Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hulen Movie Tavern

I selected the Hulen Movie Tavern as the location for my movie-going experience. I will explain how this theater uses the three appeals (ethos, logos, and pathos) to attract guests.
The Movie Tavern sign on the front of the building is an appeal to ethos. According to Andrea Lunsford, the author of Everything’s an Argument, “[companies] create ethos in at least two ways-through the reputation they bring to the table and through the language, evidence, and images they use” (52). The fact that this theater is called Movie Tavern hints at the kind of experience a guest will have. The definition of a tavern is a place where liquor is sold. Therefore, Hulen Movie Tavern is appealing to a more adult crowd.  Additionally, the theater’s slogan, “Movies Never Tasted So Good,” is displayed on the front of the building. This appeals to the theater’s character, because they are claiming to have good food. What results is an expectation on the part of the guest as to what faces them, even before they step foot inside.
Once inside the theater, it is easy to tell that the Movie Tavern is unlike any other theater.  There is a bar where one would normally find a concession stand. While popcorn, sodas, and candies are still available, the menu has shifted to include atypical theater foods. There are a myriad of meals to choose from. Next to the bar, an employee offers a friendly greeting and assists in the purchase of movie tickets. This warm greeting from the staff appeals to pathos. Logically, the theater lists all of the movies playing, with their show times, so that it is easy to make a selection.

At the bar, it is easy to notice the dimmed lighting and warm color palette that mimics a typical bar setting.  Louis Giannetti, the author of Understanding Movies, says that warm colors suggest stimulation and advance out towards the viewer (22). Using warm colors may draw guest towards the bar to make purchases. Movie Tavern wants to create an atmosphere for adults and entice guests to meet and hang out before, or after, a movie.  The movie theater title makes sense to the guests after seeing that a bar is inside. The arrangement of the entry way allows guests to come inside and go straight to the bar without purchasing a ticket. The accessibility of the bar to non-movie goers allows the Hulen Movie Tavern to increase its appeal.  I was at the theater at 11:00am on a Sunday, so the bar was empty. However, come Friday night, I could imagine this bar being a logical place to meet someone before a movie date, or for discussing the movie afterward over some drinks.
I decided to skip the bar and tried to find my theater. Before I could access my theater, I had to present my ticket to an employee. Once again, I was greeted by their staff with a warm greeting and smile, which is a continuation of the company’s appeal to pathos.  During my interaction with the Hulen Movie Tavern staff member, she verified my ticket, directed me to the right theater, and asked me if I would like a menu. I took a menu and continued on to find a seat before the movie started.

Inside my movie’s theater, Movie Tavern logically places all of the seats facing the screen in a tiered stadium-style placement. This allows every seat in the house to have a view of the screen. Next, each seat is given a table, which appeals to logos. Movie Tavern capitalizes on the “dinner and a movie” concept, and wants its guests to purchase food and eat while they enjoy a movie. The placement of the tables allows viewers to consume full meals, made in the Movie Tavern, rather than just a bucket of popcorn.  The comfortable chairs appeal to pathos, because you are able to get relaxed and enjoy the film in an overstuffed leather chair.  Choosing leather as the material for the seats makes Hulen Movie Tavern stand out amongst its competition. This material contributes to the company’s adult image. At each chair there is a red button which allows the viewer to get service without leaving their seat. The availability of wait staff at the push of a button is an appeal to pathos. The fact that guests do not have to leave their movie just to get a refill or order more food is pleasing and convenient.
My overall experience at the Hulen Movie Tavern was enjoyable. I was drawn to the adult themed atmosphere and the movie and dinner concept. Where else can you drink a beer while watching the latest blockbuster hit? I rarely buy popcorn at the theaters, so I liked the fact that they offered a variety of other choices. I think the red service button at each seat is extremely helpful, and changes the movie-going experience into something more like a restaurant, which I like. The only problem I encountered was that the manager had a problem with photography inside the theater. That is why all of my photos are from Google searches. After the horrific incident in Aurora, I can understand his apprehension, and I will still be giving Hulen Movie Tavern three tickets.

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