In the face of Netflix and other formidable forces, I refuse to abandon the movie theater experience. The Twentieth Century Fox fanfare on the big screen makes my heart swell, the “Star Wars” crawl brings tears to my eyes and don’t even get me started on how much better popcorn tastes when consumed in a plush red chair.
Frequent moviegoing is an expensive habit, so imagine my excitement when I discovered MoviePass, a service that charges $9.95 a month and allows you to see one film a day. That’s cheaper than a single ticket in most major cities. The company now has more than 1.5 million subscribers and pays the theaters full price for each ticket, hoping to eventually make money by attracting studios as investors.
But MoviePass recently sparked a hullabaloo when it realized it would do just fine if it pulled out of 10 high-traffic AMC theaters in cities such as Boston and Los Angeles. While one might assume it’s because MoviePass bleeds money at popular locations, CEO Mitch Lowe attributed the decision to the company’s desire to “strive for mutually beneficial relationships.” AMC executives have explicitly stated that the theater chain has no intention of sharing the admissions and concessions revenue that MoviePass claims it has had a hand in generating.
Basically, mom and dad are fighting about money again, and MoviePass subscribers are caught in the middle. I’m inclined to stick with the service amid this epic feud — seriously, Ryan Murphy, take notes — but won’t deny that dropping theaters affects its overall value. So, in the spirit of fairness, here are some points to consider if you’re on the fence about signing up.
As of now, MoviePass still works at a good number of theaters.
If you live in a city like Boston, where the most accessible theater is one of the rejected 10, you’re out of luck. Same goes for those of you who prefer ArcLight Cinemas or Landmark Theatres. But for moviegoers who are fortunate enough to live in areas like Washington, where the MoviePass app says it works at AMC Loews Georgetown, AMC Loews Uptown, AMC Mazza Gallerie, Regal Gallery Place, the Avalon Theatre, Miracle Theatre and the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market, plus more in the suburbs, it’s worth the 10 bucks. (Or, if you’re a Costco member, $89.99 for a full year.)
Read more here