Fandango Joins L.A. Movie Ticket Market

Another company that lets consumers buy movie tickets in advance via phone or the Web has brought its service to the Los Angeles area. Fandango, an upstart backed by Edwards Cinemas and six other major theater chains, began selling tickets Tuesday for about 20 multiplexes with nearly 250 screens, spokesman John Singh said.

The company has exclusive deals with Edwards, Century Theatres, Regal Cinemas, Carmike Theatres and Cinemark Theatres and nonexclusive arrangements with Loews Cineplex Entertainment and General Cinema Theatres. Fandango debuted in other parts of the country as a free service, prompting its leading competitor, AOL Time Warner's Moviefone.com, to drop its service fees.

But in April, the two companies simultaneously slapped a surcharge onto their tickets. Moviefone now charges an extra $1 per seat, while Fandango charges 75 cents in Los Angeles, Singh said. A third competitor in the area is MovieTickets.com, which is backed by five theater chains, including AMC Entertainment Inc., and Hollywood Media Corp.

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