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UK cinema searches and APIs

Whenever I plan a few days’ stay in a city (in the UK) I usually look up what movies are on. And every time I do I’m frustrated that it seems unnecessarily hard.

The kind of questions I want answered are:

  • Where, in [area of this city] can I see [Movie] on Saturday afternoon?
  • Show me the movies playing within 2km of [location] on Friday between 19.30 and 20.30, with a list of cinemas and showtimes for each.

That kind of thing.

Sometimes Googling for a movie name and location will sort of help, but it can be hard to find the correct query incantation to make Google’s “Performance times” widget appear, and it never has quite enough info.

If you know of a site that I haven’t found, do let me know in the comments or by email or on Mastodon.

[Having written all the below, I realised that Film Chase’s site can answer questions like “Show me the movies playing within 2km of [postcode] on [date]”, which is better than nothing.]

[Update: Letterboxd recently added a “Showtimes + tickets” link to each film’s page. See Poor Things for example. But some cinemas are confusingly named and plenty of others are missing entirely. It’s also quite cumbersome if you want to look up showtimes for several movies. Thanks, Paul.]

Years ago there was a handy site built by one person which could do this kind of thing but it had to stop because CloudFlare prevented scraping the source of its data, and all the available APIs were too expensive.

At this point I always start thinking, “Maybe I should build a site for this,” and then look for APIs.

In the hope it inspires someone else to do this instead of me, here’s what half an hour of searching found, with pricing and links to pricing pages where available:

§ UK movie showtimes APIs

Film Chase

  1. $0 / month for 50 requests / month
  2. $50 / month for Unlimited requests / month, 5 per second

International Showtimes API

  1. Free trial for 7 days
  2. €149 / month (no geo-locations, run times, age-ratings, language, format, ticketing links, etc)
  3. €299 / month (no format, ticketing links)
  4. “Let’s talk”


To request a price from us, please complete the form below and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours (Monday-Friday).

While you are waiting, you can register for a free API key which gives you 75 requests with real data. At the same time we give you an API key for our Sandbox environment, which gives you unlimited requests.

PA Media

Fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch

(The invisible form is blocked by something in my browser, I assume.)

§ Again, if you know of any UK movie showtimes APIs I’ve missed, get in touch and I’ll update the list: in the comments or by email or on Mastodon.

I assume Film Chase’s API would be the least expensive at $50/month and, while I haven’t tested the API, it looks to provide all the useful extra data, like latitude/longitude, booking links, run times, etc.

Build something that’s useful enough to enough people and you could maybe at least cover your costs in donations/subscriptions. My main worry would be that such a site is entirely reliant on a single company’s API and pricing, with other options being a lot more expensive.

§ My mind also wanders towards thinking, “Maybe you could create an open movie showtimes API? With people manually entering the showtimes for their local cinema each week? Or, if it was successful enough, cinemas and chains uploading their own data?” Which would be great but I’m uncertain how much hassle it would be to organise, and how patchy its information would be. But still, it’s not impossible is it?

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