Do you go to the movies once a month? If so, you can get more for your money by joining either MoviePass or Cinemark’s new Movie Club.
The subscription services are like Netflix for theaters. By paying a monthly fee, customers can reap the rewards by seeing movies and/or saving on concessions.
The average price of a movie ticket in the U.S. is $8.93. With an annual subscription, MoviePass costs just $7.50 a month, while Cinemark’s Movie Club costs $8.99 a month. This means if you’re seeing at least one movie a month in theaters, it’s to your advantage to join one of these subscription services.
But what are the differences between them? Which one may be better for you? Let Take 2 help you figure that out as we break down the benefits of MoviePass and Movie Club.
MoviePass took the movie-going world by storm in August when it slashed its monthly fee from $45 to $9.95. In November, the subscription program dropped its price even further by offering subscribers a pre-paid option. Members can pay $89.95 upfront for a one-year subscription, which costs just $7.50 a month (accounting for a $6.55 processing fee).
What do you get for that monthly fee? MoviePass allows members to see one movie a day each month at participating theaters. Yes, I said that correctly: a movie a day! The monthly program excludes 3-D and IMAX showings.
How does MoviePass work? After a subscriber signs up at https://www.moviepass.com/auth/session, he or she is mailed a debit card. When subscribers are within 100 yards of a participating theater, they can check into the movie showing of their choice on the MoviePass app. The cost of the ticket is loaded onto the debit card, which the subscriber then presents as payment at the ticket booth. The debit card is used like any other debit or credit card.
In Northeastern Pennsylvania, theaters that participate in the MoviePass program include R/C Movies 14 in Wilkes-Barre, Cinemark 20 in Moosic, Iron Horse Movie Bistro in Scranton, Regal Great Escape 14 and IMAX theater in Dickson City, the Regal in Hazleton, and the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock.
Cinemark Movie Club
This week, national theater chain Cinemark launched its own monthly subscription service, Movie Club, as a rival to MoviePass.
Cinemark’s Movie Club costs $8.99 a month. The monthly subscription allows members to see one movie a month, excluding 3-D, XD and IMAX. Unused tickets can roll over. Members can add additional tickets for $8.99 each and save 20 percent on concessions.
Movie Club can also be used in tandem with Cinemark Connections, the chain’s movie rewards program. Cinemark Connections allows members to collect points from buying tickets and concessions. Members can redeem them for digital downloads, movie memorabilia, trips and contests.
Subscribers can sign up at https://cinemark.com/movieclub. Locally, the Cinemark 20 theater operates in Moosic.
Which one should I choose?
Basically, it depends how often you go to the movies and which theaters you attend. But the deeper you dig, a clear winner emerges between the two services.
At Take 2, we both have MoviePass, so we can speak clearer to this program’s benefits. I switched from the $9.95 a month option to the annual subscription to maximize my savings.
As said before, a yearly subscription to MoviePass costs just $7.50 a month. As the average movie ticket costs $8.93, you’re actually making money by going with this service.
If you see more than one movie a month, MoviePass is the obvious choice. The monthly fee allows you to see a movie day for the entire month. That’s essentially unlimited movie-going!
On the other hand, Cinemark Movie Club’s monthly $8.99 fee only includes one 2-D movie a month. That means you still have to pay for any other movies you’ll attend that month. The 20 percent discount on concessions helps, but it doesn’t replace all those other showings you can get with MoviePass.
Before you sign up for MoviePass, make sure your local theaters participate in the program. You can do this by downloading the MoviePass app from iTunes or Google Play, and entering in your zip code.
It’s important to note that MoviePass can be used at Cinemark theaters, like the Moosic location, and other NEPA theaters, while Cinemark’s Movie Club can only be used at Cinemark.
MoviePass can also be used in conjunction with the reward programs offered at various cinemas. Locally, this includes the Frequent Moviegoer rewards at R/C Movies 14, Cinemark Connections and the Regal Crown Club. Just make sure you show your rewards card or rewards app to the ticket seller before you present your MoviePass debit card as payment.
Cinemark’s Movie Club does have one advantage: You can reserve your seats online or through its app. You cannot reserve seats through MoviePass; you do that at the theater when you purchase your tickets.
One last thing: If you lose your MoviePass card, it’s easy to rectify. Notify the help section on the MoviePass app, and the service will quickly respond. Just submit a verified mailing address and they will mail a new card to you.
Here at Take 2, we suggest going with MoviePass. But whatever you decide, we hope you get the most out of your movie-going experience.