MoviePass Brings Subscriptions To Cinemas

Here's a thought: what if you could visit your local cinema as often as you like, seeing whatever films you like, for one flat monthly rate? It's fairly amazing that no one has thought of this idea on a huge scale yet, but that's all changing. MoviePass is being called the Netflix for theaters, and that's actually shaping up to be quite accurate. The service is launching as a limited trial this coming weekend in San Francisco, offering consumers the ability to pay $50/month for "unlimited" movie viewings at participating theaters.

We say "unlimited," because much like "unlimited" data plans, there actually are a few limits you'd need to stick to. For one, you can only view one film per day. Second, IMAX and 3D viewings incur a $3 upcharge. Still, that's up to 30 2D movies a month, for $50. If you make a habit out of visiting the cinema, it's a fantastic deal. We're guessing that they're banking on you using this like crazy at first, and then falling off. Furthermore, not that many new movies hit theaters from week-to-week, so you may end up seeing just about everything there is to see within 2-3 weeks.

Another thought is this: is you own a $50 pass, you're likely to start inviting friends to see movies with you. If they aren't going to invest, the theater will see incremental sales from buddies you bring along. Regardless of the motives, it's shaping up to be a game-changer in the industry. If the trial goes well, it could expand out, and there may be a $30 plan that enables customers to view four movies per month.

So, it sounds enticing. Would you buy in if this came to your neighborhood?