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I need to scrape a theatre webpage to know whether the bookings for next week has been opened. I am planning to write a scraper if the page has the required HTML element for the next Friday based on the current date.

For example, if the current date is June 4-9, I should scrape the page https://www.spicinemas.in/chennai/show-times/10-06-2016?seats=2

Basically the date in URL will be the next Friday as it is the releasing date.

For specific movies, I like to store the name and its releasing date in DB so that it will take special cases for them.

Which tool would be optimal and take least time? I need to write this for several Movieplex websites and each one has different mechanism to check if the booking has been opened.

Is PhantomJS suitable for this? Please suggest.

  • Does the tool must be written in Java or Python, or are other programming languages fine, too? – unor Jun 2 '16 at 13:50
  • Fine if there is any other languages. Other than Java, i have to learn and implement. I don't think language will be the main barrier here in implementation. – Babu Jun 2 '16 at 14:43
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If the page is straight html, (not flash or query based), you should be able to do this very quickly and simply by using the python's Requests and Beautiful Soup libraries.

The best bit is that you can rapidly test it out using python or iPython interactivly.

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In addition to Steve's answer here, you can check out Python's lxml library which is a bare-bones scraping library in Python.

As libraries like Scrapy and Beautiful Soup are written as wrappers over lxml, it is faster than them and most Python-based scrapers.

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