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As a movie lover I go to the movie theater pretty often. It’s one of my favorite things to do. And in these days of subscription everything (boxes, TV channels, food delivery, etc.) it shouldn’t surprise you that there’s now a subscription service for movie theater tickets. The pioneer in this space is MoviePass, which offers unlimited daily movie theater tickets for one super low price of $9.95/month (per person). It sounds amazing. But is it worth it? As a member, I’m just going to talk a little bit about my experience and whether or not I think it’s worth the hype. This post is not sponsored, by the way.
I had originally heard of MoviePass back in 2013, and the idea sounded awesome but I quickly dismissed it after I learned the price was around $40/month — which was way too expensive for me personally. I just couldn’t justify paying $40-$50 a month for it when I could get my tickets cheaper (I usually go to matinee showings). But now that movie theater prices are skyrocketing, the idea doesn’t seem so crazy.
So when MoviePass announced their new low monthly price of $9.95 earlier this year, I was so surprised. And then they recently ran a promotion that brought the price down even more to $6.99. What?? I can see as many movies as I want for $9.95? Is this legit? I was definitely skeptical but since I knew this company had been around for a little while wanted to try it out this time.
They’ve also recently added a $7.95/month plan, which allows you to see 3 movies per month and get a free 3 month trial of iHeartRadio All-Access (for new subscribers only). Their service is seriously cheap.
I first checked to see if they had any theaters near me that supported MoviePass, and I was surprised that they supported many of the theaters in my area. At the time this info was hard to find but now they’ve added a map to their home page where you can find out what theaters are supported near you.
After thinking it over for a bit I decided to give it a go. I signed up, paid my $10, and then waited for my card. Yes, you have to pay $10 first to get your card. I didn’t like that at all. At one point I started to feel stupid for paying them $10 and getting nothing, so i freaked out a bit and thought about cancelling my account. But they promised that my subscription wouldn’t start until I activated my card, so that was good. It took a few weeks but I finally got my card in the mail.
Buying a ticket
With MoviePass, you are allowed to see one 2D, regular movie per calendar day. That means no premiums like IMAX, XD, 3D, D-Box, etc. and no marathons of 2 or more movies in a day. It also means you can’t share a card (not even with family). It’s also worth noting that you can’t see the same movie more than once. So if you go to the app to view showtimes for a premium showing, it’ll say “This premium screening is not supported by MoviePass.” And for a movie you’ve already seen, it’ll say “You’ve already seen this movie.” I’ve noticed that some customers are really pissed about it, but I’m not. I don’t usually see a movie in theaters more than once anyway, and I’m ok with it if it keeps the subscription price down.
You have to be within 100 yards of the theater to check in so you can buy your ticket, and you can only purchase tickets for same day showings. This means that you can’t purchase tickets online from home or in advance. This was a bummer for me, because the 2 theaters I frequent in my area have reserved seating, and I like to choose my seat before I get there to avoid any awkward placement (I’m picky, and I don’t like to sit too close or off to the side). There are some theaters, though, that MoviePass does allow e-ticketing for. It seems they have a deal with these particular theater chains, so check their theater listings for details.
Once you’ve checked in to a movie and you’re ready to buy your tickets, you just go up to the window or kiosk and buy your ticket normally, except you use your MoviePass card to pay instead of cash or your personal card. At first, the ticket-buying process seems really weird and takes some getting used to, but now that I’m used to it, it’s easy.
So what’s the verdict?
So is MoviePass worth it? Yes, if you’re a frequent moviegoer and you don’t care about (or don’t have access to) certain features like premium showings, pre-sale ticketing, and online ticket purchases. To maximize your savings, you’ll also need to make sure your ticket prices are high enough to justify the cost — obviously if your tickets cost $3.50 and you only go twice a month, you’re not really saving any money. You’ll also have to be mindful of the amount you’re spending at the concession stand, or you’ll end up spending more money than you save (I know I can’t resist buying popcorn!).
If you’re a casual moviegoer (like my husband, who only goes about 5 or 6 times a year), or you can’t do without online/advance ticketing, then it might not be for you. MoviePass is completely legit though, and for me it’s totally worth it.
Have you tried MoviePass? Do you think it’s worth the hype?
Photo by Tuce