Minitel was the computer that users could access through telephone lines and it was invented in France. There is little knowledge of the different services that were offered on Minitel. It is especially difficult to find information about the user’s experience when using Minitel and to find information about specific services/servers. Despite this, we can piece together what it must have been like to use 3615 Cinélibé and other Minitel services similar to it.
3615 Cinélibé was a Minitel service that showed users the address for all the films playing in France. On the server, users could sort through the films by title, city, or district (Camé 1995). Similar to 3615 Cinélibé, there was 3615 arts. If you dialed 3615 arts on your Minitel, the service would show you the details about events, theaters, movies, festivals, and more in France (Riding 1993).
The main purpose of 3615 Cinélibé seems to be to advertise films that were playing in France. Being able to look at the times and locations for the films might have made it easier for more people to attend. Although we know little about who created this service, we can deduce that it is possible that this service was created by the places that were playing these films. It would be beneficial for them in terms of getting more people to go to these events.
If you were unable to go to any of the film screening times, you had the option of using 3615 VIDEOLASER. This server would allow users to order the tape for delivery at their homes. While that seems convenient, it was not the best option because the tape would take approximately 8 days to get delivered to your house. 3615 VIDEOLASER was not the only server that offered this service. Some of the other servers that offered this service are 3615 K7, 3615 Filmoff, 3615 MMV, and others. None of these servers were as convenient as 3615 Cinélibé because of how long it would take to receive the tape and the list of films on these servers was very limited. In addition to that, the films on the server were categorized by genre, which made it difficult to search for films. Especially because not all films fit neatly into one genre (Camé 1995).
Some similar services include 3615 DISC, which you could also use to order films. This service was more convenient than the ones mentioned beforehand. This is because 3615 DISC had 20,000 films and allowed users to search for films by title, actor, director, or genre. This service also gave users the option to choose the Colissimo option, which would deliver the film to the users’ house in 48 hours (Camé 1995).
While there is little information on these services it seems as though some of the services are similar to things, we can do very easily on the internet today. In order to watch a movie, one could easily pull up showtimes and purchase tickets online. It is also fairly simple to watch any movies on Netflix or any similar service if you pay for it.
Camé, François. 1995. “Minitel Chronicle: 36 15 Blues trumpet. 3615 Cinélibé and 3617 Electre.” Libération, March 24th, 1995. https://www.liberation.fr/ecrans/1995/03/24/chronique-minitel-36-15-blues-trompette-3615-cinelibe-et-3617-electre_126046/
Maloney, Dan. 2019. “ARDUNO REVIVES A CLASSIC 1980S MINITEL TERMINAL”. Hackaday, February 27, 2019. https://hackaday.com/2019/02/27/arduino-revives-a-classic-1980s-minitel-terminal/
Riding, Adam. 1993. “OUT THERE: PARIS; The Electronic Ties That Bind.” The New York Times, February 14, 1993. https://advance.lexis.com/document/teaserdocument/?pdmfid=1516831&crid=69b4366b-b643-4a1c-a87b-3bbf9e7f0724&pddocfullpath=%2Fshared%2Fdocument%2Fnews%2Furn%3AcontentItem%3A3SC6-XD40-0024-J404-00000-00&pddocid=urn%3AcontentItem%3A3SC6-XD40-0024-J404-00000er-00&pdcontentcomponentid=6742&pdteaserkey=h3&pditab=allpods&ecomp=yzvnk&earg=sr4&prid=d1e22de4-84e5-411d-869b-4c79b5fc92ac