MoviePass Is Back—Here’s What You Need to Know

MoviePass is your ticket to films on the cheap

Cinephiles, rejoice! After a three-year hiatus, MoviePass is back in action. The subscription service, which originally allowed moviegoers access to unlimited films at any theater for just $10 a month, shut down in 2019 because the business model was unsustainable. Now, however, MoviePass is getting a second chance at life. That’s great news, considering all the new comedy movies and Halloween movies about to be released.

MoviePass CEO Stacy Spikes learned a lot from its initial, failed run and has implemented a new system that benefits both consumers (who want an affordable way to see the best movies) and theaters, which took a major economic hit during the pandemic and left movie theater employees without work.

The response to the relaunch has been massive, probably because film buffs prefer a guaranteed discount over researching the cheapest day to go to the movies. Within 24 hours of opening a waitlist, the subscription, which is currently in beta mode, had 463,000 sign-ups, according to Insider. Still curious? We have all the details on the new and improved MoviePass. Read on to find out how you can save money at the movies.

What is MoviePass?

MoviePass is a subscription service for people who love to catch movies in the theater. Subscribers sign up for one of three tiers (for $10, $20 or $30 per month), each of which grants them a certain number of credits they can put toward movie tickets at participating MoviePass theaters across the country.

The company is currently nailing down its theater partners based on its subscriber waitlist. But while we don’t know which locations will accept the service, we do know from the MoviePass website that it’ll work with all major theaters that accept major credit cards in the United States.

So when can you get in on the action? The waitlist closed on Aug. 29, and now the only way to join the coveted service is to have a friend invite you. Make sure to hit up pals who are members (especially if they have great movie theater etiquette) to score an invite. Then hang tight. The program will roll out in stages nationally throughout September.

Why did MoviePass shut down?

MoviePass shut down in 2019 because it took too big of a swing while trying to woo new members. A service that, at one time, allowed subscribers to see a movie every day of the month for just $10 sounds like a dream, but it was a logistical nightmare.

At its inception, MoviePass cost $40 per month. But when new leadership took over, the company tried to gain more subscribers by slashing prices. It was trying to compete with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, which were really throwing the traditional moviegoing experience for a loop.

Things didn’t exactly go according to plan. It’s estimated that in 2018, the company was losing a whopping $21 million a month. MoviePass filed for bankruptcy in 2020.

What’s different with MoviePass this time around?

Perhaps the biggest difference between the original MoviePass and MoviePass 2.0 is the tiered pricing. In the past, there was only one flat rate, which all subscribers paid. Now, MoviePass holders have a choice between paying $10, $20 or $30 a month.

That’s not the only change. Instead of getting unlimited access to movies, as the original rate granted, you’ll get credits based on your MoviePass tier. You can pick and choose how to apply your credits. The company hasn’t released many details on how, exactly, these credits will work. A matinee might cost you fewer credits than a Friday night showing of the latest blockbuster superhero movie, for instance.

While the change means moviegoers will have to budget their credits, they’ll still be able to save a few bucks in the meantime.

Are there other movie ticket subscription services?

Since MoviePass ended its first run in 2019, several other movie ticket subscription services have popped up in its place. These are largely specific to theater chains.

AMC Theaters, for example, has its AMC Stubs A-List. Through this program, you can catch up to three movies a week at an AMC location. There are three tiers, but the cost is dependent on your location. Ultimately you’ll be paying anywhere from $19.95 to $23.95 per month for the subscription.

Regal Theaters has a Regal Unlimited membership plan, with tiered plans priced based on your theater’s location, anywhere from $18 to $23.50 per month. With the membership, subscribers can see unlimited movies in a specified number of locations (200 theaters for the lowest tier and any Regal theater for the highest).

The nice thing about joining a service like MoviePass is that you aren’t committed to just one theater chain. Its subscription will work across many cinema brands.

And, of course, you should always check with your favorite theater to find out about any free rewards clubs it offers. With these, you can usually earn rewards and special perks simply by being a loyal customer. And hey, if you’re more of a homebody, just think of all the action movies, romances and comedies on Netflix you can watch—in your pajamas, no less.

Sources:

  • MoviePass: “FAQs”
  • Business Insider: “MoviePass says it had over 460,000 signups to its waitlist within 24 hours”
  • NPR: “MoviePass Has Officially Shut Down, And We Don’t Know If There Will Be A Sequel”

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