The Ultimate Guide to Movie Theater Subscription Services – Ranking AMC A-List vs The Competition

Going to the movies can be an expensive hobby, with high ticket prices making it hard to see all the latest blockbusters and indie films you want. That’s where movie theater subscription services come in – offering discounted tickets and other perks for a monthly fee.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top movie subscription services available, with a detailed focus on how AMC’s A-List stacks up to the competition. You’ll learn the pricing, benefits, limitations and more to determine which service best fits your movie-going needs.

An Overview of Movie Subscription Services

Movie subscription services allow you to pay a flat monthly rate in exchange for discounted movie tickets and other benefits. They provide an affordable alternative to paying full price each time you head to the theater.

The main services currently available are:

  • AMC A-List – AMC’s premium plan with up to 3 movies per week.
  • Regal Unlimited – Regal Cinemas’ unlimited movie subscription.
  • Cinemark Movie Club – Cinemark’s monthly movie club.
  • Alamo Season Pass – Alamo Drafthouse’s seasonal subscription pass.

While prices and benefits vary, most provide discounted tickets, free upgrades, no online fees, and more. Some plans allow you to reserve tickets in advance, while others limit how far ahead you can buy.

Subscription services aren’t accepted at every theater. Most are limited to a specific chain, excluding independent theaters and other chains. This means you’ll need to factor in what theaters are included when choosing a service.

Below we’ll explore the top options in-depth, comparing AMC A-List to competitors on pricing, theater access, movie quotas, reservations, premium formats, added benefits and more.

Detailed Breakdown of Major Movie Subscription Plans

AMC A-List

AMC Theatres is the largest movie theater chain in the United States. Their premium subscription service, AMC A-List, grants you substantial perks and discounts.

Here are the highlights of AMC A-List:

Pricing

  • $19.95 – $24.95 per month depending on location
  • Discounts available for GM/Coke employees and college students

Theaters

  • Access to all AMC, AMC Dine-In, AMC Classic locations in the US (over 600 theaters and 8,000+ screens)

Movies Per Week

  • Up to 3 regular movies per week

Tickets

  • No online ticketing fees
  • Advance reservations
  • Up to 3 movies can be reserved at one time
  • Tickets roll over if unused that week

Premium Formats

  • Includes IMAX, Dolby Cinema, RealD 3D, Prime and BigD formats
  • Can be used for all 3 weekly movies

Concessions Discounts

  • 20% off all food and beverages (excluding alcohol in some states)

Other Perks

  • Free upgrades on popcorn and soda
  • Priority lines at box office and concessions
  • No blackout dates
  • Family sharing plan available for one monthly price
  • Membership includes Stubs Premiere benefits and points earning
  • Early access to tickets for major movie releases
  • Advance screening invites

Limitations

  • Only valid at AMC theaters in the US
  • Premium formats have surcharge in some locations
  • Can’t repeat a movie in the same format during the same week
  • Can’t use for special events like Fathom Events

Regal Unlimited

Regal Cinemas is another massive theater chain in the US. Regal Unlimited grants unlimited movies at Regal locations with some premium format restrictions.

Here’s an overview of Regal Unlimited:

Pricing

  • $18 – $23.50 per month depending on location

Theaters

  • Valid at all Regal Cinemas, Regal Edwards and United Artists theaters in the US (over 500 locations)

Movies Per Week

  • Unlimited movies (no weekly quota)

Tickets

  • No online fees
  • Can book tickets day of show
  • Unlimited reservations
  • Tickets don’t roll over

Premium Formats

  • Includes IMAX, RPX, 4DX, ScreenX, 3D
  • Only Unlimited Plus plan ($21-23.50/month) has unlimited access
  • Standard plan limits premium movies to 2-4 per month

Concessions Discounts

  • 10% off all concessions

Other Perks

  • Points earning with free popcorn/drink rewards
  • Advance screening invites
  • No blackout dates

Limitations

  • Only valid at Regal theaters
  • Premium formats limited for standard Unlimited plan
  • Higher price point for fully unlimited premium movies (Unlimited Plus)
  • Not valid for special events/Fathom

Cinemark Movie Club

Cinemark is another large movie theater chain in the US. Their subscription service is Cinemark Movie Club, featuring ticket discounts and concessions perks.

Here’s what you get with Cinemark Movie Club:

Pricing

  • $9.99 per month

Theaters

  • Valid at all Cinemark, Century, Tinseltown, CineArts and Rave Cinemas
  • Over 300 locations in the US

Movies Per Month

  • 1 ticket per month

Tickets

  • No online fees
  • Can book in advance
  • Tickets roll over if unused that month

Premium Formats

  • Does not include XD, DBox or IMAX
  • Must pay full price for premium screens

Concessions Discounts

  • 20% off all concessions

Other Perks

  • Ability to add additional movie tickets at a reduced rate ($8.99 instead of full price)
  • Advance screening invites
  • No blackout dates

Limitations

  • Only 1 ticket included per month
  • No premium formats like XD or IMAX
  • Only valid at Cinemark theaters

Alamo Season Pass

Alamo Drafthouse offers their Season Pass as a subscription option. It provides discounted movies for a 6-month “season” rather than month-to-month.

Here’s an overview:

Pricing

  • $14.99 – $26.99 per month, billed as a 6-month lump sum
  • Price based on location

Theaters

  • Valid at all Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations (around 40 theaters)

Movies Per Month

  • 1 regularly priced 2D movie per day

Tickets

  • Reserve up to 7 days in advance
  • Unused tickets roll over to the next month
  • No online fees

Premium Formats

  • Does not include most premium screens
  • Must pay a small upcharge for 3D, Dolby Vision, etc.

Concessions Discounts

  • 10% off food and non-alcoholic drinks

Other Perks

  • Season Passes are valid March – August, Sept – Feb
  • Advance screening invites
  • Special member events and prizes

Limitations

  • Limited to Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas
  • Must buy 6 months upfront
  • Small surcharges for premium movies
  • Can’t repeat a film more than once

Head-to-Head Comparison: AMC A-List vs. Competitors

Now that we’ve explored the major movie subscription plans available, let’s directly compare AMC A-List to the other services.

AMC A-List vs. Regal Unlimited

AMC and Regal are the two largest movie theater chains in the US. How do their subscription services stack up?

Pricing

  • A-List is $19.95 – $24.95 per month
  • Regal Unlimited is $18 – $23.50 per month

A-List has a slightly higher starting price point but both offer prices in a similar range.

Theater Access

  • A-List works at all AMC locations (600+ theaters)
  • Regal Unlimited works at all Regal cinemas (500+ theaters)

Both provide access to hundreds of theaters from the same chain.

Movie Quota

  • A-List allows 3 movies per week
  • Regal Unlimited is unlimited

Regal offers unlimited movies while A-List caps at 3 per week. However, 3 per week equals 12-15 per month which is likely sufficient for most.

Premium Formats

  • A-List includes all formats
  • Regal limits premium movies on the standard $18 plan

A-List allows full access to premium screens like IMAX with no restrictions. Regal Unlimited places limits unless you upgrade to a higher price point.

Advance Reservations

  • Both services allow booking tickets in advance
  • A-List permits reserving 3 movies simultaneously

The ability to reserve tickets ahead of time is included with both services.

Concessions Discounts

  • A-List offers 20% off food & drinks
  • Regal Unlimited provides 10% off concessions

A-List provides a better discount at 20% off all concessions items.

Perks

  • Both provide free upgrades, no online fees, and rewards points
  • A-List also includes free size upgrades on popcorn/drinks

The additional free size upgrades on popcorn and drinks is a nice benefit of A-List.

Overall, AMC A-List edges out Regal Unlimited for its lower price for premium formats, bigger concessions discount, and free size upgrades. But they closely compete.

AMC A-List vs. Cinemark Movie Club

Cinemark Movie Club takes a different approach than AMC A-List. Let’s see how they compare:

Pricing

  • A-List starts at $19.95 per month
  • Cinemark Movie Club is $9.99 per month

Cinemark Movie Club is substantially cheaper at only $9.99 monthly.

Movies Included

  • A-List includes 3 movies per week
  • Cinemark includes 1 ticket per month

You get far more included movies with A-List versus just 1 per month with Cinemark.

Premium Formats

  • A-List includes IMAX, Dolby Cinema, etc.
  • Cinemark does not include XD or IMAX

A-List allows full access to all premium screens while Cinemark limits you to standard 2D movies.

Concessions Discount

  • A-List offers 20% off all items
  • Cinemark provides 20% off concessions

The discounts on concessions are identical at 20% off.

Advance Reservations

  • Both services allow booking ahead
  • A-List permits reserving 3 movies at once

You can reserve in advance with both A-List and Cinemark Movie Club.

Perks

  • A-List provides free upgrades and no online fees
  • Cinemark offers discounted companion tickets

A-List has nicer benefits like free upgrades, while Cinemark lets you add companion tickets at a discount.

The more limited movie quota and premium format restrictions make Cinemark Movie Club a less compelling value compared to the superior features of AMC A-List.

AMC A-List vs. Alamo Season Pass

Here’s how AMC A-List and Alamo’s Season Pass shake out:

Pricing

  • A-List is $19.95 – $24.95 per month
  • Season Pass is $14.99 – $26.99 per month as a 6-month lump sum

A-List offers traditional month-to-month payment, while Season Pass requires paying 6 months upfront. But both are affordably priced.

Theater Access

  • A-List works at all AMC locations (600+ theaters)
  • Season Pass is limited to Alamo Drafthouse (around 40 theaters)

A-List provides significantly wider theater access compared to the limited Alamo Drafthouse locations.

Movies Per Month

  • A-List allows 3 movies per week
  • Season Pass offers 1 per day

Both plans effectively offer unlimited movies.

Premium Formats

  • A-List includes all formats
  • Season Pass has small upcharges for premium screens

A-List allows premium formats with no extra fees, unlike the small surcharges from Season Pass.

Concessions Discounts

  • A-List offers 20% off all concessions
  • Season Pass provides 10% off most items

You’ll save more on concessions with A-List at 20% off versus 10% off with Season Pass.

A-List beats out Season Pass for its wider theater network, premium formats without fees, and better concessions discount. But Season Pass could be a good choice near Alamo Drafthouse locations.

Pros and Cons of AMC A-List

Now that we’ve seen how AMC A-List compares to the competition, let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of A-List itself.

Pros

  • Wide theater access at all AMC locations nationwide
  • Up to 3 movies per week at no extra cost
  • Includes IMAX, Dolby Cinema and other premium formats
  • Generous 20% discount on all food and drinks
  • No online ticketing fees
  • Advance reservations and seat selection
  • Free upgrades on popcorn/drinks
  • No blackout dates or excluded movies
  • Earn points and rewards on tickets and concessions

Cons

  • Only valid at AMC theaters, excludes other chains
  • Occasional surcharges for premium movies at some locations
  • Must use A-List allocated movies during same week, no rollover
  • Can’t purchase advance tickets very far in future (1-2 weeks out)
  • Doesn’t work for special events like Fathom screenings
  • Membership auto-renews monthly until canceled

The pros of A-List heavily outweigh the cons. The wide theater access, premium formats, generous concessions discount and allowance of 3 movies per week make it a spectacular deal for frequent moviegoers. The only real downsides are that you’re limited to AMC theaters and allocated movie tickets expire weekly. Overall, A-List is arguably the top movie subscription service available today based on value and benefits provided.

Is AMC A-List Worth It? Who Should Sign Up

AMC A-List can provide incredible value if you watch a lot of movies in theaters. But who should consider subscribing?

A-List is worth it for:

  • Frequent moviegoers who see 2+ movies in theaters every month
  • Households with multiple family members who love movies
  • People who enjoy premium formats like Dolby Cinema, IMAX, etc.
  • Those wanting to save money on high concession prices
  • Anyone near an AMC theater for easy access
  • Fans of blockbusters, opening weekends and new releases
  • People who love spontaneity and reserving movies last minute

Casual moviegoers probably won’t get their money’s worth from A-List. You need to attend the cinema regularly to maximize the benefits. Cost-conscious households and film lovers who want premium formats and concessions discounts find A-List provides incredible ongoing value.

AMC A-List vs. Paying Individually

To see the savings A-List can provide, let’s compare the cost of subscribing versus paying individually per movie.

Assuming a monthly price of $19.95 for A-List, here’s how costs break down:

2 movies per month

  • A-List: $19.95
  • Paying Individually (at $12 average ticket price): $24
  • Savings with A-List: $4.05 per month

4 movies per month

  • A-List: $19.95
  • Paying Individually: $48
  • Savings with A-List: $28.05 per month

6 movies per month

  • A-List: $19.95
  • Paying Individually: $72
  • Savings with A-List: $52.05 per month

The more movies you see, the more value A-List provides. Even at just 2 movies monthly, A-List starts saving you money. The savings get massive at 4+ movies per month when factoring in discounted concessions too. It quickly pays for itself if you attend AMC theaters regularly.

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AMC A-List Membership Options and How to Sign Up

Ready to enjoy everything AMC A-List has to offer? Here are the membership options available and how to go about signing up:

Membership Options

  • Individual Plan – For single users. Cost is $19.95 – $24.95/month depending on location.
  • Family Plan – For 2 or more people. Only costs $10 extra per month for each added member. Shared membership benefits.

Ways to Sign Up

  • Sign up online at AMC’s A-List enrollment page. Enter your info and payment method.
  • Download the AMC Theatres app and sign up for A-List through the app.
  • Visit the box office at your local AMC theater to enroll in person.

Tips for Enrolling

  • Have a valid credit or debit card ready for payments
  • Select your desired plan (individual or family)
  • Choose the closest participating AMC theater as your “home” location
  • Read all Terms & Conditions thoroughly
  • Consider prepurchasing an annual plan to lock in pricing

Once enrolled, you can start reserving movies online or through the AMC app immediately. Enjoy those savings on tickets and concessions!

AMC A-List FAQs

Still have some questions about A-List? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the service:

How soon after signing up can I start booking movies?

You can start reserving movies as soon as your A-List membership is activated – no waiting!

Can I see movies in multiple cities with A-List?

Yes. Your membership works at all

Can I use A-List for advance screenings or special events?

Unfortunately A-List can’t be used for special screenings like Marvel marathon events, Fathom Events showings, or advance fan screenings. It is valid for regular theatrical releases only.

Does A-List work for reservations made at the theater box office?

Yes. You can use A-List for walk-up tickets at the box office just like online reservations.

Can I use A-List at the AMC Dine-In theaters with table service?

Yes, A-List is valid at all AMC Dine-In locations. You’ll receive the usual A-List benefits along with the dining experience.

Can I use my A-List membership for movies after midnight?

As long as it is still the same calendar day, you can use A-List for late night showtimes after midnight. The movie just has to start before midnight.

Is there an expiration date on unused A-List movie tickets?

Yes. Any unused A-List movies that rollover expire 6 weeks after they rolled over. So you have 6 weeks to use unused tickets.

Can I put my A-List membership on hold if I go out of town?

Unfortunately AMC does not currently offer the ability to temporarily pause or suspend your A-List account. You would need to fully cancel membership.

What happens if AMC adds surcharges for premium movies at my theater?

If your local AMC adds surcharges for certain premium formats after you sign up, you’ll be grandfathered in under the original A-List terms without premium upcharges.

How do I get discounted concessions with A-List?

Just show your A-List membership card or app at the register when purchasing food and drinks. The 20% discount will automatically apply to all items.

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