1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Movie Pass, Sinemia, AMC A-List and other theater subscriptions

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Tino, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    15,518
    Likes Received:
    18,048
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
    I’ve just canceled my A-List subscription. It’s a great service but the combination of less than optimal theater locations and the sharp reduction of IMAX 3D availability have significantly reduced how much I’ve been using the service.

    Basically, I just haven’t been using it - last A-List movie I saw was opening night for Avengers in April. So after paying for and not using it in May and June, it seems time to let it go.

    Lately, when I’ve been in the mood for a movie, I’ve been just going to the local Regal. It’s by no means a great theater and it is overpriced, but it’s significantly closer and I’m at a point in my life where I don’t need going to the movies to involve what ends up being a two hour round trip in transportation time, especially if the theater isn’t offering my preferred viewing options.

    If I ever move closer to an AMC or found myself going to more movies again, I would not hesitate to use A-List again; it’s a great service.
     
  2. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1997
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    242
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Good decision. If I hadn't used my A-List in almost two months I would drop it as well. No sense in paying for something that isn't cost-effective.

    Too bad, because I agree that A-List is a great service. Their app makes it really easy to use, very hassle-free. But as you say, you have to want to go to movies, and you have to have a conveniently-located AMC for it to work.
     
    Josh Steinberg likes this.
  3. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    7,168
    Likes Received:
    4,194
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    I'm curious, @Josh Steinberg, what your plans are for Spider-Man in a couple of weeks. While cancelling A-List if you're not using it makes total sense, you've also noted that one month of A-List is less than an IMAX ticket where you live. Are you going to be content seeing Spider-Man at your local Regal, or are you going to seek out an IMAX presentation of it? My IMAX is showing it exclusively in 2D (although they did book Aladdin in 3D), so maybe you're choosing Regal in 3D over IMAX in 2D?
     
  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    15,518
    Likes Received:
    18,048
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
    It appears that the overwhelming majority of IMAX showings for Spider-Man in my area are in 2D. We used to have four IMAX locations in NYC - that number is now down to two. (I strongly suspect that the other two are being upgraded to their new projection system and are not simply being abandoned, but regardless, they're not open currently). One of them is only showing Spider-Man in 3D at 8am, and the other is only showing it in 3D at 4pm; neither of those times are convenient for me. I had the same issue with Endgame - I would have liked to have seen it in IMAX 3D multiple times, but the showtimes did not align with my schedule.

    So yeah, I will probably opt to see this at the local Regal. At the moment, Far From Home is not a priority for me. I may opt to see it opening night, I may opt to see it during the week, or I may skip it entirely.

    I know that I stressed myself out with the Endgame IMAX opening to a ridiculous extent - it took seven hours to buy tickets for the opening night due to Fandango and AMC ticketing issues. I was able to get the seats I wanted. Then, when I got to the theater that night, my seats weren't available because the theater was accommodating a patron with a disability by taking away approximately twelve seats from patrons in the general seating area, including mine and my wife's, and we were shuttled off to the back row of the auditorium all the way to the side. So all of that effort to get the tickets, all of that waiting for the day to arrive, the vacation day I used so I could be off for the first showing, the near hour I traveled from my house to the theater, and five seconds before the movie starts I get moved from the best seat in the house to the worst one. That really soured my experience and was kinda the last straw for me as far as enthusiastic movie going.

    Since then, I've been going to the local Regal. The auditoriums are smaller, the presentations aren't always perfect, and the audience behavior can vary wildly from dead to rowdy, but... It's a quick trip from my house, I can be there less than ten minutes from leaving home and back just as quick. I can check their seating chart online in advance of leaving and see if seats that I'd like to sit in are available and how crowded it looks. If there's a problem that makes me want to leave, I can walk out and be home in ten minutes -- with the Endgame seating fiasco, part of my calculation for staying was, "I took a day off to be able to make this showtime, it took me almost an hour to get here, the weather outside sucks, the movie is starting right this second - better to stay and have a subpar experience than to have wasted a day off and all that travel time."

    I'm not convinced that there was a real bad guy in any of this, just a series of unfortunate and poorly handled things that added up to a bad Endgame experience, but I'm just coming to the conclusion that for me, personally, it's not worth traveling an hour to a movie if my reserved seat can still be taken away from me at any second. Even if everything works perfectly, the stress isn't worth it.
     
    Jake Lipson likes this.
  5. Message #2185 of 2246 Jun 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    7,168
    Likes Received:
    4,194
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    As I think you know, I have a disability and I use a wheelchair. On account of that, I'm very conscious of disability accommodation and appreciative when they are well-implemented. However, I'm trying to imagine what disability need for one patron could possibly require 12 other patrons to be moved and I can't think of one. The person with the disability has just as much of a right to enjoy the film in a positive experience as you did -- but the inverse is also correct, that you had the right to same right to a positive experience as he or she did, and in that respect they certainly failed you.

    Unless your reserved seats were specified as disability seats or companion seats, this doesn't really make sense. I assume that they were not because from what I know of you through our discussions, I don't think you would reserve companion seats without having a disability-related need for them. So I find this whole situation both fascinating and bizarre, particularly because it occurred at an AMC.

    As I've mentioned, the AMC here renovated their seating and took away the disability seats in the center of the auditoriums to put them in the back. The IMAX was the sole exception to this because it was not renovated at all. But I know at least one other member on the board whose AMC was similarly remodeled and worsened the disability experience. When I asked about it here, I was told it was a corporate decision to move the disability seats. So with those two pieces of information taken together, this appears to be a thing AMC is doing on a national basis when theaters need remodeling. Choices like that seem at odds with making extensive accommodation for a guest with a disability in the way that you describe.

    But in any case, I certainly understand where you are coming from and I would make the same choice as you have if I were in your position It's too bad that a hobby that I know you love has turned into a stressful situation for you..
     
    BobO'Link likes this.
  6. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1997
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    242
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Real Name:
    Steve
    I feel for anyone who is really keen on seeing movies in IMAX-3D, as those are just rare, period. E.g., looking at my movie list this calendar year, I've seen over 70 movies so far, and I've managed to see just three - Alita Battle Angel, Endgame, and Aladdin - in IMAX 3D.

    And I see basically any movie I can in that format.
     
    Josh Steinberg likes this.
  7. Message #2187 of 2246 Jun 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    15,518
    Likes Received:
    18,048
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
    Nope, I wasn’t in a companion seat. If I had been, that would have been on me.

    The person in question was using an oversized electronic wheelchair and insisted on adjusting the height setting on it so that he blocked the view for about four seat widths in the 3-4 rows of people behind him. His chair was capable of being at a lower height but he did not wish to lower it, and AMC did not wish to ask him to. While I appreciate that he’s entitled to reasonable accommodations, I think “reasonable” ends when you’re blocking a dozen people at a sold out show. In my opinion, the gentleman in the chair required more than a standard accommodation, which in and of itself is fine - but in my opinion, he had an obligation to inform the theater in advance that he needed an additional accommodation beyond the standard handicapped space, which would have allowed the theater to prepare and block off appropriate space for him in advance.

    I don’t really blame AMC. This guy put them in an impossible situation. If AMC asks him to move, they’re facing a lawsuit and bad press coverage for denying a disabled person an accommodation. If they move me, I can’t really complain because then I’m the jerk that is biased against people with disabilities.

    I think the gentleman in question knew exactly what he was doing. He showed up at exactly the last moment, moved into his spot and then adjusted his chair to block everyone.

    edit: I do want to add one thing about this experience. Because the Endgame opening night was such a massive event, the theaters had ushers posted outside most auditoriums, where normally there's no one around supervising anything. When the patron in the wheelchair showed up, I went to speak with the usher. He took a quick look at the situation and agreed that my view had been ruined through no fault of my own. He radio'd down to management and asked what to do, and they said that my wife and I should go down to the box office (four floors below) to exchange our tickets - all of this as the final "countdown to IMAX" trailer is playing. The heroic usher, who's name I didn't get but wish I did, immediately responded that he was not going to send us downstairs and have us miss the movie when we didn't do anything wrong. He figured out what house seats were still available and personally reseated us so that we didn't miss a moment of the movie. Were it not for that usher, it would have been a lot worse. He was gone after the movie was over but he was great and I wished I had had another chance to thank him.
     
  8. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    7,168
    Likes Received:
    4,194
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Jake Lipson
    Yeah, that seems like a messy situation all the way around in which there is no easy solution if the person using the chair is determined to be uncooperative. I have a large electric wheelchair too, but it fits into an allotted wheelchair space and I've never had any complaints from anyone about it blocking their view (although I also don't have anything on it that would allow me to adjust the height.)

    I absolutely believe that I have the right to be comfortable and happy where I sit when I go to the movies. I would have wanted to have my ideal view just as much as you did. However, I would not have consciously or deliberately blocked the view of other patrons if there was a way for me to sit there and not do so (i.e. by not adjusting the height of the chair.) It sounds like the person using the wheelchair was concerned about his own experience, which is reasonable, at the expense of others, which is less so.
     
    BobO'Link and Josh Steinberg like this.
  9. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    15,518
    Likes Received:
    18,048
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
    And that's why, while it might have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back on my movie going enthusiasm, I don't think AMC was really at fault. And their usher went above and beyond in making sure that I didn't miss any of the movie, while the management would have been content to let that happen.

    But it just kinda demonstrated, for me, the futility of making plans for going to the movies. I did everything according to the "rules" and jumped through every hoop, and despite all of that, still wound up having a less than ideal experience that left me feeling anxious before the show and disappointed afterwards.

    By contrast, my experience seeing "Dark Phoenix" was so much smoother because I had already made the decision that I was over putting that kind of effort into going to the theater. I went on a whim because I had finished the stuff I wanted to get done around the house earlier than expected and it turned out that it was starting in a few minutes. Got there towards the end of the trailer, felt no pressure or expectations about needing to have a perfect experience, and just enjoyed being out of the house and in air conditioning for a couple hours. Similar experience this past weekend with "Men In Black International" - I had intended on seeing it on Friday and had a showtime picked out, but lost track of time while I was making dinner and realized that I preferred to stay home and have a leisurely meal (wife says I nailed it, so rather than me bragging, I'll just quote her lol), so I didn't go. Wound up with free time on Sunday evening that I hadn't expected to have, so I went then. Hassle free.

    Regal doesn't seem to have been hurt so far by not introducing their own subscription service, and maybe that was the right business call for them - I'm now paying full price to see movies with them, which is something I hadn't really done since I first got MoviePass in 2017. I would happily join a Regal program if they ever offered one, assuming that I still share the same proximity to the theater.

    Proximity was the big thing for me not using A-List these days. When I started working my current job with its unusual hours back in 2011, I was younger and cared more about going out, and I'd think nothing of seeing a movie immediately after finishing a shift, and my office building is in very close proximity to a number of AMC locations. But now that I'm a little older, married, and with a wife that now has a different work schedule than mine, the idea of sticking around after work instead of going home doesn't appeal to me in the same way. So that just leaves my days off for going to a movie, and all things considered, even if the experience isn't technically as good, I don't need the extra transportation time on my day off.

    I'm sure this is oddly specific and must be boring to other members, so my apologies for going on too long as is a usual bad habit of mine.

    What's funny is that in my 20s, I couldn't imagine having priorities more important than this kind of thing, and that younger version of me would probably harshly judge current me. It's funny all the ways when we're younger that we swear we won't change, and then exactly the thing we promised wouldn't happen does happen. It's also funny to me how this "all you can eat" type of media consumption that's popular now, whether it's movie theater subscriptions or music subscriptions and everything in between, can really reinforce that while "free" is great, sometimes paying $20 is better than "free with strings attached or hassles to navigate".
     
    Jake Lipson likes this.
  10. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1997
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    242
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Real Name:
    Steve
    @Josh Steinberg , I just checked my AMCs for Toy Story 4, and I can see it in "regular" 2D, IMAX 2D, Dolby Cinema 2D, and "regular" 3D ... but not IMAX 3D!

    So being that I value the "3D" thing over the "large format" thing, I have signed up to see it in regular 3D.

    But drats!
     
  11. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,494
    Likes Received:
    2,538
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I don't think there's anything IMAX 3D around here until Spidey next month.

    Annoyingly, the AMC 3 miles from my house will only run it IMAX 2D, so I have to go to an AMC 20 miles if I want IMAX 3D.

    Same thing happened for "Ant-Man and the Wasp" last summer!
     
  12. Message #2192 of 2246 Jun 20, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    17,153
    Likes Received:
    4,058
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    Poor you. The closest IMAX of any kind around here is 140 miles.

    This theater is not running TS4 in 3D, but appears to have scheduled The Lion King for IMAX 3D.
     
  13. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    6,889
    Likes Received:
    1,999
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Real Name:
    Jason
    I guess I shouldn't mention I have two AMC's within about ten miles of me. I know how blessed and lucky I am. If I go a little farther (like 16 miles), I get at least three or four more available to me...
     
    steve jaros likes this.
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    39,171
    Likes Received:
    743
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I live in the ATL, so I also have quite a few AMC options, but mainly go to 2 AMC theaters (one when I'm seeing movies with friends on the Thursday night preview showing), and a closer AMC theater when I'm just by myself.
     
    steve jaros likes this.
  15. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    15,518
    Likes Received:
    18,048
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
    When I moved to my current apartment in 2014, the AMCs I went to were only 20-30 minutes away. The subway infrastructure has degraded so much so rapidly that those travel times have doubled. I really can’t blame AMC in any way for that.
     
  16. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1997
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    242
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Real Name:
    Steve
    A-List movies for June 21 - June 27:

    6/21 .................... Toy Story 4 (3D)

    6/23 .................... Anna

    6/25 .................... Toy Story 4 (IMAX 2D)
     
    benbess likes this.
  17. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1997
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    242
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Real Name:
    Steve
    My town is very similar. Even though it is a small city, I have a 15-screen AMC with IMAX about 10 minutes from me, and a 16-screen AMC with IMAX and Dolby Cinema about 5 minutes away. So A-List is ideal for me too.
     
    Jason_V and Colin Jacobson like this.
  18. Chris Will

    Chris Will Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,260
    Likes Received:
    458
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    Real Name:
    Chris WIlliams
    Has anybody seen Shaft? Any opinions?
     
  19. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    33,290
    Likes Received:
    10,263
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    It's not a particularly good movie but it's fun in the way that South Park is (where you can believe that they're making jokes that they're making). Also, it's a ton of fun seeing Sam Jackson back in the role again and I loved seeing Richard Roundtree kick some ass.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    41,513
    Likes Received:
    17,314
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    So it's an entertaining film which is all I want from it?
     
    TravisR likes this.

Share This Page