MoviePass.com: $50 a Month to Go to the Movies As Many Times As You Want

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Especially during the hot and humid days of summer, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go to the movies in icily air-conditioned comfort as much as you want—without paying for tickets each and every visit? A new startup allows you to do just that.

The startup is called MoviePass, and it’s debuting in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend, soon to spread to other cities around the country. For a flat rate of $50, subscribers can enjoy “unlimited” movies at a choice of theaters over the course of a month.

“Unlimited” is in quotes because there are, in fact, limits. First, a subscriber can only see one movie per day, so the idea of spending a whole day at the theater and catching four films will cost you. Also, there’s no re-watching the same movie; if you want to see the Harry Potter film a second time, you’ll have to pay full price for the second showing.

Other than that, would-be subscribers should know that tickets (or passes) are non-transferable, 3-D and IMAX movies will cost you an extra $3 a pop, and tickets must be purchased on the day of the show. You may be wondering: Why would I have to purchase movie tickets? Doesn’t the pass cover that?

Well, yes, sorta. But the way the pass works, you must officially “purchase” tickets through a partner service such as MovieTickets.com, and then get a redemption code (via smartphone, typically) in order to pick up actual tickets at the theater.

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In addition to the $50-a-month plan, the company is exploring the possibility of offering a $30 pass that allows four movies per month, and a “roaming” pass that’d allow subscribers on the go to see movies in more than one city. MoviePass launches nationally this fall, when it expects to offer access to 40% of country’s movie theaters.

Is the pass worth the money? That depends a lot on how much you like the movies, whether you live in an area filled with plenty of participating theaters, and whether any of your favored theaters offer matinees and bargain Tuesdays with $6 admission.

(MORE: Is a 3-D Movie Really Worth an Extra $5?)

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