Monday Editorial: Grading Sinemia

There has been a lot of talk lately about the rise and apparent fall of the cinema subscription service MoviePass, which has hyped itself by allowing subscribers to see unlimited theatrical films for a very low monthly fee. Not surprisingly, it turns out that critics were spot on that this was not a sustainable business model and the latest news is that subscribers to the service will now be limited to 3 films a month. Not so coincidentally, this is similar to the business plan for MoviePass’ main competitor Sinemia, which expanded into Canada last spring. Curious to find a way to lessen my movie-going budget, I signed up for the service and for at least the first year I am able to see up to 3 movies a month for only $15.99, which includes one premium screening (including IMAX) every 30 days. I signed up for Sinemia in March and used it for the majority of films I saw theatrically.

My Sinemia History

As seen in the above image, I have currently seen 15 films using Sinemia. At minimum, I have saved about $114 in individual ticket costs. However, since at least 3 of these films are IMAX screening, I actually saved quite a bit more. For those unaware with how Sinemia works, you receive a membership card in the mail, which is essentially a prepaid Mastercard. Using the official Sinemia app, you check into the theatre and film you want to see and it activates the card for a brief window so you can use it to buy the ticket. Admittedly, this method can be a bit complicated for the average person, since it involves multiple steps in order to get a ticket to a movie. However, I have found myself having little to no issue using Sinemia to get my tickets, which I often purchase in advance, using a feature on the app. The only time I had an issue was when I got a ticket for Deadpool 2 and had to submit a photo of the ticket to confirm.

Even to this day, Sinemia has been attracting customers through promotional rates, which are about half the price of the regular rate. I do expect that after my first year as a Sinemia member, my subscription price will increase. However, even then I’ll probably continue with the service, since even the regular rate is less expensive than what I would play to see the films individually. As a person, who goes to the movies at least once a week, Sinemia has definitely helped me manage my budget a bit better and it is a service that I recommend cinephiles consider trying.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).