Are you tired of paying a fortune every time you want to go see a movie? It’s ridiculous how much it costs. This week, I’ll provide a list of theater subscription options and show you which one is best. Plus, a free downloadable comparison chart!
Going to the movies these days is a luxury, especially if you make it a family affair. Instead of taking out a loan to go see the newest installment of Star Wars, let’s discuss how to essentially watch free movies with a theater subscription.
Other than smuggling in food and snacks to save money, which we’re all doing, there is more that can be done to bring back this American past-time.
Back in 2018, I provided a complete guide on how to use Moviepass. Well, those were the glory days. They changed everything and now there is some good competition in this growing market.
This week, I am going to break down the four major subscription services. There are several things to consider here: price, function, film availability, location, customer service and film format to name a few. Grab my custom comparison chart and let’s dive in.
Totally disrupting the market in 2017, Moviepass lowered its cost to $9.95 a month for unlimited movies in August. You could see up to one movie a day, which translated into practically free movies.
It was still mildly inconvenient. For example, you had to be at the theater to check in and buy your ticket. A few big movies hit and then things started to go downhill fast after the release of Avengers: Infinity War in April 2018.
I won’t bore you with all the specifics, but problems ranged from requiring users to submit pictures of their ticket stubs, to making users see the big films 2-3 weeks after release, to releasing a limited number of tickets each day, and more.
Customer service went in the toilet as well. The parent company has been on the brink of bankruptcy several times over. But, enough on the past. Where do they stand now?
Currently, there are three Moviepass plans.
This $9.95 plan is the original pricing that made Moviepass so popular. However, now you only get certain movie selections and show times, which vary day to day.
Showings are listed approximately a week in advance and typically a week at a time. This is the only service of the four I’m sharing with you today that restricts what you can see.
Users still report terrible availability, making it a basic survival-of-the-fittest, requiring people to wake up early to get a ticket and having to make a completely separate trip just to get it.
Prices vary based on market, so you could end up paying anywhere between $12.95-$14.95 a month depending on where you livegeo.
This $14.95 plan, which can cost up to $17.95, supposedly allows you to see all movies unlike the Select plan. That is the only difference!
This $19.95 plan, which can run up to $24.95 based on the geographical market, takes all the features of the All Access and allows one of those movies to be a special 3D or IMAX screening.
By the way, with all these plans, you can only see 3 movies a month!
In my opinion, the only perk Moviepass has going is you can use it at any theater.
You can’t order tickets online. Customer service is abysmal and it’s not getting any better. Recently, MoviePass was in the news for some questionable business environments and employees. Personally, I wouldn’t give this company a penny of my money ever again!
The most similar to Moviepass in both good and bad ways, Sinemia’s prices and services are all over the place and confusing.
There are essentially five plan options spread across three types. Classic plan options allow for 2D movies only with a plan for either one or three movie tickets a month.
Elite plans allow for two or three 3D or IMAX movies per month. Lastly, there is a version of the Classic plan that allows for one 2D only movie a day like the former Moviepass plan.
There are two other important areas to address, however. First their regular prices range from $14.99 to $89.99 a month, but there is almost always a sale going on. It may be the summer sale, fall sale, or even the Golden Globe sale! It seems to be a gimmick.
Second, family plans only apply to four of the plan options. You don’t really save anything by using the family feature though, maybe a dollar a month on average.
You can use Sinemia at any movie theater as well but, for purchasing tickets, you are required to use an app like Moviepass but there is no physical debit card like Moviepass.
If you want advanced ticketing, you go to movietickets.com to make sure tickets are available and then go back and forth between it and the app to purchase the tickets. It’s a lot of work and you have to pay the online convenience fees each time in addition to the Sinemia monthly subscription!
Again, the service doesn’t come with a debit card like Moviepass but if you want to use one to avoid having to pay the convenience fee each time, you can purchase one from Sinemia for $15. However, that means you can’t order advance tickets online for those purchases.
Customer service is pretty bad as the company is located in Turkey. In fact, the best way to get service is to contact them through Twitter. Of course, everything I just said about Sinemia is subject to change just like Moviepass and both of them have a sordid track record.
Because of all the hidden fees and loopholes, the company has a lot of disgruntled customers.
While Moviepass and Sinemia are not the greatest options, if you live in an area where these next two solutions aren’t offered, then they may just be your only options when aiming to get free movies. So, consider them carefully.
If this sound like a ton of stuff to remember, that’s why I developed the handy comparison chart. Make sure to grab it!
Cinemark Movie Club
When Moviepass disrupted the market in 2017, Cinemark was the first theater chain to respond with their own offer. Honestly, in my opinion, it is the saddest and lamest of the options.
For $8.99 a month, you receive just one 2D ticket. You heard that right! One ticket for $9. That’s definitely not the way to finding free movies. The only perk is if you don’t use the ticket it rolls over to the next month.
You also receive 20% off concession prices, but those are already marked up significantly anyway. Additionally, you can use your ticket to purchase advance tickets and without the convenience fees.
3D and IMAX are available for an upcharge. There is also no physical debit card. Of course, you can only use this membership at a Cinemark theater.
I haven’t heard good or bad either way when it comes to customer service but, in all honesty, you could get tickets cheaper at a wholesale club.
AMC Stubs A-List
AMC is the largest theater chain in the country and offers the best plan I’ve seen so far.
For $19.95 to $23.95 a month, depending on where you live, you get one plan option to see up to three movies per week. Any or all of them can be in 3D or IMAX format as well and you can see all three in one day if you’d like.
It is extremely easy to use. There’s no debit card and you do everything through the app.
Simply select your movie for the week and check the box to use one of your three tickets. You can even use advanced ticketing and waive all online convenience fees.
Did you use your three movies for the week? That’s okay. You can still make your online reservations for the coming week or the future so you can reserve the seats.
Your movie allotment resets every Friday morning. Be aware that you do commit to three months of service.
The customer service is pretty great with a toll free number you can call anytime. You can even place a call to your local AMC theater.
So, the membership approach is truly the future of theater-going. Companies and theaters are now responding, like the Alamo Season Pass.
One exception is Regal. They are the second largest chain in the country but they still do not offer a theater-going program. However, it shouldn’t take long for them to jump onboard as their parent group in the UK already has a program in place.
Don’t forget, I’ve developed a handy comparison chart breaking down each of these theater-going subscriptions to help you decide what’s the best strategy for making free movies, or at least very inexpensive ones, a real possibility. Make sure to grab it!
You should enjoy your theater-going experience but do it while finding more money to fund your dreams.
Question: Do you want to go to the movies but make sure it doesn’t break the bank? Maintain your theater-going hobby and enjoy free movies while maintaining your budget. Let me help you find more ways to save. Book a free consultation today!
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