Yes, one of my friends who lived in a rural area was the first to show me AOL. He would run up phone bills in the hundreds of dollars every month. And then of course he would lose the connection any time someone picked up a phone extension to make a call. I didn't do AOL forums much so not sure what sort of theater boards there were. I know a cruise ship forum that still exists started as an AOL chat room, so I'm sure there are other sites that owe their birth to AOL and competitors.