IMdB: The Internet Movie Database Marks 21 Years Today, from Rags to Riches.

Today, October 17, marks the Internet Movie Database service’s 21st birthday. It’s legally grown up — and riper than ever. Its current owner, Amazon, has so many movie streaming tablets and offerings on the table for the holidays and at January 2012’s CES show, IMdB integration will likely play centerstage.

Good for founder, Col Needham.

On this date in 1990, IMdB’s founder and CEO, then film hobbyist Needham, added a widget to a popular newsgroup.rec.arts.movies USENET newsgroup that added a fast, searchable actor database. Everyone I know who used it loved it. I found my favorite 1990s cult film, Gadjo Dilo, there.

As Needham and IMdB were among the first to jump on the Internet, still pre-Web in 1992, his new USENET group rec.arts.movies movie database was a hot destination.

IMdB initially ran on servers in Cardiff, Wales, but expanded before long. And now it’s everywhere —  except China, which has imposed restrictions. Tech pros in situations like that can just get information via VPN or proxy, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone buck another nation’s laws. Just sayin.’

Happy a Groovy Birthday, IMdB. You have a lot to be proud of.



  1. Gina Smith

    I really recommend you check out Gadjo Dilo. Isador Serban, a Roma, casted all real roma (gypsies) and the plot rocks. Thx again imdb.

  2. Steve Krause

    Wow! 1990…. I think I was still back running a PCBoard BBS back in those days. Great memories.

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