I got MoviePass, & I Have No Regrets

I got MoviePass, and it's the best decision I made all quarter. The program is like Netflix for the movie theaters; indeed, it was founded by a former Netflix executive. I paid a flat rate of $9.95 per month to see up to one movie a day in the theater. Yes, for the price of one movie ticket, I can see up to 30 movies a month. Right now they're even offering a lower price of $7.95 per month. I know what you're thinking—and no, this is not sponsored, and I'm not getting paid to write this.

How it works 

You sign up on MoviePass.com using your credit card and then you download the app. When you sign up, they mail a physical MoviePass card to you, which is basically a red debit card. Once you get your pass (it took about 10 days to receive mine), you can start using it. It only works at participating theaters; unfortunately, AMC Century City used to participate and was the closest multiplex to UCLA. Now, you can go to The Grove or Santa Monica for a multiplex theater, but it also works at both the theaters in Westwood. 

You go within 100 yards of the theater, then sign in on your app. Click the movie and theater you want to see, and "check in." Evidently this loads the money onto your MoviePass. Then you go to the ticket counter like you're buying a regular movie ticket, but you pay with your MoviePass card. They swipe it, and voilà you have a ticket. 

Why it changed my movie habits

I originally wanted to get it because it's literally cheaper than the price of one movie ticket at most AMC style theaters, which can cost as much as $17 to see one single movie. This way, I can see a movie after work or on the weekends without feeling guilty for spending so much. I felt this was the perfect time to buy it since I wanted to see all of the Oscar nominated films (spoiler alert: I've now seen 8 of the 9 best picture nominees). 

I no longer feel conflicted about going to the theater; I can see whatever new movies I want. Obviously $10 is still a lot of money when you think about spending $120 a year at the theater, but it's a lot cheaper than the per-ticket price. I would've spent over $80 in the past month. Therefore, if you're someone who loves films and going to the movies, it's a great way to save money as long as you're willing to commute to the participating theaters. 

The downsides

The main drawbacks are that you might have to drive, Uber or bus to theaters in mid-city or Santa Monica to see certain films, since AMC is seemingly against MoviePass. However, as long as the Westwood theaters continue to accept it, I'll continue to use it.

Another downside is that if you cancel, you can't sign up again for another nine months. Although frustrating, I suppose it's fair since they're trying to avoid you canceling every other month if you only want to see some films. Finally, I've heard that some people on Twitter and the App store had trouble with the MoviePass app or had issues with customer services responses. I haven't experienced that, but fair warning. 

How are these guys in business? 

The question I ask myself every day. Though MoviePass has some theater partners, it usually pays the full price of the ticket to the theater. At that rate, it seems like MoviePass would soon go out of business since they're spending $80 on me for my paying $10 a month. Apparently their business strategies focus on targeting people who only go to the theaters a few times a year, or places where ticket prices are lower than they are in Los Angeles. Another way they can experiment is with partners and ads—now that they have more than 2 million subscribers to prove they're a valuable business. 

I've already convinced my roommates and coworkers to get MoviePass. It's up to you, and please purchase at your own risk. But I've absolutely loved saving money while seeing some rich, wonderful Academy Award nominees on the big screen. There's nothing like seeing them in the theater.