MoviePass Returns with Interesting iOS App and Debit Card Combo
by Ethan Anderton
October 2, 2012
Last year, when the service MoviePass was announced, it was met with contempt by many of the movie theater chains, and it essentially disappeared into obscurity. But now it's back, and rather than waiting for the cooperation of the movie theaters, they've found a workaround to make their service work at nearly any US theater. Right now the service is invite only (try to get into the beta right here), but once you get invited, you download an iPhone app and a reloadable credit/debit card that together, pay a $30 monthly service, and this promising new service is now at your fingertips for maximum movie watching. More details below!
Here's a rundown from the press release at Engadget for how the service works:
How It Works:
CHECK-IN AT THEATER: Members use their MoviePass app to check-in at a theater of their choice and select a movie and showtime, which unlocks their MoviePass reloadable debit card.
PURCHASE TICKET: The member then retrieves their ticket for their desired movie by visiting the theater kiosk and using their MoviePass card, exactly how they would use their own credit card at the kiosk.
Users get one movie ticket a day to use, but they can only see any given movie once. Otherwise, they have to pay for the ticket themselves. Right now IMAX and 3D showings are not part of the system, and MoviePass also doesn't work for advance tickets, so you can't use it to get midnight showing tickets ahead of time. In addition, the ticket-buyer’s phone and MoviePass card must be close to each other and within 100 yards of the theater where the ticket was reserved for the service to work.
The press release notes, "Annual membership pricing varies based on location, with an average price of $29.99 a month. Smartphones are required for the new service. MoviePass is currently invitation only with general availability of the service to be announced in the near future. The invite-only launch will be rolled out to current members as well as the nearly 75,000 individuals on MoviePass' waitlist. Current members are able to invite up to 10 friends to join the service, as part of the invite-only launch. Prospective members can also join the waiting list at MoviePass.com." So if you get in, let us know how this service is working out!
I'm lost. They want me to pay $30/mo. to take extra steps to buy movie tickets? I'm not seeing the upside. Someone enlighten me?
McWetty on Oct 2, 2012
Sorry, we left out a key piece of information. The service gives you one movie ticket each day to use. So you're essentially spending $30 for 30 movie tickets. We added some info above to clear things up.
Ethan Anderton on Oct 2, 2012
Sounds good but you can only see each movie once. Theres about an average of 2-3 new movies a week (for most people), so really it seems like you only get 8-12 tickets. Not that that's bad, but I think the value would be much better if you could repeat movies, even if you can only do one a day.
Mike P. on Oct 2, 2012
Well that sucks...seeing movies multiple times would be one of the biggest reasons to consider this.
axalon on Oct 2, 2012
Yeah, but it's still a good value with tickets costing about $10 each.
Ethan Anderton on Oct 2, 2012
So for a couple to use this service effectively, each would have to have their own subscription, card, and iOS app? Hopefully they come up with something a la Netflix, where you can pay a bit more to be able to purchase more tickets...
Mel on Oct 2, 2012
I have been doing this all year with the Marcus Passport, $25 a month and I get to see whatever i want. It is however limited to just the local Marcus theatres, but since theyhave a monopoly in my town, there are 3 of them! They even let you see whatever you want all day long.
cliffyskogs on Oct 2, 2012
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