Keeper of the Plans

Want to go to the movies every day? You can, for less than the cost of one ticket

For a flat subscription fee, MoviePass will allow users to watch a movie every day at the Warren Old Town, as well as various other theaters in the Wichita area.
For a flat subscription fee, MoviePass will allow users to watch a movie every day at the Warren Old Town, as well as various other theaters in the Wichita area. File photo

If you haven’t already heard about MoviePass, now’s the time to consider signing up.

MoviePass is a popular subscription service where – for a flat fee of less than $10 per month – you can watch one movie at participating movie theaters every day.

And in Wichita, you watch those films at any of the Warren theaters, except the East location. You can also use it at Derby’s Plaza Theatre, the Augusta Theatre and Newton’s Chisholm 8.

Just this week, MoviePass announced a special $7.95/month offer for first-time subscribers.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, it works, and there are plenty of Wichitans who regularly take advantage of MoviePass.

Here’s how it works:

▪ Subscribe to MoviePass by going to www.moviepass.com, and download the app for your smartphone.

▪ Wait up to two weeks to receive a MoviePass debit card in the mail.

▪ When you go to the theater, you will see showtimes for all of the films screening that day. You select your showtime and “check in” to the screening – which can only be done when your phone senses that you are in close geographic proximity to the theater. Then, purchase a ticket to the screening you checked into and pay with your MoviePass debit card, which the company reloads every time you check in.

It’s that simple; however, there are a few caveats.

MoviePass can only be used to pay for a standard, 2-D screening of the chosen film. It can’t be used for premium-priced tickets, and it can’t be used in combination with any other form of payment.

You can only buy tickets for yourself with MoviePass – the company says on its website that it’s working on creating couple or family subscription packages.

But how does MoviePass actually make money, when a monthly subscription costs less than one ticket in most places?

It’s not entirely certain – as the company, which has been around for seven years, previously would charge (a seemingly more reasonable) $50 per month for the service.

According to Variety Magazine, MoviePass “is operating at a loss and subsidizing its users with the hope that at some point it will successfully demonstrate to studios and theater owners that it is growing their customer base.”

Its founder, Mitch Lowe, is a former president of Redbox and co-founder of Netflix.

Who knows how long it may last, as the website Tech Crunch says its new bundle is an attempt to lure in more users “before its funding runs out.”

But as of now, it gives locals a cheap option to get out to the movie theater more often.

The $7.95/month deal also includes a membership to Fandor, an online streaming service, and a year’s subscription must be paid up front. So if you’re signing up for MoviePass now, expect to pay $115.35 outright for a year of movies (which includes the service’s activation fee).

For more information on the service, visit www.moviepass.com.

Matt Riedl: 316-268-6660, @RiedlMatt

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