I just hit the “cancel” button on my MoviePass app. I gave it a real chance, wasting money month after month while they changed the terms and reduced the number of movies I could actually see. Now it’s time to start investigating alternatives to MoviePass.
What is MoviePass, you ask? It is a subscription service for going to the movie theater. You pay a flat monthly fee and you can “choose from a rotating select number of films daily.”
When I first subscribed to MoviePass, I could see unlimited movies for $9.95/month and just about every movie in theaters was available, with the exception of IMAX or 3-D. But then they started changing things. First, they forced me to take a picture of my ticket stub every time I saw a movie. Not a huge deal, but a little annoying. Next, they changed from unlimited to 3 movies per month. Still a pretty good deal. With ticket prices in my area hovering around $15, it was worth it if I saw even one movie a month.
But then MoviePass started offering only “rotating select films.” For three months I tried to find a movie available via MoviePass and failed. I would look at the app and find one movie (and a crappy one at that) available. Even when I tried to see Ant-Man and The Wasp in my theater on a weekday afternoon 2 months after its release, it still wasn’t available through MoviePass.
So I’m done. But I still love the idea of a movie theater subscription service.
Alternatives to MoviePass
AMC Stubs A-List
I’ve been a member of AMC’s Stubs rewards program for years which earns me points toward free concessions and tickets. Now they have the A-List subscription service.
Just announced last summer, AMC’s A-List is probably the closest thing you can get to the original MoviePass. For $19.95 per month you can see three movies per week. ANY three movies, no exceptions. You can even see multiple movies in one day (another thing MoviePass did not allow). You also get a 10% discount on food and drinks at the theater.
AMC is the world’s largest theater chain, so you’re likely to find one near you. Unless you live in a rural area, like me… my closest AMC is 30 mins away.
My personal evaluation: AMC is not my closest theater, and it’s not even my preferred theater if I’m going to drive out of my way. For $20/month, I can get 3 movies per week – WAY more than I’d even attend. And I’d have to pay for another member of my family to join me, since I typically take my husband, daughter or son to the movies with me. Bottom line for my family? $40 for virtually unlimited movies in a theater that is not convenient to me.
Sinemia offers a lot of options, including a family plan that I really like. I rarely go to the movies alone, so having the ability to buy tickets for my plus-one is a plus. You can use their ticket service in any theater in the United States.
Note: The prices below are listed as a “Halloween Sale” on the Simenia web site. Prices may vary.
With Sinemia, you can choose from the following plans, billed annually:
- 1 movie ticket/month for $4.99 (excludes IMAX & 3D)
- 3 tickets/month for $8.99 (excludes IMAX & 3D)
- 30 tickets/month for $29.99 (excludes IMAX & 3D)
- 2 tickets / month for $12.99 (includes IMAX & 3D)
- 3 tickets / month for $17.99 (includes IMAX & 3D)
Like most movie subscription services, only ONE person can purchase a ticket to a movie. So I couldn’t get the 30 tickets/month option and bring my family of four to the movies. That’s where the family plan comes in.
Sinemia’s family plans let you choose 2-6 people to add to your plan. For example, you can choose a plan that gives you three movies/month for two people for $20.99. Other options are available, with a choice of number of tickets and the inclusion of IMAX/3D.
I don’t like that they make you pay annually though. You can choose to pay month-to-month, but then they hit you with a $19.99 “initiation” fee. And you can’t watch two movies on the same day, but I don’t think that’s a big deal for most people.
My personal evaluation: It’s a risk to pay up front for a year, especially after my experience with MoviePass changing the rules again and again and offering a deteriorating service. But that’s really the only downside to Sinemia. For my family, I’d probably start with the one movie/month for two people family plan at $9.99 for a total of $119.88 for the year.
CineMark Movie Club
If CineMark is your local theater, they have a basic program that will save you money. You pay $8.99/month for your subscription. That gets you one movie ticket/credit, BUT you can buy up to two additional movie tickets per month at $8.99 each.
The good news? You can roll over your “movie credits” each month and they never expire! I love that feature. And you get 20% off concessions.
The bad news? You can only use your club credits for 2D movies.
My personal evaluation: Though there’s no CineMark in my area, their movie club would get me and a guest into one movie a month for $17.98 (nearly double the cost of Sinemia). But 20% off concessions and the ability roll over credits month to month might make this worth considering.
Of course, you could skip the theaters altogether and just wait for movies to make their way to cable on demand or a streaming service. But if you, like me, enjoy the movie theater experience immensely and want to find a way to save money, check out one of these movie subscription services.