Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rave Motion Pictures - Ridgmar 13: Almost Worth It

            I am no newcomer to Rave Motion Pictures - Ridgmar 13. In fact, it is the theater where I choose to see a majority of the movies blessing the box office at the time. There are many factors that have persuaded me to trek five miles west of campus bi-weekly for the past few years: location, cost based incentives, and open seating -- just to name a few. However, for every positive, there are many glaring negatives. The decor is almost criminal as it beats you over the head with heavy laden neon lighting and a cheesy eighties color scheme. Despite (what I believe to be) the positives about Rave, it compete with rival movie theaters such as Movie Tavern in the Fort Worth area because of poor marketing, cheap aesthetics, and an uninteresting location.

            Unlike many other Rave theaters, the Fort Worth location does not bolster an interesting entrance. When I attend other Rave locations, I am barraged by an onslaught of "trendy" neon lighting, huge RAVE advertisements, and a nice water-garden or two. As the picture above suggests, the location in Fort Worth looks like it has been dropped out of a time machine from the early 1990s. I personally love the nineties, but people are becoming increasingly drawn to flashy lights and in-your-face advertising. The movie goers who enjoy that sort of thing develop a logical attachment to the quality of the theater: "If this movie theater spends a lot of money on their exterior, can you imagine what the interior looks like," person one says, "Gee, I don't know, let's go check it out," person two says. Logically, what is presented on the outside is what will be mirrored on the inside (Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz, 56-74).

            Rave does have a leg-up when it comes to student, senior, and social worker discounts. A five dollar ticket price is offered to anyone who falls in those categories during matinee times and a seven dollar ticket price is instituted in the evenings. These prices fall far below competitors who charge ten to fifteen dollars strictly because they are located in a swanky part of town. For me, this is a defining factor when choosing a theater: who provides cheaper tickets for those that may not have enough money to buy a ten dollar movie ticket every week? The method of providing incentives for people to attend a certain theater builds a character-based relationship between the theater-goer and the theater itself. If the person paying for the ticket senses "trustworthiness and credibility" or "plain old likability," then they are much more likely to return again and again at the expense of flashy lights and sleek aesthetics (Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz, 46).

            Speaking of flashy lights and sleek aesthetics, this particular Rave theater features neither of the two. As stated before, most of the spaces in the franchise are up-to-date and sexy -- so to speak. The branch located in Fort Worth looks as if the eighties had a little too much to drink and hurled up a concoction reminiscent of early Nickelodeon and MTV. Solid black ceilings and faux metal signs feel confining and unclean and the black carpet with lime green and pink polka dots don't help. What Rave doesn't seem to realize is that color, much like in film, tends to work on the subconscious level in our brains. The emotional connection to color resonates so strongly in our brains that we label girls and boys blue and pink -- hot is red and cold is blue (Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz, 36). These stimuli are so universal that they are instantly recognizable nearly everywhere in American society (Gianetti, 22). The trouble with Rave is that they use colors that seem to suggest hostility and induce anxiety (ie: neon orange, blue, yellow, and green). If the interior designer had suggested more open and free colors as opposed to bright, aggressive neon, then Rave might be a tad more inviting and feel a little less like the death-star.

            All in all, Rave shouldn't be considered a bad place to see a flick. As I have suggested before, this is actually where I choose to see a majority of the movies on my list. The ticket prices can't be beat in Fort Worth, parking and seats are readily available, and the staff is courteous and respectful. Yet, the abundant parking and seating speaks volumes about the venue's ability to draw in customers and keep them. The above picture was taken at roughly 12 p.m. and the theater was completely empty except for me and a friend there to see The Great and Powerful Oz. Around ten minutes before the film started, two older women walked in to bring attendance up to a whopping four people. I know that twelve isn't exactly prime movie-viewing time, but I've been in plenty of theaters with packed houses at the same juncture. Rave Fort Worth will not keep up with the big-boys unless it adapts with aesthetics that are reminiscent of 2013 and colors that do not make your eyes bleed. Without the stellar ticket prices, this review would have easily bottomed out at zero stars. Instead, I give Rave Motion Pictures - Ridgmar 13 one poorly chosen color palette out of three. 

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