Cinemark offers loyalty program for silver screen fans

Cinemark just launched its first-ever movie theatre membership program called Movie Club

The club also allows members to bring their friends to movies for reduced rates and receive discounts at concession shops. Cinemark Theaters is the 3rd largest theater chain in the United States and now wants to take on Movie Pass with their own $8.99 a month service.

Helios & Matheson, a tech software provider and consultant, has a similar movie-theater subscription service called MoviePass. For $8.99 a month, the Cinemark pass provides one ticket a month, usable only at Cinemark theaters, saving users a few bucks.

Do you enjoy going to the movies? Theater chains in particular got real spooked out by MoviePass, a subscription service startup which offers customers unlimited movie tickets at the impossibly low, low price of $10 a month ($7 during specials )-with some like AMC anxious it could drive down the price of tickets in the long run to disastrous levels. CEO Mark Zoradi told CNN Money the new pricing structure was aimed at "millennials" and its market research had found the most desired trait in a subscription service was the option to stockpile tickets.

If customers don't use their ticket in a given month, it rolls over and doesn't expire as long as the membership is active.

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Customers can see one movie per day at any theater in the U.S.

While some chains, like AMC, have criticized MoviePass for teaching consumers to under-value their product, others-including Cinemark, which will continue to accept MoviePass-see empty seats as a bigger threat to their model than a discounted ticket price for subscribers.

An additional argument in that general direction: This week, Cinemark announced a movie plan of its own.

According to The Verge, Cinemark's plan offers certain advantages, like the ability to buy tickets at the theaters and not beforehand, like MoviePass requires. Tickets can be upgraded to a premium format - XD, 3D, IMAX, and D-Box - for a small upcharge. But MovieClub from Cinemark is a sign that theaters are fighting back.