Kris and I went to see The Queen yesterday at a local second-run movie house. It’s an older theater, and it reminds me of the places we used to go when I was a kid. It’s clean, cozy, and the snacks are reasonably priced. Parking is easy. “Why don’t we come here more often?” I asked after the film.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I guess it’s because we never know what’s playing here.”

She’s right. We don’t take a paper, and we never check to see if the movies we want are playing there.

“You know,” I said. “I’ll bet I could create a custom RSS feed that would keep us updated on which films were playing here. It’d make a great cheap date. A movie and popcorn for just ten bucks!”

I was shocked at how easy it was to create my feed. Here’s how I did it.

  1. A site called iSnoop offers a free script that polls Google to find what’s playing at your local theater. You enter a zip code and the script generates a list of nearby theaters.
  2. After generating the list of theaters, click on the name of your favorite venue to see which films are currently playing and — the key to this hack — to get an RSS feed for that location’s schedule.
  3. It’s simple to add feeds for each theater you like to your feed-reader. I created a group called “Movie Schedule” into which I directed the feeds for ten movie theaters we’re willing to attend.

This is exactly what I wanted. I’m now able to sort the movie schedule by both film and location. If you haven’t explored the world of RSS yet, now may be the time to try it. Google Reader offers cross-platform RSS support. If you’d prefer a stand-alone application, try NetNewsWire on Mac, or FeedDemon for PC. Use this tip to create your own custom movie schedule. And while you’re at it, subscribe to Get Rich Slowly!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, we’re off to see Casino Royale again. (My favorite Bond film ever.)

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