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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » 'Frequent-flyer' cinema subscription schemes

   
Author Topic: 'Frequent-flyer' cinema subscription schemes
Perry Robitionate
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2006


 - posted September 13, 2006 10:38 AM      Profile for Perry Robitionate   Email Perry Robitionate         Edit/Delete Post 
Apologies if this has been brought up elsewhere, but does anything close to this exist anywhere in North America?

For less than $21 USD/$23 CAD, you can go to all the movies your little heart desires. (Having lived in the UK when the monthly pass was even *cheaper* than this, I can't tell you how great it was to have...to the tune of a minimum of a dozen films a month!)

I know the markets are different, but is there any reason why this hasn't been tried over here?

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Richard A Stegman Jr
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Posts: 267
From: Calimesa,CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 13, 2006 02:06 PM      Profile for Richard A Stegman Jr   Email Richard A Stegman Jr         Edit/Delete Post 
Last time i checked,Landmark Theatres(US)had a discount moviegoer pass that was good for six months from the date of purchase. I think it was,like,$18.00 or something like that.

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Perry Robitionate
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2006


 - posted September 13, 2006 02:20 PM      Profile for Perry Robitionate   Email Perry Robitionate         Edit/Delete Post 
...providing how much of a discount?

[Smile]

Obviously, this isn't in the same league; at a dozen films a month, with the pass I've referred to, we're talking less than two bucks a flick to get in each time...

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Mark Richey
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Posts: 90
From: Fort Worth, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted September 14, 2006 10:42 PM      Profile for Mark Richey   Author's Homepage   Email Mark Richey         Edit/Delete Post 
Back in 1999, Cinemark offered a year-long CinePass. For $199, not including tax, you had unlimited admissions to any theater, to see any feature, through the calendar year. Getting one was easily the highlight of Christmas 1998.

Unfortunately, Cinemark chose not to continue the Pass in 2000, and has yet to revive it. If they do offer it again, I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat. With as many movies as I attend at Cinemark (which operates Beaumont's only movie theater), that pass would pay for itself by June, if not earlier.

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Perry Robitionate
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2006


 - posted September 15, 2006 03:44 AM      Profile for Perry Robitionate   Email Perry Robitionate         Edit/Delete Post 
Interesting.

Which only makes me wonder why, in a marketplace that seems to be dwindling more and more all the time, where the home theatre demographic is growing with each new innovation, that the cinema owners aren't doing all they can to 'nourish' the die-hards, who, in the not-too-distant future, are going to be the basis of their survival.

Why does a loyalty card work so well for Cineworld in the UK and Ireland, yet it's not currently being attempted here? Can anyone provide a 'business model' reason for its absence from the North American marketplace?

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Ron Newman
Member

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted September 15, 2006 04:42 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
There's a difference between a 'loyalty card', which accumulates points for rewards, and an annual membership. But the US has examples of both:

AMC MovieWatcher - a loyalty card
Regal Crown Club - another loyalty card

Brattle Theatre membership - pay in advance for multiple tickets, or unlimited admissions for a year
Coolidge Corner Theatre membership - similar to Brattle

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Perry Robitionate
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2006


 - posted September 15, 2006 06:33 AM      Profile for Perry Robitionate   Email Perry Robitionate         Edit/Delete Post 
Ron, you're right; I was being sloppy with my terms.

The Brattle and the Coolidge do what I'm talking about...although theirs aren't 'subscription' setups in the sense that you have x$ debited from your bank account or this amount applied to your credit card each month, they're 'money up front' designs.

So it appears that perthaps it's only independent cinemas that do any sort of 'buy in bulk' programs in the US. (In the UK, the PictureHouse group does a 'reduced fee' setup, as did the now-expired Festival Group in Toronto). Which leads me back to my question: why haven't the cinema chains taken this tack, especially as we're fast approaching an entirely different landscape?

I tend to believe that the cinema owners are one of the most entrenched business groups, seemingly intractable when it comes to adapting to the changing times. (Maybe this is because they have so little say in what they're 'selling'?)

I'm very curious to hear the thoughts and opinions of CinemaTour members, because this plays into the very heart and soul of the industry, and the challenges it faces for survival.

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Ron Newman
Member

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted September 15, 2006 07:15 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
OK, but the AMC and Regal setups are more like an airline 'frequent-flyer' plan, which is how you introduced this topic. They also are intended to encourage repeated movie-going.

I looked on Landmark's web site for a program of either type, but couldn't find one.

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Perry Robitionate
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2006


 - posted September 15, 2006 07:24 AM      Profile for Perry Robitionate   Email Perry Robitionate         Edit/Delete Post 
Again, my reference in the title is wrong. The UGC/Cineworld card I had in the UK was a membership card. You pay for the card each month, you get access to as many movies as you want. Period. My apologies for misnaming the topic.

I actually have one of the Regal cards. It's nice...but it's not at all what I'm talking about, the idea that 'greatly encourages' customers to spend as much time as possible in the cinemas...effectively spending *more* money at the snackbar.

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John J. Fink
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Posts: 123
From: Buffalo, NY
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted September 16, 2006 07:51 AM      Profile for John J. Fink   Author's Homepage   Email John J. Fink         Edit/Delete Post 
For a time AMC did offer a MovieWatchers Gold program, where for 20 bucks a month you'd get unlimited movie going. They never rolled it around nation wide. I would love a season pass to any chain at this point.

Another loyalty card with better perks is National Amusements' Star Pass (which is only accepted in theaters in OH, MI, IA and in New York at the City Center 15 and Island 16). I've currently got "Director's Status" which permits me to use the directors express lines (for ticketes and snacks), immedate seating at Chaters (the bar and grill at City Center), and free popcorn and soda re-fills.

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