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MoviePass, movie ticket app that closed in 2019, plans to relaunch this summer

The subscription-based service is gearing up for a second act.
Moviepass debit cards and used movie tickets.
MoviePass is getting a new lease on life.Richard Drew / AP

MoviePass is getting a reboot.

The subscription-based movie ticket service plans to relaunch this summer, nearly three years after shutting down amid financial woes.

MoviePass founding chief executive Stacy Spikes announced the plans during an event at Lincoln Center in New York City on Thursday afternoon.

Spikes laid out an ambitious goal, telling the audience he wants the company to be responsible for 30 percent of all movie ticket sales across the United States by 2030.

The original incarnation of MoviePass gained a cult following in 2018 with a simple sales pitch. The service allowed subscribers to see a movie in theaters as often as once a day for $10 a month.

MoviePass helped popularize a subscription model that was soon embraced by other companies. In the summer of 2018, for example, AMC Theatres rolled out a program that allows subscribers to see up to three movies a week for a monthly fee.

But the fast-growing MoviePass struggled to turn a profit and halted operations in September 2019. (The company paid movie theaters full price for every admission and effectively lost money as the number of subscribers ballooned.)

Spikes, who co-founded MoviePass in 2011, said Thursday he was pushed out of the company sometime after it was acquired in 2017 by Helios + Matheson, a publicly traded data analytics company.

In his presentation, Spikes nodded to the financial difficulties that plagued the company during the Helios + Matheson era, displaying an image of the Hindenburg disaster on a large screen.

Spikes recently bought the company out of bankruptcy. He promised that the new version of the firm — dubbed "MoviePass 2.0" in promotional materials — would be a more financial sustainable venture modeled on a "co-op."

He spoke in general terms about plans to organize the new platform around virtual currency and tiered pricing plans. He did not reveal any specifics on subscription fees, though.

Spikes said the service will also incorporate technology from PreShow, a startup he launched in 2019.

PreShow allows subscribers to earn credits by watching video advertisements that track eyeball movements and pause whenever a user looks away from their smartphone screen.

In an interview after the presentation, Spikes said he was not deterred by people who believe the theatrical experience has no viable economic future.

"We believe in this space," Spikes said.