On my way to church last Sunday, X-Men First Class was playing inside the bus traversing EDSA. I had the chance to take a glimpse of the movie of which the special screening I missed last time. I thought this is another movie that I’ll be watching at home. While in transit, I remembered SM Cinema’s online reservation system and realized I still have some cash in my GCash wallet.
Sunday night while waiting for sleep to fall on me, I pointed my browser to SM Cinema’s and Globe GCash website. The following are the steps I took to purchase my X-Men First Class ticket online. This is assuming you already are a registered GCash user.
Create an account at SM Cinema’s website. Filling out all the required details won’t take 5 minutes, unless you’re a slow typist.
2. Verify Registration
A message will be sent to the email address you indicated during the registration. Click on the link and you’ll get the verified account status and immediately work on your reservation.
Look for your preferred SM location. SM Cinema has over two hundred movie theaters in the country, and I think all of them are equipped with this facility. In my case I opted for SM Megamall. Then look for your preferred movie and schedule.
After choosing the cinema and my preferred schedule, I was led to book a seat. This is probably because I opted for Cinema 1 which is reserved-seating.
You have the option to pay via credit card or GCash. Naturally, I chose the latter. Then a prompt instructing me to wait for an SMS to confirm my payment was displayed. It further instructed not to close the page until the transaction is completed.
After replying to the SMS you will receive several SMS to confirm your payment. You will also receive a bcode and an email containing similar information.
Get your ticket at the ticketing machine. Open the SMS message you received containing the code, and then place your phone face down to the scanner. Follow the prompt on the screen to print your ticket.
8. Watch the movie
Present your ticket to the usher/usherette as you enter the movie house and enjoy the film.
I love this service, which I read is also available for iMax theatres. There was a time when I was so frustrated with SM’s online ticketing service for iMax because you have to pay and get the tickets a day before your scheduled screening. Considering that SM Mall of Asia and SM North Mall are not the most accessible places for me, I disliked the service. I watched 3D movies at the Gateway Mall Cineplex which has a better online reservation service. That was before, but now no more.
There are two things that somewhat irked me during the entire process. First, I had to submit my reservation twice. The SMS came late for the first reservation and I can no longer process my payment. You’re only given 5 minutes to pay, otherwise it’ll expire and you’ll have to go through it again. Second, the SM Cinema would redirect me to my registration information everytime I login which can be irritating. But I’m sure the process is to ensure that you’ve provided the correct information, especially your mobile number.
I was in a rush when I got to the mall thinking that I’d be late. Considering I paid for P220 for it, I don’t want to miss the movie. When I reached the cinema area, I can’t find any signage pointing me to the e-ticketing machine. Fortunately there was nobody in line at the booth, so I asked the lady in charge. The machine was placed past the security checks and almost at the end of the cinema lobby. Again, it was a good thing that no one was using it so I was able to complete the scanning/printing in no time.
With the GCash-SM Cinema partnership, you can treat your family and friends by forwarding them the code you received upon purchase. They don’t have to be a Globe subscriber because the machine will just read the code. As for me, there’s no more reason to miss the next 3D movie at iMax. I just need to make sure I have enough money in my GCash wallet. And until June 30th, you can get your free GCash ATM Card free.
SM Cinema is now true to it’s tag line — the absolute experience for total convenience, thanks to GCash. Now, any suggestions on the next best 3D movie?