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MoviePass: $10 a month for all the movie tickets you want

The service originally launched in 2011, but you'd be forgiven for not knowing that.

Theaters can be comparatively expensive and inconvenient these days, but it's hard to beat the big screen.
James Martin/CNET

Movie theater tickets continue to get increasingly expensive -- even as streaming video providers like Netflix, catalogs of on-demand digital movies and meal delivery services make it increasingly easier to stay at home.

But what if -- for the price of a single movie ticket -- you could go to the theater every single day of the month? 

That's the new pitch for MoviePass: $10 a month, for one movie ticket per day for any movie in practically any US theater you want, no contract required. (How can MoviePass afford that? Read our full interview.)

There are some restrictions, mind you: No 3D movies, no IMAX or DBOX or any other enhanced viewing option that would usually come with an extra charge. Plus, you'll probably have to buy your ticket at the theater itself -- online ticket options generally aren't available.

But you probably won't have a hard time finding a participating theater, because MoviePass says it supports all major theaters in the United States. The company claims MoviePass works at 36,000 screens across 4,000 different locations -- the lion's share of the 40,174 screens that exist in the US, according to a 2016 National Assocation of Theater Owners estimate.

Update, 4:12p.m. PT Wednesday, August 16: In a press release issued late Tuesday, AMC Theaters says it doesn't want to be part of MoviePass and is attempting to legally opt-out, saying it doesn't believe the business model is sustainable for the movie industry. That'd be a blow, as AMC operates over 8,200 screens in the US. On Tuesday night, we spoke to MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe about AMC's objections and how it can possibly afford all those movies without AMC's help.

MoviePass isn't totally a new idea. It launched back in 2011 at a far pricier $50 a month, which didn't seem to make a lot of sense at the time. But at $10, you're not only justifying the price with your first movie each month, it's also competitive with other streaming service like Netflix and HBO Now, which cost $8 and $15 a month, respectively. 

According to Bloomberg, the movie industry is feeling pressure after a slowdown in ticket sales, and MoviePass might help fill the hole. As for MoviePass, the company's new majority shareholder Helios and Matheson told Bloomberg it hopes to sell data on MoviePass customers' viewing behavior to advertisers. Be warned.

Now playing: Watch this: How the crazy $10-a-month MoviePass deal works