Remember the days when going to the movies cost less than $10? Maybe you remember when it was less than $5.
These days, a trip to the theater can cost a pretty penny. While the national average is $8.65, in many cities, like Los Angeles and New York, a ticket can cost up to or more than $15.
But thanks to one app, $10 can now go a lot further at the cinema.
MoviePass, run by Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe, is offering subscribers a deal in which they can see one movie per day for $9.95 per month.
According to KSDK: “MoviePass completes their one ticket per day services through the use of a credit card they send you. You pay the $10 a month through their app, then you select the exact movie you're going to see, and the company adds that ticket amount onto the credit card for you to use. You use this credit card at the theater to pay for your ticket. There's no gimmicks or fancy scanning you have to do, just using the credit card they send you.”
MoviePass only works at theaters that accept debit cards as payment.
And although subscribers receive tickets at a significant discount, MoviePass pays theaters the full price of each ticket used subscribers, Bloomberg reported.
Still, major movie theater chain AMC threatened the company Wednesday, calling MoviePass as “a small fringe player” and claiming its $10 plan “is not in the best interest of moviegoers, movie theatres and movie studios,” Variety reported.
“While AMC is not opposed to subscription programs generally, the one envisioned by MoviePass is not one AMC can embrace,” the company said in a statement read. “We are actively working now to determine whether it may be feasible to opt out and not participate in this shaky and unsustainable program.”
“This is so much like Blockbuster was when we rolled out Netflix or Redbox,” said Lowe, according to Variety. “It’s the big guy being afraid of the little guy offering better value to consumers.”
MoviePass, founded in 2011, originally offered the service to subscribers for about $30 a month. The company’s aim was to profit from subscribers who paid the monthly fee but didn’t use the service often enough to take advantage of the deal.
AMC Theatres will team up with CNN to broadcast the presidential election on the big screen on Nov. 8.
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The news channel's coverage will be offered for free to AMC Stubs members and their guests at 50 theaters in 25 cities nationwide. Participating cities include Atlanta, Boston, Orlando, Seattle and Jacksonville, Florida.
AMC Stubs members can bring two guests each.
Guests can choose to watch coverage in designated "red" and "blue" theaters for Republicans and Democrats respectively.
"On Election Night, as Americans gather in their communities to watch the conclusion of this historic election, we recognize that Democrats want to cheer with fellow Democrats and Republicans cheer with fellow Republicans," Elizabeth Frank, AMC's executive vice president and chief content and programming officer, said in a statement.
According to Deadline, the theater company used voter registration data to establish which theater locations should be designated as blue versus red.
Guests are welcome to attend the event at either "color" theater, regardless of their political affiliation.
The broadcast will begin at 7 p.m. E.T.
See a full list of participating theaters here.
After reports circulated this week that AMC Theatres would consider allowing texting during movie screenings, the chain has issued a statement quashing the rumors.
The statement says in part, "With your advice in hand, there will be no texting allowed in any of the auditoriums at AMC Theatres. Not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future."
Instead, AMC will focus on ways to enhance the theatre experience for moviegoers.
Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC Entertainment, recently said that he has considered allowing texting during screenings in an effort to appeal to a larger demographic, specifically, millennials.
"When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow,” Aron said in an interview with Variety magazine. “You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their (lives).”
He later tweeted, clarifying that allowing movie-goers to text is just an idea, and if approved, may be very limited.
Aron said the company has considered making specific auditoriums "more texting friendly."
Aron, current co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and former president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, has only been head of AMC for a few months, but in that time, he's advanced the company significantly. In February, he announced plans to buy Carmike, which would solidify AMC as the world’s top movie theater chain, according to Variety.
Aron is also pushing to expand AMC’s food and dining options, develop its loyalty program and market more aggressively.
But Aron isn't the first to consider allowing texting during movies.
Regal Entertainment CEO Amy Miles and Greg Foster, senior executive vice president of IMAX Corporation, both seemed open to considering allowing cellphone usage during a panel at the CinemaCon convention in 2012, Deadline reported.
"If we had a movie that appealed to a younger demographic, (like "21 Jump Street,") we could test some of these concepts (at some screens,)" Miles said. "You’re trying to figure out if there’s something you can offer in the theater that I would not find appealing but my 18-year-old son might."
"We want them to pay $12 to $14 to come into an auditorium and watch a movie. But they’ve become accustomed to controlling their own existence," said Foster, who added that without cellphones, some younger people may "feel a little handcuffed."
Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse -- a small theater chain disagreed.
“Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater,” he said. “I love the idea of playing around with a new concept. But that is the scourge of our industry. It’s our job to understand that this is a sacred space and we have to teach manners.”
League said that going to the movies should be a "magical" experience, but Miles said "one person’s opinion of magical isn’t the other’s."
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