What Is Sinemia?
Sinemia is a movie-ticket subscription service offering between 1 and 3 tickets per month for between $4.99 and $14.99 a month.
Sinemia is based in Los Angeles – according to the address available on their website, they’re located in a co-working space.
Their CEO is Rifat Oguz, a businessman with a resume that includes jobs at a Turkish cellular company and a European bank, as well as a nine-month stint with Coca-Cola.
Sinemia made headlines in 2018 when they introduced a $4.99/month plan, with multiple tech and news sites covering the change.
Within the context of the movie-ticket subscription world, you have two main choices: Sinemia and MoviePass. Knowing which service is right for you requires that you know what Sinemia offers and how it compares to MoviePass.
Over the course of this review, we’ll talk about how you can sign up for Sinemia, how it works, the fine print you need to know about, what people are saying concerning their Sinemia experience and how it compares to MoviePass.
At the end of our analysis, we’ll provide you with a list of general pros and cons.
How to Sign Up for Sinemia
To get a membership, head to the Sinemia website and choose between four different plans, which are divided into Classic and Premium.
Here’s a chart showing you a matrix of the plans:
|Classic 1||Classic 2||Elite 2||Elite 3|
|# of movies per month||1||2||2||3|
You have four main options here, with the main difference between Classic and Elite being that Classic only allows tickets to 2D movies while Elite lets you book 2D and 3D movies and one IMAX, 4D and other advanced formats once a month.
Each one of these plans requires that you buy an annual subscription, which means you’ll pay for 12 months of your subscription in advance: $60.88, $83.88, $119.88 and $209.88, respectively.
When your registration is complete, Sinemia will send you a card that you’ll use to swipe at the theater in order to pay for your movie ticket. You can’t use the service and your membership won’t be active until you have your card.
According to the site’s FAQ page, it can take up to seven days for your card to arrive. However, during busy seasons (like when Sinemia runs promotions) your card make take longer than seven days to arrive.
A Quick Word About Couples Memberships
Sinemia offers dual memberships for couples that have a few distinct advantages over just buying two separate subscriptions. First, you can book two seats together which, according to a Sinemia representative, is a big advantage on movie-premier nights when seats sell quickly.
Second, the subscription gives you one Sinemia debit card that you use to buy the tickets, which means you can bring anyone you want with you: friend, significant other, child or family member.
The prices for these plans are double the individual plans.
How a Sinemia Subscription Works
As we pointed out in the previous section, your Sinemia subscription gives you a certain amount of movie tickets per month.
You have two options for redeeming those tickets. First, you can book it in advance of the movie’s showtime by using the Sinemia app. To do this, go into your app and, under the “Planning” option, you can choose the movie and showtime at the theater you want.
Once you’ve chosen the movie and time, Sinemia will allow you to go to one of three websites and pay for the ticket: Fandango.com, MovieTickets.com and AtomTickets.com. You can also book the tickets in advance via the theater’s website or app, a Sinemia rep told us.
You have two hours to make the purchase and your movie can take place within 30 days.
Second, you can go to the movie theater and make the purchase at the theater’s ticket counter or at a ticketing kiosk.
You’ll have to open the app at the theater and check-in through the app, then follow the directions, which will result in you paying for your tickets with your Sinemia card.
When you use the check-in feature, remember that you have 30 minutes to use your card to get a ticket and the showtime for that ticket can be a maximum of five hours from the time you check in.
Sinemia Fine Print: What You Need to Know
While the basics of Sinemia’s service are pretty easy to understand, there are certain things you need to know about your membership so there aren’t any surprises.
Advance Ticket Convenience Fee
As we pointed out earlier, you have to buy your advance tickets via three websites – Fandango.com, MovieTickets.com and AtomMovies.com -- the theater’s website or app
When you purchase your tickets through these sites, they charge convenience fees. You’ll be responsible to pay those fees with the credit card you have on file with Sinemia.
Here’s what you’ll pay at each site:
- Fandango.com: $1.50
- MovieTickets.com: $1.35 - $2.00
- AtomTickets.com: $1.50, on average
- AMCTheaters.com: $1.50 - $2.25
We contacted the customer service departments of each website to confirm the pricing. Fandango gave us one price, while the other two sites said prices depend on the theater at which you book the tickets.
The prices we listed for AMC were based on what we were told by MovieTickets.com and by doing a quick search of two movies at a local AMC theater.
If you cancel your subscription, you’ll be able to buy tickets all the way until the end of your membership month. If you started your subscription on the 15th of the month and you cancel on the 1st of any given month, you have through the 14th of that month to use your membership.
Also, keep in mind that Sinemia subscriptions are paid annually, which means you won’t be refunded a prorated subscription fee if you cancel before your year is up.
Sinemia User Reviews
The Sinemia app gets 3.3 stars in the iTunes store and 3.1 stars in the Google Play app. Recent reviews in the Google Play store about the app were decisively negative, with 27 of the past 30 reviews notching only one or two stars.
In general, users complained that the app flat-out didn’t work and they weren’t able to book any movies and that the company’s customer service was very slow to respond.
Sinemia and MoviePass Comparison
Sinemia and MoviePass are in direct competition with each other and their pricing models differ, so, to determine which one is best, we made the following table to help you compare what each service offers:
|Plan prices||$7.95 - $9.95||$4.99 - $14.99|
|Tix incl. in best plan||Up to 31||3|
|App reviews (Apple/Google)||2.6/2.6||3.3/3.1|
|Theaters included||Multiple nationwide||Multiple nationwide|
The main differences between the two services are payment, pricing, tickets per month and advanced purchases.
MoviePass allows you to pay month-to-month, whereas Sinemia makes you pay per year in a lump sum, according to a Sinemia representative.
MoviePass gives you one 2D movie a day for $9.99 a month whereas you’ll get two movies a month, one of which can be premium (IMAX, etc.) for the same price on Sinemia.
Sinemia gives you the option of buying advanced tickets but there’s a good chance you’ll pay at least a $1.50 convenience fee for using the sites they allow for advanced purchases.
Which service is best is a matter of your movie taste. If you want 3D, IMAX and other premium formats, Sinemia is the best choice.
Now, if sheer volume is your goal and you’re happy with 2D movies, then MoviePass is the best choice.
As far as apps go, both services’ apps get average to below average reviews but Sinemia’s reviews are about half a star better.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of Sinemia
Based on our research, we believe that Sinemia’s strengths lie in the fact that you can buy tickets in advance of going to the theater and that your elite subscription includes 3D movies.
We also like that you can watch one premium movie a month with your subscription, but, remember, you only get those premium movies with the Elite package.
The main downside, in our opinion, is that you have to pay for your subscription up front. Their top Elite package, for example, would cost you $209.88 up-front, a price that some consumers may not want to pay when they can do a month-to-month subscription with MoviePass.
The other downside to the service, we believe, is that their most expensive package allows three movies a month whereas MoviePass’ top subscription gives you unlimited 2D movies.
Is Sinemia right for you? We believe the answer to this question has a lot to do with what you want out of your movie-ticket subscription service.
We believe the type of consumer who is the best fit for this service is someone who:
- Has the money to pay for their year-long subscription up front
- Wants the luxury of booking a ticket in advance
- Prefers movies in 3D and premium formats like IMAX and 4DX