There's a new dilemma in modern romance: What to do if your date doesn't have MoviePass

There's a new dilemma in modern romance: What to do if your date doesn't have MoviePass

  • MoviePass is a $10-per-month subscription service for going to the movie theater. It comes with plenty of positives, but it also raises some dilemmas.
  • One of those is how to navigate a relationship when your significant other doesn't use the service.
  • There's even a comment thread on Reddit dedicated to "MoviePass dating tips."

MoviePass, the $10-a-month movie theater subscription service, has emerged as a cost-saving mechanism for millions of moviegoers - but it has some drawbacks.

Users have complained about delayed cards and subpar customer service, and that their accounts have been suspended without warning. But even when everything goes smoothly technically, there's one social issue I've faced that you may have experienced as well: Dating someone who doesn't have MoviePass.

For $10 a month, MoviePass allows you to see up to one movie per day in theaters. You simply check into the movie on the app, within 100 yards of the theater, and use the MoviePass MasterCard to purchase the ticket. The company pays the movie theater full price for the ticket.


For film buffs like me, it's a no-brainer, and even for casual moviegoers it can save money, which has helped the company snag over two million subscribers.

But here's a problem: My significant other doesn't use MoviePass.

It raises a bevy of moral dilemmas: Is it appropriate to use it right in front of her? Should I be discreet, even if we agreed to pay for ourselves? Granted, these may be bigger questions for newer couples, but if you have MoviePass and have entered the theater with someone who doesn't, I'm sure you've thought about it.

Many of these questions stem from the simple fact that when you have MoviePass, there is no marginal cost to seeing one more movie. In one sense, you aren't paying for a movie, and your date is. That could even come up when you are suggesting that you go to the movies for the date. Are you choosing a movie night because it's "free" for you? Should you pay for half their ticket?

In my case, I go to the movies a lot, and many of those times it's alone. My girlfriend doesn't live with me or even in the same city, and it's just super convenient to go to the movies whenever I want. That means I don't see a lot of movies with her.


But for the ones I do, MoviePass has actually provided an unexpected benefit. With MoviePass, I feel even more comfortable seeing movies a second time in theaters. In fact, I saw Oscar frontrunner "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" a second time with my girlfriend. I don't even like the movie all that much, but that's okay because with MoviePass, I saw it for "free."

As to her paying full price for her ticket, most of the time when we go together, I'm not "inviting" her; she wants to see the movie as well, and we've been in a relationship long enough where we can pay for ourselves.

But not everyone's boyfriend or girlfriend loves the high ticket prices in theaters. My colleague Carrie Wittmer shared a different experience with me.

"I've been trying to get my boyfriend to get MoviePass, too," she told me. "He doesn't go as often as me, and complains about how expensive it is. But even if he saw one movie a month, he would probably save over ten bucks. He hasn't gotten it yet, but complains about how expensive tickets are every time we go. I tell him to get MoviePass, he doesn't, and the cycle continues."

There's even a Reddit thread named "Dating with moviepass tips," in which Redditors suggest ways to make a date at the theater go smoothly if your date does not have MoviePass. Some of the responses are ... not exactly productive.


"No time for dates," one commenter wrote. "Only have time for movies."

But one commenter posed a somewhat compelling argument: "Make them pay for themselves, but tell them they could have saved a lot of money if only they had Moviepass. Then get them to sign up using your referral link."

Problem solved.