My wife and I have lived in Beijing for several years. Over the years we’ve had many friends venture to the movies theaters to watch the latest hits while we stayed home and enjoyed the savings of 10RMB DVDs. Now certainly there is a worthwhile savings for those who are patient enough to wait for a quality copy to come out to the dwindling number of DVD stores, but we all know that going to the theater is just not the same experience. There’s just something about the big screen, especially in 3D that blows away the home viewing experience.
A few months ago a local friend gave us some free movie tickets. Another friend then told me about an app that would allow a view of all the current movies and where they were playing. I then chose a 3D movie I knew my life would love to see for her birthday, but you guessed it, the free tickets were for 2D movies. I was now finally motivated, I had to have those tickets, but the price! So I asked another friend and they told me about the app. I actually bought the tickets while standing in line at the theater and saved substantially at the counter.
So, if you have an interest in either watching Chinese or Western movies (in their original language) in Beijing, with the original voice soundtrack, and don’t mind or actually would enjoy practicing your Chinese reading by following the Chinese subtitles, then this app is a must. The app is free and is called Mtime, or in pinyin – shiguangwang (时光网). Below is the step-by-step process for downloading and using Mtime.
Note that these directions are specific to making your purchase using a Chinese bankcard.
1) Download the app and open it.
2) The Home page is at center bottom and the current movie list is displayed with a customer rating from 1-10 (this post will not go into what the other bottom tabs are for).
3) Scroll through and pick the movie you’re interested in.
4) Push the orange purchase ticket (购票) tab.
5) Here you will have a choice of dates at the top and below a scroll down for movie theaters showing your movie pick. I prefer to narrow the options by tapping the middle green circle tab (地区) so I can choose theaters in my district. If you’re in Chaoyang District you might want to choose the second tab for your nearby (附近) theaters.
6) Scroll down and select the tab for your choice of theaters.
7) You will see optional show times and prices for your movie tickets. Touch the tab for your preferred show time.
8) Reserve your seat(s) by touching the seats you prefer. You can touch and order as many seats as you want from those that have not been reserved. The seats you reserve will appear orange while the rest are blue. The bottom will display the row (排) and seat numbers (座). When you’re finished you can press the orange next (下一步) button.
9) Enter the cell phone number and password you would like to use (there should be at least one numerical digit).
10) Now push the light blue register tab (免费注册) (In the future, once you’ve registered, you can tap the log in (登录) tab, that is, assuming it remembers your phone number).
11) Enter your phone number and your preferred password, then push the tab to obtain your verification number (获取验证吗) and you will receive a text with your verification code.
12) Enter the code and push the (提交) tab.
13) You get a pop up window that asks you to confirm that you want to go forward. Touch the definitely (确定) tab if you definitely want the tickets.
14) Now you have two choices, either registering your email address or cell phone. If you want to order tickets only with your phone, then touch the submit (提交) tab (this post only follows the track of using your cell phone).
15) You will get a screen that confirms you order and the amount. If it all looks right tap next (下一步).
16) Now you have a choice of payment options. The simplest is to use the Union Pay online option (使用银联在线付款) which is the second orange tab.
17) Now enter your bankcard number and touch “next”. You will get a second window. Enter your pin# and your registered phone number and then touch the orange SMS tab. You should receive a text with the required SMS number. Enter the number and touch “Start Pay”.
18) When processing is complete, Mtime should hold a record of your ticket purchase. You should also receive a text with the purchase details. You can show either of these at the ticket window to receive your tickets.
Of course I accept no responsibility for the accuracy of this post, or any losses you may incur as a result of following the above instructions.
There you have it. Enjoy your movie!