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Alamo Drafthouse Joins Movie Ticket Subscription Battle

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain has joined the growing list of movie ticket subscription programs, spurred by the popularity of MoviePass.

The Texas-based chain said Monday it was launching a “waitlist beta” for a monthly subscription program called Alamo Season Pass exclusively at its Yonkers, N.Y. location. The first invites are going out on July 18. It did not reveal the pricing.

“Our guests have been asking for quite some time for us to offer an affordable monthly subscription plan that allows for unlimited movies and the ability to reserve tickets in advance at Alamo Drafthouse,” the company said. “We plan to test a variety of models and pricing structures to see what works as a sustainable model. At this time there’s no firm timeline for a wider rollout to other Alamo Drafthouse locations, but when there is we’ll let our Alamo Victory loyalty members know first.”

The chain was founded in 1997 in Austin and has expanded 20 Texas locations. It has four locations in Virginia, two each in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri and New York and individual locations in San Francisco; La Vista, Nebraska; and Raleigh, NC.

AMC Theatres, the world’s largest exhibitor, unveiled a plan last week for customers to see up to three movies per week for the monthly fee of $19.95. The offering is being run through its loyalty program AMC Stubs, and has been dubbed AMC Stubs A-List. In a clear dig to MoviePass, a thorn in the exhibition business’ side because of its discounted ticketing, AMC calls its pricing “sustainable.”

MoviePass gives customers the chance to see a movie a day for a monthly fee of $9.99. It can also be used at nearly any theater that accepts MasterCard. However, AMC’s program offers some features that MoviePass has not matched, such as seeing movies in premium formats such as Imax, Dolby Cinema, and RealD. MoviePass has more than 3 million customers but Wall Street is skeptical of its business model.

California-based Sinemia recently announced family plans for two, three, four, five, and six people. It touted the new system as making it easier than ever for moviegoing families and friends to select seats together in advance.

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