Find Movie Showtimes with Spotlight in Mac OS X
Want to see a movie tonight? Wondering what the showtime are of a movie playing nearby? You can quickly find local movie showtimes by using the Spotlight search feature in Mac OS X. Yes you read that right, the same Spotlight that works as an app launcher and file search engine, can also uncover movie showtimes and other details about whats playing in theaters!
The Spotlight movie finder feature is really easy to use, but you’ll need a modern version of OS X from 10.10.x or later to have access to the theater showtime ability. The rest is a piece of cake.
Finding Local Movie Showtimes with Spotlight on Mac
- Hit Command+Spacebar to bring up Spotlight search anywhere in Mac OS X as usual
- Type the name of the movie to retrieve local showtime information about, wait a moment for the showtime info to populate in Spotlight
For example, this Spotlight search for “Age of Ultron” shows all sort of details about the movie:
Not only will you find the movie showtime starts, but you’ll also see the movies release date, the movies runtime, the movies genre, the movies plot summary, the cast and crew, and the movies rating (sometimes – not sure why the rating only appears on some movies, perhaps bug). Note that if you hit the “Return” key, Safari will open to the Fandango website for even more movie details – hitting the Return key is not necessary to simply see movie start times and the data outlined above.
This is great if you’re wanting to see a movie this weekend or perhaps later in the evening, and you’re sitting at your Mac wondering when showtimes are. Since it’s all built into OS X, it’s extremely fast, and does not require using a web browser, FanDango, or any of the other showtime retrieval services and apps – it’s all right there in Spotlight.
You can even quickly plan a night out by using Spotlight to find local listings and restaurants too, just in case you want a bite to eat before heading to the theater.
If this feature isn’t working for you it’s likely because you either have Location Services completely disabled on the Mac (or for specific location services like Spotlight), you disabled many Spotlight search abilities in the features preference panel, there’s no active internet connection, or you’re not on a new enough version of OS X software.
Obviously this is most relevant if you’re currently on a Mac, but if you’re already out and about you’re not out of luck. iPhone and iPad users can get showtimes and movie info from Siri with simple requests, which means you’ll be able to quickly find a movie and when to head to the theater with whatever Apple device you’re using.
Spotlight is becoming very full featured on the Mac and iOS platform, even though their abilities are somewhat different. Don’t miss browsing through many more Spotlight tips, you’ll be sure to learn something new.