Sinemia

MoviePass Rival Sinemia Calls It Quits

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(CelebrityAccess) — Even as Avengers: Endgame broke records at the box office, movie subscription service Sinemia announced that it was shutting down its operations in the U.S., effectively immediately.

“Today, with a heavy heart, we’re announcing that Sinemia is closing its doors and ending operations in the US,” a notice on the company’s website reads. “We want to sincerely thank our customers that believed in us and helped us along the way.”

In announcing the reasons for closing, Sinemia cited amid a reported investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and noted that it lacked the necessary “funds required to continue operations.”

Sinemia has faced multiple lawsuits in the last year, including from the equally troubled rival MoviePass, who accused Sinema of stealing patented features, and from customers who alleged they were victims of a “bait-and-switch” over processing fees.

Sinemia provided its subscription customers with discounted movie tickets and other services, such as the ability to purchase movie tickets days in advance through an app. In 2018, the company rolled out an “unlimited plan” which allowed customers to watch a movie per day, that was similar to MoviePass’s subscription service.

However, Sinemia drew regulatory scrutiny over its use of additional fees that were not always well disclosed and of making the app difficult to use, such as barring users from making in-app purchases without adding a copy of a driver’s license or other photo IDs to the account.

Last month, the Sinema users started reporting that their accounts were being terminated, seemingly with no reason being given for the terminations. Sinema claimed it had detected fraudulent uses of its service and terminated those accounts, but users who had been affected accused Sinemia of using fraud as a pretext for dropping accounts without providing full refunds.