As Theaters Begin to Open, Atom Tickets Opens up Shop on Snap

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

As Theaters Begin to Open, Atom Tickets Opens up Shop on Snap

Snapchatters can now watch movie trailers, coordinate theater trips and purchase movie tickets in the app – with the "Movie Tickets by Atom" Snap Mini.

The new feature was rolled out just as theaters are starting to open in some markets (though not yet in California or New York), and studios have finally (we think?) committed to premiering several new releases (e.g. "Bill & Ted Face The Music" on August 28th; "Tenet" on September 3rd; "Wonder Woman 1984" on October 2nd).


The debut last Friday of mid-budget thriller "Unhinged" starring Russell Crowe kicked off what will be an litmus test of consumers' desire to return to theaters. The film only grossed $4 million at the U.S. and Canada box office, but industry insiders hope it whet the appetite of moviegoers.

Will people come back? Santa Monica-based Atom Tickets is optimistic. It recently surveyed 16,000 of its cinephile users and found 74% said they would be ready to come back to theaters within one month. Of those surveyed, 40% said they would come back immediately. The most commonly cited safety measure that respondents said they wanted to see was spaced seating, followed by wearing masks for both staff and guests.

"With safety measures in place and movie fans eager to return to the movies, we knew the timing was right to launch Atom's ticketing experience on Snapchat," said Atom Tickets co-founder and chairman Matt Bakal.

What is a Snap Mini? As announced at its Partner Summit earlier this year, Snap now incorporates simplified third-party apps directly within its platform. This particular feature lets users access Atom Tickets without having to leave the Snapchat interface.

Atom Tickets was founded in 2014. Its partners, which will support the Mini, include AMC Theaters, Cinemark, Harkins Theatres and ArcLight Cinemas. The company has raised $110 million and its backers include Disney, Lionsgate, and Fidelity Management & Research Company.

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E-Scooter Companies Are Quietly Changing Their Low-Income Programs in LA

Maylin Tu
Maylin Tu is a freelance writer who lives in L.A. She writes about scooters, bikes and micro-mobility. Find her hovering by the cheese at your next local tech mixer.
E-Scooter Companies Are Quietly Changing Their Low-Income Programs in LA
Photo by Maylin Tu

When Lime launched in Los Angeles in 2018, the company offered five free rides per day to low-income riders, so long as they were under 30 minutes each.

But in early May, that changed. Rides under 30 minutes now cost low-income Angelenos a flat rate of $1.25. As for the five free rides per day, that program ended December 2021 and was replaced by a rate of $0.50 fee to unlock e-scooters, plus $0.07 per minute (and tax).

Lime isn’t alone. Lyft and Spin have changed the terms of their city-mandated low-income programs. Community advocates say they were left largely unaware.

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Faraday Future Reveals Only 401 Pre-Orders For Its First Electric Car

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Faraday Future Reveals Only 401 Pre-Orders For Its First Electric Car
Courtesy of Faraday Future

Electric vehicle hopeful Faraday Future has had no shortage of drama—from alleged securities law violations to boardroom shake-ups—on its long and circuitous path to actually producing a car. And though the Gardena-based company looked to have turned a corner by recently announcing plans to launch its first vehicle later this year, Faraday’s quarterly earnings report this week revealed that demand for that car has underwhelmed—to say the least.

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Meet CropSafe, the Agtech Startup Helping Farmers Monitor Their Fields

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Meet CropSafe, the Agtech Startup Helping Farmers Monitor Their Fields
Courtesy of CropSafe.

This January, John McElhone moved to Santa Monica from, as he described it, “a tiny farm in the absolute middle of nowhere” in his native Northern Ireland, with the goal of growing the crop-monitoring tech startup he founded.

It looks like McElhone’s big move is beginning to pay off: His company, CropSafe, announced a $3 million seed funding round on Tuesday that will help it develop and scale its remote crop-monitoring capabilities for farmers. Venture firm Elefund led the round and was joined by investors Foundation Capital, Global Founders Capital, V1.VC and Great Oaks Capital, as well as angel investors Cory Levy, Josh Browder and Charlie Songhurst. The capital will go toward growing CropSafe’s six-person engineering team and building up its new U.S. headquarters in Santa Monica.

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