Readers engaged in the never-ending quest to get out of paying for movie tickets now have a new option: Sinemia, a subscription service with a medium-complicated pricing model that's currently working to lure miffed MoviePass members into its fold. Having observed the prolonged train wreck that has recently been MoviePass service, probably, the company now offers its users a $10 credit for every friend they successfully sway away from another ticket purchasing app and into a Sinemia subscription. Those friends will also get $10 credits, so everyone wins—at least for the time being, because honestly all of these rackets seem a little bit scammy.
What is this latest scheme, you may be asking yourself, and it's a reasonable question given the sheer volume of start-ups launched to hack the movie-going experience. Simenia offers 4 plans: A one-ticket-per-month Classic plan, for a monthly fee of $3.99 that affords access to any theater and the option to purchase tickets ahead of time; a two-ticket-per-month Classic plan that costs $7.99; a two-ticket-per-month Elite plan for $9.99, which extends access to 3D and IMAX screenings; and a three-ticket-per-month Elite plan for $14.99. Granted, these prices are part of a "summer sale," and according to C-Net, sales like these pop up with fair frequency to confuse the pricing scale. (Plus, a $20 sign-up fee sort of undercuts the affordability aspect, unless you go ahead and pay for a year upfront.) But right now, the credit Sinemia loyalists accrue for poaching MoviePass and AMC Stubs A-List customers can be used either toward subscription fees or, shortly, for movie snacks.
Sinemia works basically the same way MoviePass does: The company sends you a pre-paid debit card that allows you access to the monthly movie(s) of your choice. And while it seems like some customers have been given the run-around—cards that don't arrive for months, purported Sinemia partner theaters not actually accepting the plan—truly nothing compares to the unmitigated chaos that has been MoviePass over the past month.
Hey @SinemiaApp, my theater does not accept Sinemia Cardless (although it is listed on your site) and the site says I may not get my physical card for months. How can I use your service?
— Kenneth (@NoticeMeKenpie) August 12, 2018
Just to quickly recap the recent plot twists in my favorite soap opera, MoviePass has dealt cardholders an impressive amount of drama these past weeks: In late July, the app crashed, leaving subscribers nationwide blocked from the box office access they'd already paid for. MoviePass had run out of money, and a $5 million dollar crutch handed over from its parent company, Helios and Matheson, did little to get things up and running again. Users continued to report widespread service outages in subsequent days, sparking uproar that culminated in the announcement of a new plan: Prices inflated from $9.95 per month for (theoretically) one movie per day to $14.95 for (theoretically) three movies per month. Amid customer outcry, the company pivoted back to $9.95 for three films each month, but the respite did not last long. Last weekend, subscribers found that their money bought them tickets to the widely panned horror flick Slenderman and... basically just Slenderman. Although the company said it would stick to the $9.95/mo. three movie option, members found out on Thursday that the film and showtime menus would be limited. And some of those who thought they'd cancelled their memberships discovered that their subscriptions had miraculously resurrected themselves.
Will Sinemia prove less of an unrelenting headache than MoviePass? Personally, I would not bet on it, but for the time being you and some friends can at least snag some low-priced seats. Based on recent upheaval, the time to act certainly seems nigh—if MoviePass has taught us anything, it's that the deals definitely don't last forever.