/10/97]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide welcomes the addition of Featured Critic Reviews, joining the Reader Reviews in assisting our readers in selecting and gathering the opinions of others about the movies currently playing. James Berardinelli has agreed to be our first "Featured Critic". James reviews many movies, so you can be sure to see his opinions about a vast array of films. He has been acclaimed by Roger Ebert for his ability to accurately assess the quality of movies.
Running Time, Actor List, and Interface Improvements [4/10/97]
Added information pertaining to the Running Time of movies, along with a list of major actors/actresses, when available. These two items were the top-recommended and suggested improvements made by readers. We pay attention to your suggestions, so keep them rolling in!
We also cleaned up some of the graphics, made all the buttons look like they belong together, and remodeled the MPAA ratings graphics. The MPAA Ratings graphics now have a link from them to a document that explains what the ratings mean, and what type of content is allowed under each rating.
THX Notation to Schedules [4/4/97]
With the opening of the first THX theaters to be listed in The BigScreen Cinema Guide, we have added the THX icon (see graphic at right) as one of the icons that may appear in the center column of the showtimes. This graphic also contains a link to a short explanation about THX and where more information about THX can be found.
Geographical Information for Theaters & Expansion of Coverage Area [4/3/97]
We are expanding the coverage area of The BigScreen Cinema Guide. By popular demand of both our readers and theaters, we are no longer just covering the Milwaukee Metro Area. We have added the notation of what city and county that a theater resides in toaccommodatee theaters from around the state, and we are also ready to expand beyond the Wisconsin state line should that opportunity arise. Work is progressing on making the list of theaters easier to navigate, which will become increasingly important as more theaters are added. We hope to offer the ability to select your favorite theaters and to highlight showtimes for those theaters for your convenience (but that will be coming in the future).
Hartford Theaters & Capitol Cinemas Offer Free Popcorn to Readers! [2/10/97]
The management at Hartford Theaters and at Capitol Cinemas has offered free popcorn to readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide! Just bring in a copy of the Hartford Theaters schedule or the Capitol Cinemas schedule with the Promo ad in the top right corner, and you'll get a free popcorn on certain days, courtesy of Hartford Theaters and Capitol Cinemas! Check their schedule pages for details.
New Reader Review Submission Form [1/17/97]
We've made writing movie reviews easier by providing an easy-to-use fill-in-the-blank form. Once you've seen a movie, fill out the form and let other people know what you thought of the movie!
Disney's FAMILY.COM highlights The BigScreen Cinema Guide [1/08/97]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide has been selected to be a part of the Online Web Directory of Disney's Family.com.
Family.com (http://www.family.com), new from Disney Online, is a heavily trafficked service for parents, offering easily accessible, comprehensive, high-quality information for raising children.
"We found your site contains content that could be of great use to our guests." - Myles Weissleder, Public Relations Manager
The BigScreen Cinema Guide is listed under Milwaukee "Local Family Web Links"
Reader Reviews Get New Features! [1/07/97]
The response to the Reader Reviews has been very positive - people like to read reviews from non-professional movie reviewers (the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, who are regular people just like you)! To better serve those interested in reading movie reviews written by our readers, we have added some functionality to the review listing, and to the reviews themselves.
The main review list page (/Reviews) is now alphabetized, the reviews for movies that are currently playing in theaters are listed at the top, and you also can click on a particular rating graphic to see all movies which have been reviewed with that rating.
Each new review has the ability for you to find out what other movie reviews the individual has written. This will help you get an idea of what that person likes and dislikes, so you can compare their tastes in movies to yours. Try it out by viewing the review for Daylight, and follow the link that reads "by Ron Higgins".
Each new review also gives you the ability to see what other movies have been given that same rating. Clicking on the rating "movie ticket" will show you all the movies which have been reviewed and given the same rating. Try it out by viewing the review for Mars Attacks!, and click on the Review Rating ticket.
MPAA Rating Information [11/08/96]
The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners have produced a brochure called Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Movie Rating System. We have transcribed here for your benefit. Learn about the ratings system and what it does for you!
Milwaukee Movie Theater History [11/04/96]
The Milwaukee Movie Theater History highlights the yesteryear of movie theaters in Milwaukee. It's interesting reading, and you can get the author's book with even more information on the subject.
Stadium Seating Indicator, Fine-Tuned Graphics [11/01/96]
Schedules now indicate via a graphic when a movie is being in shown in a theater with Stadium Seating. This indication will appear in the same column as the digital sound graphics. Some of the graphics have also been cleaned up.
Help Documentation [10/23/96]
Help documentation created to assist people in getting around. You can get to the help documents by clicking on the green questionmark in the navigation panel.
Interface Changes [10/23/96]
Interface changes begin. The BigScreen Navigation Panel is created.
ExecPC InterActive Announcement [10/22/96]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide get a major shot in the arm through publication by ExecPC InterActive. Read the News & Events article titled The BigScreen Cinema Guide Now Published by ExecPC InterActive
Alphabetized Movie Lists [10/18/96]
Movies are now listed in true alphabetical order, instead of a blunt alphabetical order. For example, "The Glimmer Man" is now listed before "Sleepers" (the word "The" was being alphabetized instead of "Glimmer").
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