Movie Ticket Subscription Service Sinemia Abruptly Closes Shop, Files for Bankruptcy
Movie ticket subscription service Sinemia has abruptly ceased operations and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Delaware.
Among Sinemia’s challenges are two class-action lawsuits filed by customers and a lawsuit by MoviePass for patent infringement. One of the class action suits alleges that Sinemia used a bait-and-switch scheme to “lure consumers” with a monthly or annual subscription, then added on undisclosed and unexpected fees each time a subscriber sees a movie using the service. The litigation seeks damages and other relief from Sinemia’s “fraud, breaches of contract, violations of consumer protection laws, and unjust enrichment.”
In its bankruptcy filing, Sinemia declared $1.2 million in assets and $158,000 in liabilities, plus potential liabilities stemming from the lawsuits.
In addition to the pending litigation, Sinemia also said they are being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. They did not specify the nature of the investigation and the FTC would not confirm whether or not they are investigating the company.
Visitors to Sinemia’s website see the following notice:
Today, with a heavy heart, we’re announcing that Sinemia is closing its doors and ending operations in the US effective immediately.
As Sinemia, we set out our journey with the vision to help as many moviegoers as possible to enjoy an affordable and better experience at the movies by a 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.
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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.