Sinemia, the movie-ticket service that launched in 2014 and emerged as a competitor to the beleaguered MoviePass over the last year, has announced that it is shutting down effective immediately. In a note on the company’s website, Sinemia said that its “efforts to cover the cost of unexpected legal proceedings and raise the funds required to continue operations have not been sufficient.”
Here’s the full statement:
Today, with a heavy heart, we’re announcing that Sinemia is closing its doors and ending operations in the US effective immediately.
At Sinemia, we set out on our journey with the vision to help as many moviegoers as possible enjoy an affordable and better experience at the movies by creating a movie ticket subscription service that adds value for both the moviegoers and the movie industry. Since 2014, we’ve been fine-tuning our model and serving movie-goers with a slate of affordable and flexible subscription plans.
We are all witnessing that the future of moviegoing is evolving through movie ticket subscriptions. However, we didn’t see a path to sustainability as an independent movie ticket subscription service in the face of competition from movie theaters as they build their own subscriptions. Thanks to the cost advantage and cross-sell opportunities, movie theaters will be prominent in the movie ticket subscription economy.
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While we are proud to have created a best in market service, our efforts to cover the cost of unexpected legal proceedings and raise the funds required to continue operations have not been sufficient. The competition in the US market and the core economics of what it costs to deliver Sinemia’s end-to-end experience ultimately lead us to the decision of discontinuing our US operations.
Despite the best efforts of our team, it has been difficult for us as a start-up to continue providing our services to the moviegoers in the US without resources and enough capital to meet increased operations and legal costs.
We want to sincerely thank our customers that believed in us and helped us along the way for their love and support.
We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to share our dream with you.
Sinemia allowed subscribers to pay a monthly fee and use an app to purchase movie tickets at different tiers, including a “Limitless” option. It had been the subject of complaints from users who said that the service didn’t work and, in some cases, their accounts were terminated without warning.
Last November, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the company that alleged a “bait and switch” scheme against customers. “[Sinemia] lures consumers in by convincing them to purchase a purportedly cheaper movie subscription, and then adds undisclosed fees that make such purchases no bargain at all,” according to the lawsuit. “Sinemia fleeces consumers with an undisclosed, unexpected, and not-bargained-for processing fee each time a plan subscriber goes to the movies using Sinemia’s service.”