I got a $9.95 a month MoviePass
subscription in October.
Over the past two months, I’ve saved more than $100 on
the cost of movie tickets.
My favorite part about the subscription is that I can
see both new releases and indie film screenings.
Going to the movies is one of my favorite pastimes.
But it’s not a frugal outing in big cities like New York and Los
Angeles. Where I live in Hollywood, a basic, no-frills evening
ticket for a new release costs $18.75.
Thankfully, movie-going was rendered affordable when I signed up
the startup that offers $9.95 a month subscriptions to see one
film a day in theaters.
The company previously offered the same subscription for $50 a
month, but slashed the price back in August, causing a frenzy
among movie-goers and
theater operators alike. More than
150,000 people signed up for MoviePass in two days, the
company said, and it has since struggled to keep up with demand.
In fact, I signed up on September 20 and didn’t get my MoviePass
debit card in the mail until exactly a month later. It was
frustrating, no doubt, but that feeling quickly faded after the
thrill of seeing my first “free movie.”
I’ve been a MoviePass member for two months now, and I’ve seen at
least eight movies, ranging from small screenings of indie films
to packed, blockbuster showings.
In total, I’ve saved over $100 on the cost of movie tickets,
minus the $20 in fees for two months.
The best part
Not only is the cost savings fun to brag about, but I love being
able to see so many different types of movies in the film capital
of the world. It’s mine and my boyfriend’s favorite free date
MoviePass says it works at 91% of theaters in the country,
including big chains like Regal and AMC, as well as independent
theaters. It doesn’t work for 3D showings, but I’m not a fan of
In November, we caught an epic screening of the film “2001: A
Space Odyssey” at the iconic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood
On Halloween weekend, we went to a midnight screening of the
horror flick “It Follows” complete with a director’s Q&A (and
an unsuspecting Quentin Tarantino sighting).
The MoviePass app works just like any other movie-ticket app, in
that it lists all nearby theaters and available showtimes.
The fact that it’s “free” to see any of the showings on the
MoviePass app draws my attention toward ones I likely wouldn’t
have paid full price to see.
The worst part
I’m a MoviePass evangelist, but I would be remiss not to mention
For starters, the app is buggy and not very user-friendly. In
order to see a movie, you have to “check-in” to your desired
showtime on the app once you’re less than 100 yards from the
theater. It’s usually in your best interest to arrive early,
especially for popular screenings.
A few times I’ve checked-in and been met with a never-ending
loading wheel. When that happens, I usually quit out of the app
and start over. It’s not a world-ending flaw, but certainly an
Lastly, MoviePass added
some fine print to its terms of service in November that’s
fear-inducing for its most avid members. In short, MoviePass
reserves the right to change the monthly price or number of
movies a member can see at any time. The company hasn’t shared
data on the average number of movies its members see each month,
so it’s hard to know what would be considered over-usage by
My advice? Sign up for MoviePass now while it’s still cheap, and
use the heck out of it. Or make it a thoughtful holiday gift for the
movie-lover in your life.