What Is Sinemia?

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff Updated on: Oct 5, 2018

Sinemia is a movie-ticket subscription service offering between 1 and 31 tickets per month for between $4.99 and $29.99 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.

Within the context of the movie-ticket subscription world, Sinemia is one of four services. MoviePass AMC Stubs A-List and Cinemark Movie Club are the other three. 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 the competition.

At the end of our analysis, we’ll provide you with a list of general pros and cons.

The Sinemia Sign-Up Process and Plans

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 Classic Movie Every Day Elite 2 Elite 3
# of movies per month 1 2 1 a day 2 3
Cost $4.99 $9.99 $29.99 $12.99 $17.99
IMAX/3D/4D/etc. No No No Yes, 1 Yes, 1
Up-front fee $19.99 $19.99 $29.99 $19.99 $19.99

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.

If you want to forego the up-front fee and pay for a year all at once, you’ll pay $59.88, $119.88, $359.88, $155.88 and $215.88, respectively. You’ll end up paying the same amount per year if you choose month-to-month, but you’ll have to pay the up-front fee.

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.

At the time of publishing, Sinemia was in the process of phasing out their cards.

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.

Canceling Subscriptions

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. The same applies to month-to-month plans.

Sinemia User Reviews

The Sinemia app gets 3.9 stars in the iTunes store and 2.9 stars in the Google Play app. Recent reviews in the Google Play store about the app were decisively negative, with 13 of the past 15 reviews at the time of publishing being 1 star.

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:

Sinemia AMC Stubs A-List MoviePass Cinemark Movie Club
Plan prices $4.99 - $29.99 $19.95 $9.95 $8.99
Tix included in best plan 1 - 31 12 3 1
Premium included? Yes, certain plans and 1 a month Yes No No
Advance purchase Yes Yes No Yes
Discounted tickets No No No Yes
Couples Option Yes No No No
Theaters included Multiple nationwide Only AMC Multiple nationwide Only Cinemark
App scores (iTunes/Google average rating) 3.9/2.9 4.8 /4.3 2.1/2.3 4.8/4.1
Phone support No Yes No Yes

Sinemia has the distinct advantage of being the only movie theater subscription that offers one movie a day. AMC Stubs A-List does three weeks; they’re the closest competition.

Price-wise, Sinemia’s movie-every-day plan is a great value because it offers at least twice as many movies as AMC for $10 more.

Another advantage that Sinemia has over its three competitors is that you have five plans to choose from that can fit your budget.

When it comes to the company’s app, though, Sinemia falters against competitors AMC and Cinemark, who get at least 4-star average ratings from iOS and Android users.

Also, two other things that hurt Sinemia are that it doesn’t have phone support (AMC and Cinemark do) and you can’t get any premium-format movies with their movie-a-day plan, where AMC allows you to watch almost any premium-format movie if you’re an A-List subscriber.

Pros and Cons of Sinemia

Based on our research, we believe that Sinemia’s strengths lie in its movie-a-day plan as well as the fact that you have five different plans you can choose from ranging in price from $4.99 to $29.99.

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 downside to Sinemia is that their premium-format options are limited to a pair of Elite plans that give you two or three movies a month. Their three-movie Elite plan gives you one premium-format movie and is $17.99 a month, whereas a three-movie Classic plan is $9.99. This means you’re paying $8 more to get one premium-format movie.

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:

  • Wants multiple subscription plans they can choose from
  • Wants to go to the movies more than three times a week
  • Wants a premium-format movie included in a reasonably priced plan

If you want to learn more about the service, take a look at our rankings of the best movie subscription services. In the article we compare the four services we mentioned in this review, showing how they rate in categories like best for avid moviegoers, best for casual moviegoers, best app experience and more.

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33 Consumer Reviews for Sinemia

Average Consumer Rating: 1.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  33
Bottom Line: 0% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 33
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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    SCAM - don't buy

    • Highland, CA,
    • Nov 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought the yearly membership back in August 2018 and haven't been able to see any movies. I tried contacting them through email several times without any response. No phone number to call them. I tried to do a chargeback to my credit card and was denied.

    STAY AWAY, total scam.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Sinemia is not the answer to MoviePass

    • Lynchburg, VA,
    • Nov 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Terrible company. Hidden charges and no longer has phone customer support. I paid for 3 subscriptions of 1 year each. I thought I was paying for only a month to month, but they charged me $250. I thought MoviePass would go under so I accepted, and at that time called to ask how I can set them up all on one phone. They said that is fine and I had it for 70 days. They then sent an email that I broke terms of service having three accounts on one device and that I lost all my money. Don't buy them. Any correspondence through email will be responded to with form answers that don't address the problem. You will lose money. I saw about four movies, and it cost me $250. I'd say that's a bad deal!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Stay away

    • Illinois,
    • Nov 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    They changed their terms of service with zero notification and now added a processing fee of $1.60 a ticket, plus they force you to pay third party fees because they will not send a physical card after two months. Stay away. Paying $5.80 more every time my wife and I want to see a movie is ridiculous. The app also fails repeatedly and will not reliably let you check in. They do not offer refunds. Horrible service and a scam. They now charge extra fees because they know they currently have no competition.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Please don't bother with this service.

    • Boise, ID,
    • Nov 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    After riding the movie heyday of MoviePass' glory days, I jumped to Sinemia after MoviePass went downhill and Sinemia promoted their $9.99 for three movies each month deal. What they fail to mention are the compounding hidden fees, obnoxious hoops you have to jump through to actually purchase a ticket, and the abysmal digital interface and customer support.

    As of August/September 2018, Sinemia has gone completely digital. That means you MUST purchase a movie ticket through an online broker (ATOM, Fandango), which charges on average $2.00 per ticket. Sinemia also tacks on an unavoidable $1.80 electronic "processing" charge per ticket purchase because you know those electronic transactions are just so expensive in 2018. What does this mean? Simple math shows us:

    $9.99 + (3x$2.00)(3x$1.80) = $21.39. UH OH. Looks like that $9.99 per month "deal" is actually more than double the advertised price. With the real price of a ticket after fees costing you $7.13, and most theater's matinee prices being around $8, you save a whole 87 cents for the privilege of fumbling with poor software, losing the ability to buy tickets in person/in the actual theater, and being ignored by customer service! Don't forget that if you fail to utilize all three of your movies for any given month, you're still out that $10.

    What are you waiting for? Go buy yourself a stick of gum with your savings! It's a better decision than suckering yourself into this trap.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Hiding behind the internet, criminal actions, faulty service

    • Nov 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Horrible communication! Criminal acts! This is Sinemia!

    After I had my bank charge back the fees, they charged me a fee for doing that! And they were able to get their money back because they told the bank I misused the system. The system I couldn’t even use! Doesn't one have to use something to misuse it? They refuse to provide a phone number, so I’m still going back and forth with emails where they continue to avoid the problem.

    And, again, read the positive emails. They all sound alike and are more of a sales pitch than an actual review!

    The worst experience I have ever had with any kind of service.

    I have ended up having to pay for my ticket 5 times out of 9. They don’t care or help within any amount of time that’s useful.

    The first two times I tried to use it, it didn’t work and I had to buy my own ticket. This happened again and again.

    After a theater refused to accept the card, I was still charged to my account even though I had my ticket purchase to prove I paid for the ticket. And they didn’t even have the right theater chain! They said I was at an AMC (that accepts the card) but I was at a Landmark (arthouse) that refused the card. They never credited me for this.

    It worked at one theater and I was able to retrieve my ticket (miracle!), only to have them charge me a fee for not picking up the ticket!

    I tried again to use it only to have the app say I can only have three movies a month. Looking at my account IN THE APP, it showed I had only purchased one! I was always taught one was less than three!

    I have asked them to cancel my account several times over the last two months. They ignore every request and this month I was charged twice!

    DO NOT join this HORRIBLE, CRIMINAL "service." It will cost more than buying the tickets yourself as you will still have to buy most tickets yourself and still be charged. And charged for tickets they did cover too!

    And watch your bank account for multiple duplicate charges. Not to mention the anger and headaches you’ll subject yourself to.

    What they call "premium support?" What a sadistic joke. Only email. And you have to wait DAYS for an answer. And usually, they ignore what you say, causing you to have to write back and forth. I’m still trying to resolve a problem from two months ago! Not to mention every other problem they have NEVER even addressed!

    They respond to your emails/problems by sending a "ticket resolved" email so you have to start all over again as they have addressed NOTHING!

    I now have to work with my bank to get whatever money back I can.

    I am also finding it VERY SUSPICIOUS that they suddenly have all these great reviews. And they are one right after another, which is also odd. When I first wrote this review, most of the reviews were like mine. The app was very low rated. Sure, there could have been improvements. But my most recent problem dealing with their emails is still being ignored, so I doubt things have really improved.

    And the grammar and writing style of many of these new reviews? Suggests padding to me.

    I have reported them to the BBB. They dodge even their letters. Now I have an email saying they’ve reinstated my account!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Update

    • Raleigh, NC,
    • Nov 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    11/06/18 - In response to my negative review, Sinemia reached out to tell me that they have "several" options for purchasing "their" subscription membership without paying for an entire year. (Do they honestly think that I would actually buy a monthly subscription NOW, when I have an annual one they will not refund in any measure?) When I asked them, AGAIN, about returning a pro-rated refund, they said their policies are non-refundable, as stated in their "Terms & Conditions." NO surprise that that their "Terms & Conditions" are well-cloaked/hidden on their newly redesigned website and cannot be found. Even if I "could" find that their plans are non-refundable on this new website, how could I trust that "this" gem had not been recently added to cover their posteriors?! (From negative reviews I am seeing in every venue I check, they have added a "processing fee" to each movie that is unbelievable and unreliable. Many reviewers are reporting that, even with the processing fee, they cannot get into movies because the Sinemia info is rejected at the window.) From the many negative reviews I am finding EVERYWHERE, they have duped LOTS of people.

    Do yourself a HUGE favor and RUN in the opposite direction FAST. They are out-of-country and very deceptive in taking your money. Buyer beware!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Previous review
    • Oct 26, 2018

    Sinemia - what a crock!

    I joined Sinemia in September. Almost immediately, I realized that they would never send me a physical card.

    My queries about getting one were met with a veiled inference that "such" was being worked on/addressed in an upcoming program. What a joke!

    I should have been stopped in my tracks by the FIRST big flag when I realized the ONLY subscription available was a YEARLY one. Not monthly. The NEXT big flag should have been the clincher for what a racket I was dealing with when my bank called me to say that Sinemia was trying to put through a large out-of-country withdrawal on my account (not the USA). Sadly, I missed that "warning" too...trying to believe what Sinemia, purportedly, offered. MISTAKE!

    When I realized it was, in fact, a very bad deal, I began trying to GET OUT! Although I have gone through all their hoops and hurdles to cancel my subscription, I have NOT received ANY confirmation that my subscription has been canceled.

    I began asking for some form of refund less than two weeks after signing on. Not a word...until today, when I received the same blah-blah empty verbiage from them about my cancellation...ending with one terse sentence saying they did not issue refunds.

    I joined Sinemia because MoviePass was going belly up, and my MoviePass subscription was practically worthless. However, I did get to see 3-4 movies on MoviePass, and it was a monthly subscription, so I only lost one month (less than $10). I have not used Sinemia the FIRST time. I just want OUT. What a load of poo!

    (read moreread less...)

  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Beware scam!

    • Clayton, NC,
    • Nov 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This was my first month using Sinemia. I am never able to check into the movies. The two times I went I paid myself. They charged me $23 worth of processing fees! Again, they never paid for my tickets! You cannot speak to a person, and they send the response in a form letter. I would not recommend!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Total scam. Should be illegal what they do.

    • Alabama,
    • Nov 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Sinemia is a TOTAL SCAM! They billed me annually. The closest theater I can use is over 100 miles away, but when I drive over that way, it disappears on my app.

    Customer service never even responds to my emails with no phone number I can call. What's most frustrating is I disputed the charge with my credit card company and lost. I feel like they flat-out stole $180 from me.

    I can't use their services at all.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    If they try to charge you for non-existent service fees, you must dispute with your credit card company

    • New York, NY,
    • Nov 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    IMPORTANT: If Sinemia tries to charge you for non-existent service fees, contacting them will do no good. The only solution is to do a chargeback on your credit card. Contact your credit card and dispute those charges.

    They say they don't cover service fees and will charge you if they end up paying them on your behalf, fine, but they end up charging you for the service fees whether there were any or not! For instance, if you buy tickets through Facebook, then Facebook covers the service fees. But Sinemia still charges you for them!

    The ONLY solution is to dispute the charges with your credit card.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Messed up...do not consider at all!

    • Maryland,
    • Nov 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just tried to use their app for the first time two weeks back and that was an absolute disaster!

    Customer service is just in the pits!

    Do not even waste your time even just thinking of consideration!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Very bad customer service

    • Durham, NC,
    • Nov 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Sinemia charges processing fees ($1.8 per person) for booking online even though the website doesn't charge. I believe that's the reason they don't send a physical card. It's almost two months and I still didn't get the physical card.

    Their customer service is so bad I cannot express my frustation.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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