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"Now Showing" Enhanced with Sticky Options, Faster Speed

Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 8:38 PM

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We just completed a major cleaning of "Now Showing," which is the section of this site that displays showtimes and information for movies that are playing in theaters. In conjunction with a similar project that we released last week for The Marquee, every line of code was reviewed and entire functions were rewritten to bring it up to current standards.

Increase Speed by Cutting the Fat and Working Smarter

The result of several weeks of work is that this portion of the site is almost 10% smaller, which means that it's also faster than before. While the difference is in milliseconds, that adds up when you have thousands of people accessing the site at once. Additionally, when we saw an opportunity to do things better, we took it. The end result is that the site works more efficiently and is easier to maintain, and we are now set up to make improvements to its functionality in the future.

Many of the changes that were made are behind the scenes, and if we did our jobs right, you won't notice a difference. However, there is one new feature that we hope you will like and find useful.

Sticky Option Selections

The options you select in Now Showing are now saved for the duration of your visit. For example, when you select to sort movies by Name or Release Date on a particular page, the site will remember that setting and show the movies sorted by that selection every time you visit that page. You can try this out by visiting the Academy Award Winners and Nominees page. The default sort order is Release Date, but you can change it to Name and the next time you visit that page, you will see the movies sorted alphabetically by default instead.

We've also added this "stickiness" to the "Show" option on the Coming Soon page, so you can choose to view only "big" releases on that page. Of course, you can always change your mind, and the site will happily remember your choice for you.

Likewise, your range selection on the Nearby Theaters page is remembered as well, and that setting is also remembered in "The Marquee" (theater showtimes and information). For example, if you choose to see all theaters within 20 miles anywhere on the site, that range setting will be remembered and used as your default any time you need it. This should make it easier for you to get to the results you're looking for more quickly, and with less clicking to select the options you desire.

Currently, this stickiness will last only for the duration of your visit. In the future, we plan to save them to your account here for future visits, too.

Next Up: Mobile-Friendliness

One of the motivating factors in this project was to prepare the site for a mobile-friendly version. Now that we've accomplished this step, we're able to move forward on that project. It's a long time in coming and we appreciate your patience while we strive to deliver a great experience for those with phone-sized screens. Please stay tuned for announcements in the future!

As always, we welcome your feedback on these enhancements and all of the features of The BigScreen Cinema Guide! Please feel free to post a comment at the end of this article or complete the Feedback Form and let us know what you think!

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