A Cure for the Summer Heat

It’s summertime and here in Memphis that means serious heat. It also means summer blockbusters. I would categorize myself as a content junkie when it comes to TV and movies. For TV there’s Netflix but not everyone is aware of a similar service for movies still out in the theater.

Recently I’ve mentioned my subscription with Moviepass to a few friends and they wanted to know more so I thought I’d share about it here. The service charges a flat monthly fee (currently $35 in Memphis but it ranges depending on your primary market) which gets you the ability to see any movie in almost any theater. I originally signed up for Moviepass when they initially went into beta back in 2011 but at the $50/month price tag I quickly found I wasn’t getting enough value from the service to justify what I was spending. The service has gone through a few reboots of sorts trying to find the sweet spot for both it’s customers and the theaters they want to participate in the service. When I received an email giving me $20 off the first month to try the service’s third major relaunch a few months back at $30/month I decided to give it another try.

Moviepass works by:
1. Using your mobile phone’s GPS to verify that your at the theater.
2. Using the mobile web site, iOS or Android app you select the movie and showtime you’re there for.
3. Completing it validation of your location and activating the MoviePass branded Discover card to make the purchase.[1]

So far it’s been 3 months and with the summer release ramp up of new movies I’ve started to use it a ton. Summertime really is the best time for a service like Moviepass with so many new movies coming out there is always something to go see. It also makes those decisions about movies that you’re just not sure you’ll love that much easier.
For me this included: - Argo (Yes)
- 42 (Yes)
- Olympus Has Fallen (Yes)
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation (No)
- Fast 6 (Yes)
- Epic (No)

While it’s advertised as unlimited movies there are (as always) some rules to the service. The biggest is that you don’t truly get unlimited movies. You can see each movie once and are limited to one movie per day. Something else that may be referred to as a restriction is that your MoviePass card can only be tied to one mobile device so sharing the service within a household isn’t simple. The service doesn’t include 3D movies[2] as of this writing either. The newest stipulation to Moviepass is the tiered cancellation fee after you’ve had the service for more than 30 days. While I’m not a fan of the cancellation fee I can see why it’s needed to avoid people jumping on and off the service whenever they feel like it.

All-in-all I’ve been getting a lot of value from the service and I wouldn’t consider myself a film connoisseur (clearly). If you enjoy seeing movies in the theater and typically (would) see more than 3 per month than Moviepass may be for you. It’s currently invite-only so you can sign up with this link if you’re interested. This link is limited to 10 people so if it isn’t working for you feel free to let me know on Twitter and I’ll try to get you an invite.

  1. I’m not sure if it’s just pre-loading the card with a dollar amount or activating a short-term purchasing window with a price ceiling.  ↩

  2. I have found a loophole though. If you tell the app that you’re going to see the 2D movie showing you can actually just buy the 3D ticket at the box office. This makes me even more curious how the backend activation of the card works.  ↩