For film devotees, it takes a lot to upstage Turner Classic Movies host Robert
Osborne when he makes an appearance in Atlanta.
But when the genial film expert appeared recently at the 70th
anniversary of Atlanta’s Plaza Theatre to introduce Frank Capra‘s
“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” some fans in the audience were
temporarily distracted by a glowing iPhone being passed around.
The gizmo was playing a crisp black and white film trailer via the
brand-new Turner Classic Movies app.
The $2.99 app was quietly introduced on the iTunes Apps Store last month
and will roll out this month for BlackBerry and Android devices. It
took nine months to develop (an image of what the downloaded app button looks like is at right).
“I’m guilty of that too,” concedes Dennis Adamovich, TCM’s brand
and digital activation senior vice president. “I was at dinner last
night and I was passing my phone around the table too!”
For classic film buffs, the app offers TCM’s complete 24-hour schedule, a
film database, movie clips, trailers, promos, trivia and TCM’s
critically acclaimed daily MovieMorlocks blogs devoted to the geekiest
“Ultimately, with TCM, we want to be able to offer the brand to fans
everywhere they go, not just in their living rooms,” explains Adamovich.
The one sticking point during the app’s development? Finding a quality
video player that would satisfy the network’s persnickety moving picture
“We knew the image had to be as vivid as TCM in high definition,” says
Adamovich. “Luckily, we had lots of in-house movie buffs here to run the
For the rapid fans of the movie channel, until TCM can finalize its
fiendish plans to shrink and mass produce Osborne to fans, a smart phone
app is the next best thing.