UPDATE August 3, 2018: We’ve just added an exclusive offer from Sinemia for Butter users that gives you an extra $1 off the monthly plan price. They have also added a lower cost 2 movie-tickets-per-month plan for $5.99/month and a 1 movie-per-month plan for $3.99/month — these two plans don’t include premium showings, but it’s hard to beat at this price.
About a month ago, we posted about Sinemia and their enticing movie subscription offerings. If you’re too lazy to read our thorough breakdown of Sinemia, it’s a monthly/annual subscription service that offers movie tickets to any theatre at a significant discount.
In Toronto, it costs roughly $14.95 per movie ticket where Sinemia only costs $9.99/mo for 2 movie tickets. If you watch just one movie a month, Sinemia pays for itself (and then some). They also have various additional offers if you want to watch more movies per month or a joint plan for 2 people.
There are eye-popping savings on IMAX, DBOX and 4DX movie tickets since Sinemia, as advertised, let’s you purchase tickets to any type of movie. These premium tickets can cost anywhere between $20 to $30 each, and with a Sinemia subscription, you can purchase these at no additional cost.
It almost seems too good to be true and there has been a lot of debate on various discussion boards about how sustainable and legitimate a service Sinemia is. The only way to know for sure was to bite the bullet and sign up for Sinemia, and so I did.
After I Signed Up…
I signed up for the 2 movies for 2 people per month deal, which costs $20.99/mo. I received my Sinemia Mastercard in the mail within a week of signing up and the instructions were a little unclear on what to do next. This was a common theme throughout.
Upon downloading their app, the instructions made it seem like the only way to purchase tickets was by getting them at the box office. I actually didn’t mind that, but the ability to buy your tickets online in their ‘Advance Ticket’ section was never mentioned until I actually stumbled upon it myself.
Essentially, you use your Sinemia Mastercard like you would a regular credit card and purchase them on Cineplex.com, for example, and you’re all done! Great, or so I thought, until I actually went through the process. There’s a bunch of steps that the app doesn’t specify, which needs to happen between deciding on your movie and actually watching it.
Booking my Movie Ticket
First, I needed to visit Cineplex.com and note the day, time and type of movie I wanted to see (I picked Tomb Raider in 4DX at 12:25p.m. on March 15). I returned to the Sinemia app and entered this information in. According to the prompts, this enables the card to be used for buying tickets to that movie.
Anyways, I returned to Cineplex.com again and crossed my fingers as I tried to check out using my Sinemia Mastercard, and this is where things got very rocky. My postal code wasn’t working, and by pure chance, I remembered a tip from a Reddit user about using ‘34394’ as the postal code. Some users claimed that Sinemia informed them of this, but I didn’t receive any such notice.
Next, I needed to verify my online transaction with Mastercard and did not have any of the information requested. On top of all that, it was written entirely in Turkish! I had to copy and paste chunks of their instructions into ‘Google Translate’ and piece together what they wanted from me.
In the 5–6 minutes it took me to translate what Mastercard wanted from me, I received a text message from an unknown number that had a bunch of numbers that I figured were the missing information. However, it was in Turkish again! I didn’t want to guess which numbers went where and risk getting blocked out by Mastercard for guessing too many times, so I once again translated the text message and figured it out.
The whole experience took about 15–20 minutes and was the most fragmented and confusing checkout process that I’ve ever gone through. I don’t doubt Sinemia will fix the experience and bring the entire process down to 3–4 minutes. I just hope they do it soon. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to get Sinemia working.
We reached out to Sinemia for a comment and it appears they’re well aware of these difficulties:
“We are aware of the experience issues. Our product and development teams are currently working on the simplified process and clear instructions. Our goal is the present enhancement of the customer experience in order to make it easier for our subscribers in Canada due to the differences in offline and online payment processes with Sinemia card specifically in Canada. We will always improve our service to provide the best movie-going experience.”
At the end of the day, I did manage to watch the movie — which was okay at best.
Sidebar — The 4DX experience was surprisingly very fun. The chairs move and vibrate with the on-screen action and there’s strobe lights, simulated wind/fog/lightning, and mist/scent (there was a scene on a beach and it actually smelled like a beach!)
‘The end justifies the means’ is the best way to describe Sinemia in its current form. If you’re willing to go through this confusing and strange process of booking a movie ticket, you’re on your way to making some seriously hefty savings. Two tickets to Tomb Raider in 4DX would’ve cost me $50.00 and I only paid $20.99 with 2 tickets left for the month. If you can figure it out (it’s annoying, not impossible) and trust that they’ll improve the checkout process, then this is definitely for you.