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Amazon wants to be in pictures

The e-tailing giant unveils a new tab on its Web site, dubbed "In Theaters," with movie show times and customer and editorial reviews of the latest films.

Amazon.com is making its film debut.

The e-tailing giant on Friday launched a new tab on its Web site, dubbed "In Theaters," where online users can go to find movie show times and read customer and editorial reviews of the latest films. Amazon, which is already working with Touchstone Pictures to promote the upcoming film "Pearl Harbor," has also entered another co-marketing agreement with Buena Vista Pictures Marketing to promote its movie releases.

Seattle-based Amazon said it intends to ink partnerships with other major movie studios. Financial terms of the Buena Vista deal were not disclosed.

Amazon is joining other Net players such as Yahoo and America Online that also have begun offering users a movie guide.

Yahoo Movies and AOL's Moviefone.com both offer ways to search local areas for show times and tickets. Local city guides, such as Ticketmaster unit CitySearch, closely tie ticket sales with local event information.

For some time, movie studios have been turning to Amazon to promote their new releases. And for Amazon, offering popular information such as show times, trailers and reviews, is a way to keep visitors on its site longer and potentially turn them into shoppers.

The new movies section will also provide users with personalized movie show times via e-mail, sending moviegoers a weekly schedule of listings and show times according to their ZIP codes. The e-mail will also contain reviews, photos and star bios. The section will be equipped with typical Amazon features such as weekly polls, customer reviews, similarities, search and browse, and streaming movie trailers.

To create the new film section, Amazon worked with IMDb.com, a Web site that it owns and operates and that provides information on some 250,000 movie titles and houses a database of other entertainment resources.

News.com's Jim Hu contributed to this report.