In September 2019, MoviePass shut down for all customers. The company had been on life-support since 2018 due to financial problems, so the end had been nigh for a while.
The company’s demise means lots of film fans are on the hunt for MoviePass alternatives. Sure, the MoviePass offer of unlimited films for just $10/month is hard to match, but there are some solid alternatives out there which let you visit the cinema for a monthly fee.
In this article we take a look at the best MoviePass alternatives you can subscribe to today.
As you’ll soon see, all of the MoviePass alternatives are in-house projects run by individual theater chains. Indeed, one of MoviePass’ most significant issues was that the theaters were never entirely comfortable with the service.
AMC Stubs A-List was one of the first competitors to announce its launch. Ironically, the service went live in mid-2018, just as MoviePass’ problems were starting to become apparent.
The new venture built on the existing AMC Stubs brand by offering features that were never available to MoviePass users. Those features include being able to book tickets weeks in advance, a way to choose your seat, and access to premium formats like 4K, 3D, and IMAX—all of which were excluded from MoviePass plans.
Furthermore, there are no restrictions on when you attend. MoviePass users would often find blackouts on opening nights and busy holiday days. Other perks include discounted food and drink, free upgrades on popcorn, and priority queuing.
The AMC Stubs A-List isn’t a free-for-all, however. It does have some restrictions. Most notably, you can only watch three movies a week. Your allowance resets every Friday. There’s also no way to buy extra tickets for family and friends.
AMC Stubs A-List doesn’t require you to sign up for a long contract; you can cancel at any time. The service does not have a fixed price. It can vary from $20-$23/month, depending on which state you live in.
Regal Cinemas unveiled its movie subscription plan—Regal Unlimited—in July 2019.
Whereas the AMC plan aims to enhance the movie-going experience with added perks and benefits that weren’t available to MoviePass subscribers, the Regal Unlimited plan tries to replicate the originally MoviePass product more closely.
If you subscribe, you can watch an unlimited number of movies in Regal theaters. There are no restrictions on days or times, or on how often you can watch the same film. Sadly, you cannot buy tickets for other people.
Like AMC, the Regal Unlimited plan lets you book tickets in advance, choose your seats, and get a 10 percent discount on all food and drink.
There are three versions of the plan. The basic package costs $18/month, but only 200 Regal locations support the scheme (make sure you check with your local theater before you sign up). Regal Unlimited Plus covers 400 theaters; Regal Unlimited All Access covers every Regal Cinema across the US (more than 500).
The minimum contract term is one year. You cannot cancel during the period. And if you buy tickets for ScreenX, 4DX, IMAX, RPX, 3D, or VIP screens, you will have to pay an additional surcharge at the time of purchase.
Cinemark Movie Club lags behind AMC Stubs A-List and Regal Unlimited with regard to the benefits. However, it’s also cheaper, so you’ll need to decide what is more important to you.
For $10/month, you get one free cinema ticket per month. If you don’t use the ticket, it rolls over into the following month. You can watch a maximum of three free movies per day.
The Cinemark Movie Club plan does not impose blackouts on popular or busy days.
You’ll also get 20 percent off food and drink. And, importantly for many people, a Cinemark Movie Club plan entitles you to buy two additional tickets at the member price. If you always go to the movies with friends, you might find this perk appealing.
Having a Cinemark Movie Club subscription also automatically enrolls you into the company’s points scheme. You can exchange points for tickets, merchandise, food, digital downloads, and more.
The three plans we’ve looked at so far are all designed to appeal to more hardcore movie lovers (people who go to the theater several times per month). Without that kind of frequency, the plans make little financial sense for users.
The ArcLight Membership plan positions itself slightly differently. If you live in the Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Washington DC, or Chicago areas, you can sign up to the plan for just $15/year.
For that price, you get $1 off every cinema ticket that you buy online. You’ll also get one free ticket for your birthday, free popcorn upgrades, 10 percent off drinks, and—if you visit more than 12 times in a year—10 percent off gift shop items. The impressive perks and low price mean you don’t need to go to the theater more than a few times a year to get your money’s worth.
The Alamo Season Pass is still in beta. At the moment, it is only available in Denver, Kansas, New York, Austin, San Antonio, and a few smaller towns. A national rollout is due in early- to mid-2020.
In many ways, the service will offer the best of all the movie subscription plans we’ve covered. For example, you will be able to watch one movie per day, buy tickets up to seven days in advance, and purchase additional companion tickets for a discounted rate.
All regularly priced 2D and 3D movies are part of the program, though an additional $1.99 charge will be applied for 3D showings. The Season Pass will not cover you for special events or other premium tickets.
Because the plan is still in beta, Alamo has not confirmed the price. At the moment, the company is trialing different prices in different areas. The cheapest plans are $20/month; the most expensive plans are $30/month.
Other Ways to Watch Movies
Some people have questioned whether movie theaters can continue to survive. As streaming services gather pace and new plans like Disney+ come into existence, more people are saving money by watching at home instead.
If you’re not bothered about the movie theater experience and just want to watch films from the comfort of your sofa instead, be sure to read our articles on the best Kodi add-ons for free movies and the best free apps for watching movies online.