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Movie listings go the way of the cassette tape.

Movie listings go the way of the cassette tape. (photo)

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I’m one of those horrible people personally responsible for the death of newspapers: I haven’t bought one in years now. And, like my news, I get my movie times online. Clearly, I’m not the only one: according to an AP news report, the country’s two biggest multiplex chains — Regal and AMC — have stopped paying for small-print listings in newspapers across the country with hardly anyone but the papers’ long-suffering editors noticing. For those of you who haven’t picked up a paper for even longer than me, small-print listings are the showtimes that aren’t boxed off and clearly demarcated as ads; they look like another part of the entertainment section, but they’re paid ads.

When those listings were cut from the Washington Post two months ago, a few huffy readers did contact ombudsman Andrew Alexander , who had to explain the listings were a paid ad rather than a public service. For the most part, though, the public couldn’t care less; the people really distressed are the newspapers, losing increasingly rare ad revenue. AMC claims no significant loss in ticket sales has been seen and Regal’s in-house surveys show 60-80% of respondents get their listings online already. Even the lesser-known Carmike Cinemas — a regional chain based in Columbus, GA — has cut or entirely eliminated their newspaper presence in 50 markets and received exactly one complaint in return. The death rattle of newspapers continues apace; movie times, like apparently everything else, are moving online.

While it’s inarguable that most people now turn to the web for movie times, I’d be nervous of any kind of model that eliminates print listings entirely. The reason: like a lot of people, I don’t own a Blackberry, iPhone or any other kind of portable device that would quickly hook me up with showtimes on the go. And while I’m not about to plunk down $1.50 (or whatever it is now) for a daily, I do appreciate being able to pick up a free alt-weekly or daily that has showtimes in it. (And, despite the media’s self-documented decline, there’s more free dailies than you’d suspect.) There’ll always be your incurious type of time-killing viewer who shows up to the theater and see whatever’s playing next, and most anyone who can afford a multiplex ticket can probably get access to the internet somehow. But it’d be nice to think that people without PDAs wanting to make plans on the fly could still rely on print — not everyone can afford an iPhone just to figure out the start time of the next matinee. Not that those really exist anymore either.

[Photo: Regal Cinemas]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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