MoviePass as we know it is on its last legs. The subscription service allowed you to see a movie a day with a special debit card at an initial price of $50/month that eventually shrank to $10 as more and more people signed on for what sounded like The Answer to constant ticket inflation. But the news only became grimmer over the course of the last month as the company had to take out a five-million-dollar loan in order to stay afloat; their business model wasn't built to last the way they had anticipated, a fact compounded by the surge pricing that soon hit times for newly released movies. What's the point of paying a monthly fee for "free" movies if you have to pay surge pricing to see the hottest ticket in town? The $5 million loan the company had to take out wasn't exactly helping matters, either.  

The initial idea of MoviePass -- give people a chance to go to any movie theater that accepted debit cards more often by taking the burden of double-digit ticket prices off of their backs -- was noble and innovative, but the infrastructure wasn't built with longevity in mind. Competitors began popping out of the woodwork at the first sign of trouble, starting with AMC rolling out A-List, an expansion to their vaunted Stubs rewards program. This and other chain-specific options are just waiting for the perfect chance to step in and assume MoviePass' spot in the new age of movie-going. At this rate, it's all about picking your poison.   

1. AMC Stubs A-List 

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The biggest potential competitor is, of course, the biggest movie theater chain in the country. AMC has been working with its Stubs reward program since the beginning of the 2010s, a way for loyal AMC goers to save money on online ticket buying and snacks. A relaunch back in 2016 and MoviePass' public flaming out led to the A-List expansion. You can see up to three movies a week in any format (2D, 3D, IMAX, Dolby, dine-in, etc) and take part in Stubs Premiere benefits like waived online fees for tickets, free snack upgrades, and $5 rewards, all for $20/month. 

If you go to AMC theaters often, chances are this membership will pay for itself after one or two visits. There are no blackout dates, surge pricing, or the tedious mobile check-in that MoviePass featured. Brand loyalty subscription services seem to be the upcoming wave, and AMC's is the most prominent example so far.  


2. Alamo Drafthouse Season Pass

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The Alamo Drafthouse is a Texas-based chain that has catered to moviegoers in the mood for dinner and a show for just over 20 years. They've been steadily growing ever since, and on the heels of bigger chains like AMC, they quickly rolled out their own sub-based service called Season Pass. Similar to MoviePass, you would order your tickets in advance through their app, except that you can do it anywhere in as many days in advance as you'd like, as opposed to having to do it day-of and be within striking distance of the theater via MoviePass.

Much like Stubs A-List, this is a paid upgrade to the Drafthouse's already existing Victory membership. It's still in beta and is being tested exclusively at their Yonkers, NY location until further notice, but depending on your taste for premium movie theater food and strict no noise policies during screenings, Season Pass could be one of the better offerings. 


3. Cinemark Movie Club 

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Not every subscription is as heavy as the chain-operated ones. Cinemark has a more lightweight option that includes one movie "credit" a month, 20% off concessions with rewards points, and rollover credits month-to-month. The only downside appears to be an upcharge for premium formats, but if you're more of a lightweight moviegoer, Cinemark only costs $9/month. Lightweight and low commitment in a field of big competitors. 


4. Sinema 

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Similarly to Cinemark, Sinema wants to hook you up with the latest in movies with as big or as small a deal as you want. Their Classic plan will let you see up to two movies a month at any theater with no blackout dates, even on opening weekends. The Elite membership offers a little more with up to three movies a month and includes 3D and IMAX screenings without the step up fare required from the classic membership. No concession upgrades or discounts, but still worth it if you want to watch movies at any theater and not break the bank. 


5. Prima Cinema Player

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The first four come across as practical for pretty much anyone who can't afford a projector in their house, but some businesses even have those people covered, too. For the very very very rich, Prima Cinema offered the chance to live out just about everyone's fantasy: watching new movies at home at the same time they're in the theater without a Fire Stick or bootleg DVD plug. For $35,000, you could own your own movie projector that could project brand new movies in the comfort of your own home...for an extra $500 each and a one-time viewing. It's excessive and apparently haphazard since one of the major reasons it went out of business was customers paying for and not receiving their movies. 

This is another potential future for the movie business, but one that no one is racing to get to just yet. Imagine paying half a thousand dollars to see an average movie in the comfort of your own home. It's probably for the best that Prima and MoviePass walked so that the services above could fly.