How Can You Pass on MoviePass

After that title, how could you pass on reading this article! Now, you’re here to learn more about MoviePass and my experiences with it! As a caveat, I did reach out to the MoviePass corporation for any insights they may be able to provide, but unfortunately I never heard back.

MoviePass is a movie based subscription company, think of it like the Netflix of movie theaters. Well, that is awfully convenient, as film industry tycoon Mitch Lowe became CEO in 2016 and adopted a very similar model to that of Netflix, where he was also CEO. Essentially, a user pays $9.95 per month in exchange for the ability to see one movie every single day of the year. Now, for someone like me who loves to watch movies but doesn’t love to part with the $16 to do so, MoviePass is perfect. And that is not only true for me, but also for producer Brad Miska via twitter , “MoviePass is genius. There’s no way it has a negative effect on box office. It helps get people into theaters for movies they normally wouldn’t rush out to see”.

So, how do you see movies? After subscribing for MoviePass and downloading the app on iPhone or android, your physical MoviePass will be sent to you via snail mail in 5–7 business days…. emphasis on the snail, however, as mine took a full 2 weeks to arrive and I live within 5 miles of their headquarters. When you receive your pass, it looks like a red debit card, and that is what it is, a debit card for only movies.

To see a movie, what you do is allow the app to know your current location, and then you click on theaters on the right hand side, click on the theater of your choice and then choose your movie and showtime.

Once you have a show in mind, you show up at the theater at the appropriate time, click on the movie you wish to see, check in, and voila, your card is loaded with the exact cost of the movie ticket. You have to make sure to have both your phone and the card, as they are essential to being able to see your movie. Through having your phone on your person and checking in only when within a 100 yard radius of the theater, MoviePasses is assuring that it’s not your roommate, or your friend using your subscription, they are making sure that it’s actually you. You then go to the ticket counter as you normally would, you say the movie you wish to see, hand them the MoviePass like any other form of currency, they will swipe it like a credit card and you are successfully ready to grab your popcorn, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! To see the steps of MoviePass in real time, please watch this cinema quality clip of me at my local theater… well, cinema quality may be a stretch as I filmed in on my phone, but it was filmed in a cinema so not a complete stretch of the truth. https://youtu.be/EB0MllrQyGY

Although the price point seems a little good to be true, especially for a thrifty college student like me, at what cost is this cheap movie ticket coming to you… what is being sold in return? MoviePass uses a premise much like FaceBook and Twitter. MoviePass analyzes your age, where you live, and what movies you have seen and when you saw them to therefore predict the next movie that you will see and what movies you will be interested in. MoviePass serves as a platform for targeted advertising, for films to place ads within the app to encourage you to see a new movie based on your viewing preferences. Essentially, you are selling your movie habits to marketers in exchange for very cheap movie tickets… I’m still not sure how comfortable I am with this but, oh well, I like seeing affordably priced movies. In all honesty, when signing up for MoviePass I thought the cheap price was because they assumed you wouldn’t be paying for the movie so instead, you would buy a highly caloric and overpriced popcorn, although that’s not a main focus in their sales model. MoviePass also follows the model that you may see a lot of movies in your first few months of subscribing, but after that, the fad fizzles away… much like a New Year’s resolution gym membership. However, unlike the gym, MoviePass does not require a year contract or any sweat, so one can subscribe for one month if they so choose.

How Have I used my MoviePass? Well, I may fall into the overzealous new subscriber, but nonetheless, my MoviePass has worked wonderfully in NYC. I have never had a problem at the theaters and convenience has been a main factor in my movie seeing experience. My app has also never malfunctioned… knock on wood, and of the three movie theaters I have tried, so not a scientific sample size, all of the theater staff have been quite friendly and familiar with MoviePass and how it works.

My theater of choice is the Loews Lincoln Square AMC, for convenience purposes, as I cannot complain about the 5 minute commute. When there, I interviewed a very friendly ticketing clerk who choose to remain anonymous for the purposes of this article. This women told me of MoviePass’s immense popularity. She explained that so many people are using the red debit cards, that 3 specific kiosks have been set up for MoviePassers to help control the line. I didn’t have the heart to tell the sweet old woman that all of the kiosks are set up for MoviePass to work, as I have successfully used many different kiosks that aren’t part of the three, face it, if there is an opportunity for me to avoid human interaction, then of course I will capitalize on it. The ticketing clerk went onto explain how she has observed MoviePassers of all ages, not just college students, millennials, and yuppies, which was my prediction. Similarly, she said that MoviePassers come at all showtimes, but specifically in her experiences, the early evenings are the most popular, that doesn’t come at all of a shock to me or I’m sure to you for that matter.

What is surprising, however, is that after telling my parents about MoviePass, they also subscribed and for the most part, have enjoyed their experiences thus far. However, the experience of MoviePass in small town Connecticut is far different to the experiences that I have received. When going to the local independently owned cinema, my parents run into more frequent problems in the staff’s lack of knowledge in what MoviePass is and how it works. The ticket sellers do not know how the movie theaters get paid, do not understand the MoviePass’s functionality and continue to try to put both tickets through on one MoviePass, to no avail I must add. MoviePasses only work for individual tickets, hence the 2 subscriptions, 1 for mom and 1 for dad. My parents have also experienced an app glitch, where they were at the theater and unable to check into their movie. Luckily, the ticket seller was understanding and let them in anyways…that’s how you know that you aren’t in New York anymore, but that’s not acceptable when the MoviePass subscription is this companies whole business. So, without scientific accuracy, I conclude that MoviePass is most conducive in a city setting, which is why I think that my experiences thus far have been great.

Please respond below with any experiences that you’ve had with MoviePass, or with any questions, comments, or concerns:)