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MoviePass is dead: These are the best alternatives



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James Martin / CNET
                                                

Well, it's official: Cirque-du-Soleil's trampoline performer, the MoviePass discount ticket service shut down on good on Sept. 14 . What is once heralded as a potential savior of movie theater is now the stuff of Silicon Valley legend. Meanwhile, competitor Sinemia abruptly shut down its doors in April.

Now what? If you're still craving the big-screen experience, but you do not want to pay the exorbitant prices, are you out of luck? Nope: A few movie-subscription services are left standing, each offering a similar flat-monthly rate option for enthusiastic moviegoers. AMC Stubs A-List and Cinemark Movie Club

AMC Stubs A-List

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AMC
                                                

Price: $ 19.95 plus tax; price may be $ 2- $ 4 higher in certain locations.

What you get: Three tickets per week for any format (IMAX, 3D, etc.) and all the benefits of AMC Stubs Premiere membership (including 10% off food and drink). Up to three out-of-state tickets per year.

Limitations: AMC theater only, which can be found in 34 states. Requires a three-month commitment. There's no bring-a-friend or family option. No Stubs points booked for A through a list.

Summary: AMC's 2017 feud with MoviePass resulted in A-List, its own private subscription service . [A-Listmadeitsdebut

Worth it? Even if you live in a city that has a higher monthly rate (in Los Angeles, for example, it's $ 23.95), the value proposition remains high: you can see as many as 12 movies per month. The support for 3D, IMAX and other premium shows is definitely a plus, but for now you're stuck paying full price. The bigger question: Do you live near at AMC theater?

Cinemark Movie Club

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Cinemark's new Movie Club scores you a slight discount on tickets.


Cinemark
                                                

Price: $ 8.99 or $ 9.99, depending on location.

What you get: One ticket per month, 20 percent off concessions, additional tickets at member pricing. Unused tickets can roll over.

Limitations: Cinemark theaters and 2D movies only.

Summary: Cinemark, Movie Club does not really measure up to stubs A-List. You pay just once a month, with the option for additional pay-as-you-go discounted tickets. The rollover option is useful for those months when there's nothing to see, but if you want anything other than a 2D showing, you'll have to pay more.

Worth it? In my neck of the woods (Detroit metro), a single Cinemark ticket costs $ 10.50. So $ 9 a month saves me only $ 1.50. If I bring my family of four, we each pay $ 9 instead of $ 10.50; now I've saved $ 6. I'm so likely to save a few bucks on popcorn. That's all fine, but it's hardly earth-shattering, and not really enough to get out of the house on a snowy evening. The real issue, though: there are no cinema theaters near where I live.

The verdict

In case it's not obvious, the only real MoviePass / Sinemia alternative is AMC Stubs A-List. Cinemark's barely discounted one-ticket-per-month plan may be more sustainable than what MoviePass tried and failed to offer, but it offers little excite movie buffs.

A-List, however, offers real value to the cinephile, and given that it's backed by the actual theater chain and not a third party service, it should be able to go the distance.

If Regal Cinemas theaters are closer to you, it might be worth your while to consider Regal Unlimited. which like AMC's A-List costs between $ 18 and $ 23.50 per month based on how many theaters you would like. Generally, if you live in a higher-cost area like New York, you might have to pay the higher rate.

And if you have any Alamo Drafthouse theater nearby, you may well be ready to go on your Alamo Season Pass service that's currently in beta. Pricing on this service has not started, but is not interested in trying it out. For now, those living near the Yonkers, New York Alamo can guarantee their pass on a $ 19.99 a month. A $ 1.99 surcharge applies to 3D films as well as online convenience fees.

What do you think? Have you tried either of these services? If so, tell us about your experiences!

Rating: Originally published two years ago.

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