Recently MoviePass reached out to me to offer a one month trial membership of their theatrical movie viewing service. It’s a really neat concept. You use their web app to reserve tickets to a movie at your local movie theater, show up, and use your MoviePass card to purchase your tickets. Repeat daily as needed, all for $35.00 a month.
Obviously if you frequent the movie theater like I do this can be a fantastic deal. Going to the movies is definitely a costly endeavor. Aside from the cost of tickets, which seems to get higher every year, there is parking, concessions, and possible a babysitter for all you parents out there. The question of value in regards to MoviePass has nothing to do with the monthly cost though, it really comes down to time. It’s one thing to spend a couple of hours at home with a film that you can watch and possibly multi-task at the same time, but taking 2-3 hours of your day, several days a week, to go to the movies isn’t for everyone.
The process of reserving your tickets and purchasing them at the theater is fairly simple. Although you need to pretty much be AT the theater in order to check-in (the app said within 100 yards). When you go to pick up your tickets, you might do what I did accidentally and tried to use the “Pick Up” tickets option. Although you’ve checked in and reserved your tickets, they aren’t actually purchased yet. You still need to purchase your ticket with your MoviePass card.
As a film critic and someone who pretty much lives their life in a movie theater, MoviePass is simply awesome. For those who blog about movies but don’t have access to press related events or premieres, this could also be a relatively inexpensive way to see the films you need to write about. In regards to indie films, MoviePass actually works at several indie movie theaters here in Los Angeles such as the Downtown Independent, CineFamily, Arena Cinema, and many more. Most of the major chains here participate (excluding the Arclight which is a bit of a bummer), but AMC, Laemmle, and Pacific theaters work with MoviePass.
Overall MoviePass is a great addition for people that like to go to the movies a lot. If you were to subscribe to MoviePass, Netflix (or Redbox), and maybe Hulu or Amazon’s instant service, you’d still be far less than the average cable bill, and it would actually get you out of the house a few days a week. You’d almost never miss the new movies coming out on Thursday night or Friday, and you’d cut your date night ticket costs in half.