My experience at the Ridgmar Movie Tavern was more positive than I had expected. The other cinemas that I have been to in the past were less than impressive, so my expectations were fairly low. Right when you walk in, the Ridgmar theater is instantly set apart from the rest. The café, the full bar and the overall ambience creates an environment completely different from the dirty, typical movie theater. When looking at the theater critically, I found many different elements that were strategically developed in order to make the moviegoer have a better experience. These strategies can be broken down into using ethos, logos and pathos to improve their experience and ensure they will come back again for another movie.
After conducting brief research on the cinema-eatery industry, I gained insight into the Movie Tavern’s target market. Most upscale theaters target middle-class and above families with one to three children. They also target couples going on dates without their kids by providing a full bar (Ruggless 3). The upscale feel prevents young kids loitering in the lobby or causing problems within the theater, which is a common problem in other theaters. By understanding their target market, it is easier to see how they are using different appeals to attract customers. They are obviously going to attempt to use different techniques to give the moviegoer a sophisticated, relaxing movie experience that is unique to the Movie Tavern.
One of the first words that comes to mind when describing the Ridgmar Movie Tavern is cleanliness. As soon as you walk in, the lobby is spotless, revealing their dedication to keeping a clean environment. To me, this dedication shows the importance they place on the customer, providing a perfect example of an ethos appeal. To further their credibility as a theater, every seat in the cinema has a service button to press if you need something to eat during the movie. Normal theaters have a concession stand with average movie watching food, i.e. popcorn, pop, candy, etc. The Movie Tavern has these basics covered, while also providing an array of meals to choose from. And the best part? You don’t even have to leave your seat and miss the movie. By setting themselves apart, they are building on their reputation as an upscale movie theater. According to Lunsford, “We tend to accept arguments from those we trust, and we trust them (whether individuals, groups, or institutions) in good part because of their reputations,” (Lunsford 45). A small, but noteworthy, detail that caught my eye was a light fixture in the theater I was in. The light fixture was a perfect example of the well thought out décor that the whole theater possessed. Little details such as this fixture play into the credibility an establishment can hope to attain.
The seating arrangement within the theater makes an obvious logos appeal because it allows for everyone in the theater to have a good view of the screen. While other theaters have a steeper incline, that would not be logical for the Movie Tavern due to the smaller theater size. In order for the servers to be able to get to everyone and not block anyone’s view, there is a slight incline. The rooms are smaller and with less seats in order to provide a more intimate dinning and viewing experience than would be found at an average theater. This difference also allows not only for an ethos argument, but logos as well. It sets apart the Movie Tavern’s experience and allows for reasoning to be made that this theater is perhaps more enticing.
Movie tickets are also using a logos argument when it comes to what to expect from the theater. The tickets are more expensive, so it is reasonable to expect more. “Many movie theaters are trying offer more bells and whistles on the upper end to charge more,” explained S. Siddarth, a marketing professor at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. As an expert on the theater industry’s advertising, Siddarth also discusses the importance of upscale movie theaters, especially for this point in our culture’s demand. (Siddarth par 5).
No matter how good the movie is, I can only sit still if I am in a comfortable setting and am able to relax. I found that the tavern’s large, plush, leather chairs provided an impeccable seat for viewing. There were also large cup holders and trays that could be used for eating. This comfortable arrangement satisfied all of my movie theater criteria in ways that other theaters cannot. I was able to feel relaxed and ready for the movie to begin. While emotion is a hard argument for a location to provide, the inside of the theater made sure to put my stressed nature at ease. The dim lighting once the movie is about to start also adds to the environment. My brain is trained so that I know this simple act means the movie is about to start. That, in itself, makes me excited to finally begin the last step in the movie experience.