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What I want from an all-you-can-watch movie theater pass

What I want from an all-you-can-watch movie theater pass (photo)

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Word from Wired on a new service called MoviePass that, starting in July, will offer unlimited Netflix-esque access to movie theaters for a flat monthly rate. The program will begin in the San Francisco area and expand nationally over the summer and into the fall.

The idea of an all-you-can-watch pass for theatrical movies is an intriguing one. As one potential customer, here’s what I would look for from this sort of service.

1. Reasonable pricing.

The price for MoviePass quoted in the Wired piece is $50 a month. In New York City, you’d need to see more than four movies a month to get your money’s money out of the program. In other parts of the country where movie tickets are cheaper, you’d probably need to more than five or six times to break even. Wired also mentions a “limited pass” for $30 a month, which would probably make a lot more sense for most New Yorkers than the unlimited plan, since $30 for four movies would be a steal in this town.

2. Flexibility across all movie chains.

This idea will only really work if you can go to any theater and use it. This is especially important for indie movie fans. If you only want an unlimited pass to see “Transformers 3” “Green Lantern” and the rest of the enormous ilk, you’ll have plenty of options because they’re playing everywhere. If you’re the sort who’d use MoviePass to see “Passione” or “Terri” or “Project Nim” you better hope the one theater in your town that’s playing it signs up to the service. Wired says that by the time MoviePass is fully up and running this fall they’ll offer access to “40% of the nation’s screens.” The question is: which 40%?

3. Reserved seating.

If MoviePass will let me reserve a seat for a movie and then show up two minutes before it starts (and after the brunt of the pre-show commercials), it’s got me interested. But what I really want is a whole quasi private section in the theater for pass holders. That way you can show up late and be guaranteed not just a seat, but a good seat. That would be tough to maintain and police, I know, but it would be definite selling point.

4. No surcharges

This one’s not happening, since Wired specifically states that users who want to see 3D or IMAX movies will need to pay a $3 surcharge. But getting to bypass the endless upselling at movie theaters would be a hugely appealing feature. Maybe someday.

Interested in MoviePass? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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