A MoviePass-Like Subscription Service is Coming to the UK

By Tom Pritchard on at

You'd be easily forgiven for not having heard about MoviePass, since it's a US-only thing. That said it's had its fair share of controversy, so it might have popped up on your radar every now and again. Basically its a subscription service, and in exchange for a monthly fee you're allowed to go one film a day at participating cinemas. It's a bit like Odeon Limitless or Cineworld's Unlimited Card, but without forcing you to be loyal to a single chain.

I'm bringing MoviePass up because something similar is coming to the UK. cPass claims to be the first cinema ticket subscription service in Europe, and in exchange for £9.95 a month you'll get a card that gives you free access to screenings at participating cinemas. You just need to make sure you use the cPass app to book a place beforehand, and swipe the card once you arrive.

If it sounds too good to be true, that's because it basically is right now. cPass hasn't actually launched yet, and is currently just asking people to sign up. What's more Deadline notes that the big cinema chains, many of which have their own unlimited subscriptions, haven't heard anything about it. Deadline spoke directly with the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) which confirmed that the cinemas named have nothing to do with cPass, and is actively pursuing legal options to have its members' names removed from the cPass site. The Film Distributor's Association were similarly oblivious to the existence.

cPass itself mentions Odeon, Vue, Curzon, and Cineworld, but its FAQs note that it doesn't have any partnership with them - though its founders claim the service will be usable "at any venue that accepts credit and debit cards."


The founders claim that cPass is still in the test phase, and that there are plans to move the service beyond cinemas into other areas and turn it into "the Netflix of entertainment events", but confirmed that the initial launch will only focus on London. It's not clear when we'll actually see it, or even how the company plans to make money. In an interview with Deadline one of the founders floats around the idea of crowdfunding, an ICO, and traditional venture capital fundraising, though he doesn't actually offer any specific on how it will be monetised.

£10 a month is less than the cost of a single cinema ticket in the more expensive parts of the country (London in particular), so offering 28-31 films a month for that price means someone is going to have to make a horrendous loss.

We'll have to wait and see what happens with this, and whether or not the service actually works. In the meantime there are already unlimited cinema services available, and seeing as how most people live within striking distance of a single cinema chain anyway then that should work fine for the immediate future. [Deadline 1 | 2 via Engadget]

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