OPINION: Regal theater subscriptions better than AMC but not by much



Illustration depicting Trinity Ramm’s column on which theater subscription is better.

When movie theaters began reopening in the spring of 2021, I was able to reflect on my relationship with movies. I realized how much joy going to the theater brought to my life.

I now take a weekly trek to the movie theaters and see at least one movie. After falling into this routine, I realized that I would save money by signing up for Regal Unlimited and AMC A-List — the theaters’ movie ticket subscription plans.

There are tiers to both systems. I have the basic plan for both, which is all you need for the Regal and AMC theaters in Wichita.

Each of them come with a three-month commitment when you first sign up. You don’t have to pay this upfront but you are locked in to pay for three months before you can cancel your membership.

Here are the basics of each program:

Regal Unlimited

  • Basic tier cost after tax: $20.56
  • As many movies as you want throughout the month
  • Still have to pay for online purchases and premium movies formats
  • 10% discount at concessions
  • Free guest tickets for certain events

AMC A-List

  • Basic tier after tax: $21.45
  • Capped at three movies a week
  • Covers extra cost for premium movie formats or online orders
  • Priority lanes at concession

Personally, I am a bigger fan of Regal Unlimited. Their loyalty points build up faster toward rewards than AMC’s credit systems.

I purchased my membership for AMC in January, and I haven’t been able to redeem any rewards. I’ve had my Regal subscription since December, and I’ve already been able to get free popcorn and drinks about three times.

With Regal, it is also easier to get points back when you forget to scan your card. There is a QR code at the bottom of the receipt that you can scan and still get your points.

At AMC, you have to go back to the counter before you leave the theater and an associate has to process the points.

The biggest draw to AMC A-List is the free premium formats like 3-D, Dolby and IMAX movies. These movies generally give me a headache, and I save them for special occasions.

It all comes down to how you go to the movies. If you see a few movies a month, but like seeing them in premium formats or enjoy the luxury of buying tickets online, AMC A-List is the subscription for you.

If you’re like me and you want to see everything in theaters and don’t mind buying at the box office — or biting the 50 cent to a dollar fee for booking online — go with Regal Unlimited to feed your movie watching addiction.