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Amazon Hacks by Paul Bausch

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Get Movie Showtimes

You can use Amazon to plan your evening by finding out when, where, and what movies are playing in your local theaters.

It’s Saturday afternoon—time to make plans for the evening. Of course the Web holds all the information you need to figure out what to do. Surprisingly, though, Amazon.com is among the sites that can help you out. One of the lesser-known features Amazon provides is movie showtimes. Figure 2-11 shows the home page of the Movies category (http://www.amazon.com/movies). When you provide Amazon with your zip code, you’ll see a list of the theaters in your area along with movies and times they’re playing.

Amazon movie showtimes

Figure 2-11. Amazon movie showtimes

The zip code form is an interface for creating a URL that gets the information you want. Typing your zip code and clicking Submit creates a URL like this:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/?index=showtimes[RETURN]
&field-power=zips5:insert zip code&field-date=insert date&item-start=1[RETURN]
&item-end=10

If you want to tweak the results page so that it displays more than one zip code, it’s possible to examine the URL and change some values. The first relevant value is field-power. You can set this to a two-part value that’s formatted like this:

zipsinsert mile radius:insert zip code

For example, if you want to find movies playing within five miles of Sebastopol, CA, you could set the field like this: ...

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