As popular as Moviefone had already been, after the Seinfeld episode, a couple hundred thousand calls a week quickly turned into about a million a week. It's the kind of advertising money can't buy.


Hanging Up

But a few years later, the internet happened. Sure, it had always been there, looming in the background, but as that grating dial-up tone started sounding off in more and more homes across the country, the Moviefone calls started to decline. Adapting, again, Leatherman and his coworkers set up shop at and its subsequent smartphone app. So it was no surprise when AOL came a-knockin' in 1999.


While provided schedules, synopses, reviews, etc., it still relied on outside partners to power the site's ticketing function. And under the (former) internet giant's reign, Moviefone's online arm cross-linked with before being outright acquired by the ticketing site. Just a few years ago in 2012, though, Moviefone teamed up with Fandango, its current ticketing partner. While all these changes were going on in Moviefone's virtual realm, Leatherman remained the heart and soul of the phone line—until just last year, that is.

After Leatherman left the company in November of last year to pursue other projects (like his heavily syndicated Six Second Reviews), the fate of the telephone line became more or less sealed. With the founder, face, and voice of the company gone, hiring a replacement wouldn't only not seem right—it really wouldn't have made much sense. Some may still hold onto the old methods, but the telephone line had been falling steadily out of favor. And it's for this reason that Leatherman believes AOL, unfortunately, really didn't have much of a choice in shuttering the service, telling Gizmodo, "When was the last time you saw a 16-year-old talking to—well, anybody? Literally just having a conversation with anyone. It doesn't happen like it used to."


Twenty-five years is a long time for anything. Nearly a Bieber and a half. And much like dog years, tech ages at an exponentially faster rate than everything else surrounding it. So it's with understanding-yet-heavy hearts that we hang up on Leatherman's iconic, informative tones for the final time.

Goodbye, and so long to Moviefone.

Image: Getty Images/Evan Agostini