When I was a kid, seeing a movie was a totally different experience than it is today. My town had one movie theater and the tickets were $2.50 for adults and free for kids. They only served popcorn, hotdogs, and candy while only offering a few movies at a time. Now the screens are bigger, stadiums are larger, and the movie going experience is remarkably better. With the new impressive features of modern day movie theaters, the Movie Tavern franchise decide to go above and beyond what is expected of the theater. The Hulen Movie Tavern in Fort Worth offers dinner, drinks and the latest blockbuster all at once. Movie Tavern is trying to make the movies much more than a place you hang out as a teenager on a Friday night. It’s targeting a new audience and promising a new experience. You can now enjoy cocktails (Patron Margaritas for $8, where else can you find that?) and a full-fledged menu of options to eat while you enjoy a movie.
When you walk in, the first thing you notice is the bar. The presence of the bar helps defend the argument that Movie Tavern is a different kind of movie going experience. The popcorn machines aren’t visible and the whole entryway smells like a restaurant that doesn’t sell cheap hotdogs. It was a refreshing change. Upon arrival, I noticed that the movie times I saw online didn’t reflect the theater’s actual times. I ended up having to see a different movie ten minutes after it already started. The woman at the ticket booth apologized and recommended a different movie for me to see. Luckily her recommendation was great and I enjoyed the movie. Though it was frustrating, that’s part of the movie going experience; showings are canceled and sold out all the time. Aside from this, my experience at Hulen Movie Tavern was great.
The full menu and bar appeal to logos. Now, the idea of going to dinner and a movie can be done at one place for much less than you would pay at a restaurant and another upscale theater. Because I went to see the movie during the day, the matinee price was only $6.25 which is a bargain compared to the $11.50 it would have been had I chosen a movie that started an hour after mine. Hulen Movie Tavern is also a close distance to the university, making it convenient for TCU students. I don’t know about other theaters in Fort Worth, but the theaters in my hometown have the most ridiculous parking situations, making it very difficult to find a parking spot. Even though the Hulen Movie Tavern is located in very close proximity to the Hulen Mall, parking was set aside for the theater, making parking effortless. Though parking isn’t the main factor in going to see a movie, it is a factor.
Choosing the Movie Tavern franchise over AMC or Cinemark theaters was an easy choice. Movie Tavern offers several locations throughout Fort Worth making it easy to grab a bite to eat and watch a movie at the same time. For this reason, Movie Tavern has always had a positive ethos in my opinion. The Hulen Movie Tavern in Fort Worth offered a good selection of movies to choose from when normally theaters of the same size only offer about half the amount. This combined with stadium seating and large theaters gives Movie Tavern their positive reputation. They also have certain movies available before other theaters do. During the previews, Hulen Movie Tavern advertised a 10:00 pm showing on April 11, 2013 of the new movie “42” about Jackie Robinson. This movie won’t be seen in most theaters for several days. This is an added bonus to the theater and proves that nationally, the Movie Tavern reputation is great enough to reward them with movie premieres before other theaters. Lunsford would agree when she says: “Credibility speaks to honesty, respect for an audience and its values, and plain old likeability” (Lunsford 59). They were able to sell moviegoers on the movie and provide customers with an opportunity to see it before their friends.
The theater gave moviegoers many reasons to come back. The leather seats were large and comfortable, offering a side table to place your food and drinks on. This is much more convenient than your average cup holders. The seats were also a decent distance from one another. Not only was there more legroom but you are also not as close to the person next to you (which is good when you’re sitting next to a stranger that talks or texts the whole time). The theater was also impeccably clean. I didn’t see a single kernel of popcorn on the floor at all. Most importantly, the staff was friendly. Because this is a restaurant within a movie theater, each area is assigned a waiter or waitress. My waitress was very friendly, offering me refills without me having to push the little blue button on my seat. As Andrea Lunsford says in Everything’s an Argument, “we all make decisions based on our feelings” (Lunsford 30.) Because of these reasons, I will definitely return to Hulen Movie Tavern again.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at the Hulen Movie Tavern. Every aspect of the theater convinced me to return to a Movie Tavern theater and most likely this same location again. I would give this theater 3 out of 3 tickets for exceeding every standard I would expect to be met an upscale movie theater.