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MoviePass: Just Like Netflix, But for the Big Screen

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MoviePass is a new movie-going and movie watching service that takes your movie experience to the cinematic big screen. Like Netflix’s subscription service for entertainment, MoviePass, now in beta, will allow users to pay a $50 per month fee to watch as many movies as they want each month in select theaters. Currently, the service is limited to select theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, but the service is looking to expand to more locations and more geographic areas.

Covering 43 percent of movie theaters in the Bay Area, the company will roll out into additional markets this summer and fall.

The way the service works, according to CNET which had some hands-on time with the service, is that you’d use your smartphone to reserve your seats at your desired theater using an HTML 5 app. When you arrive at the theater, you’ll flash them your phone, just like if you’re paying with a credit card, and the theater would print your ticket stubs.

The company is looking to add more premium features in the future, including additional pricing options for IMAX and 3D movies. Additionally, while only an HTML 5 app is available at this time, in the future, the company is looking to create native apps for popular smartphone platforms.

The beta goes into effect this Wednesday, June 29th, and is yet another example tying the Internet and smartphones with the physical world, just like what NFC payments is hoping to do. The best part is that unlike Netflix, you don’t have to check to see if your phone will be compatible, but you do need to live in a geographic area where MoviePass will service.

While the prospect of unlimited movie watching in a theater every month is enticing, I think additional pricing levels may need to be worked out for the service to catch up, especially for around $10 a month, you can get a DVD shipped at a time for unlimited rentals to you every month via Netflix, plus unlimited video streaming.

For now, the following Bay Area theaters are accessible with the service:

San Francisco
Clay – San Francisco; Bridge – San Francisco;Opera Plaza Cinemas – San Francisco; Lumiere – San Francisco; AMC Van Ness 14 – San Francisco; Embarcadero – San Francisco;AMC Bay Street 16 – Emeryville; California Theatres – Berkeley; Shattuck Cinemas – Berkeley; Piedmont Theatre – Oakland; Albany Twin – Albany

San Jose
Big Cinemas Towne 3 – San Jose; Camera 3 – San Jose; Camera 12 – San Jose; AMC Eastridge 15 – San Jose; Camera 7 – Campbell; AMC Saratoga 14 – San Jose; AMC Mercado 20 – Santa Clara; AMC Cupertino Square 16 – Cupertino; Camera Cinemas Los Gatos – Los Gatos; Aquarius – Palo Alto.

 

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

4 Comments

  1. Guest

    06/28/2011 at 4:21 pm

    Shamless: Please use my link to sign up for MoviePass? http://movi.ps/kcUODV

  2. Anonymous

    06/28/2011 at 9:59 pm

    What hollywood needs to realize is that they have simply massively overpriced their product.
    It would be one thing if it was generally a good product – but they also play much more to bean-counters and the marketing dept than they do to creativity.
    I am not willing to pay $15/pop to go see movies when only 1 in 10 turns out to not generally kind of suck.
    $50 per person is not going to do much for them.
    Who goes to the movies a lot alone?
    Not too many people.
    So – if it is just you and spouse/significant-other/whatever – you are going to pay $100/month to see movies!!??
    When are you going to see all these movies !!??
    If you went twice a week every week (and almost nobody would do that) then you are still paying like $6 each per movie to see it out where you can over-pay for horrible food and listen to people talk on their cell phones during the show.  Great!

    I’m sure some people would fit this wonderfully into their lifestyle.  But I cannot imagine it would be so many as to make this anything like what anyone would call a success.
    What they should do is start making B movies again for release with promising hopefuls under contract and strict budgets.  Actually try to find somebody to lay out a plot and script instead of thinking of them as afterthoughts to marketing and special-effects.  Then show those movies at reduced (and reasonable) rates.
    While they are at it start selling some decent and reasonably priced food while you are there.

    Frankly I don’t know how they expect the average high-schooler or young person to kick out $100 bucks each weekend for pizza and a movie out with a date.
    And they don’t know where there audience is going!?
    They think the problem is pirates!?
    When I was young such a date was a pretty much weekly thing with my girlfriend.
    I don’t know how a kid could afford that today for most people unless he was selling drugs to support it.

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