An "AMAZING" Theater
I chose to review AMC Palace 9, which is located in Sundance Square downtown Fort Worth, TX as an example. Here are some images from the outside:
|These are some of the movie posters on display outside the theater. Note that the movies on display are all vintage.|
|Here's the outside of the building lit up at night. As you can see, it is reminiscent of old Majestic theaters.|
It is likely that the theater deliberately designed its exterior to look and feel like the original movie theaters with the intent of capitalizing on the sense of nostalgia that customers would feel thus contributing to the pathos of the consumers. The posters of older classic films contribute to the vintage-vibe the designers are creating. We are suddenly transported back to a time when these movies were popular. Just by looking at the outside of the theater, one can expect that this night out will be more than just watching a movie; it will be a cinematic experience, which might also explain why the tickets were ten dollars a piece (adult price)! People are paying for more than the movie; they are paying for the ambiance. In Understanding Movies, Louis Giannetti explains the importance of ambiance in relation to mood: "It's strongly emotional in its appeal, expressive and atmospheric rather than intellectual" (22). Once inside, this ambiance becomes more apparent. Here's some shots in the lobby:
|The noticeable nod to MGM studios with a mural of some of their older film stars in the background is certainly adding to the theme of vintage film.|
|King Kong and the empire state building were life size and set up along the stair railing.|
All of these decorative items inside the building added to the ambiance and helped establish a mood for the building and within the customers. However, they also serve as tool for ethos in that customers recognize some of the scenes from famous blockbusters, like King Kong or John Wayne, and Scarlett O'Hare, and associate those images with movies that have become legends in the film industry. The fact that these images are plastered on the walls in the AMC theater demonstrates their movie making standards and suggests that they will only show the best in the biz. Thus, the theater is aligning their own ethos with the ethos of these films in the hopes that customers will link the theater with these icons.
Ethos is also established by AMC's logo: "AMC AMAZING" that can be seen on their products and inside the theater on promotional videos like the one below.
As this video demonstrates, AMC tries to project the image/ethos of being able to transport viewers to a whole new world inside the theater. They make you believe that by sitting yourself in one of their chairs, you too can end up in a fantasy similar to J. R. R. Tolkein's Middle Earth. Similarly, they proudly display their logo alongside Coke to bolster both companies credibility. Martin Smith, author of "Brand Name Props in the Movies"might view AMC's partnership with coke as selling out, but this particular placement is obvious rather than implicit (which Smith deems somewhat unethical) and is clearly benefitting both companies and targeting a mutual audience (2). The message is simple: AMC is the best place for movies, and coke is the best drink for the theaters.
It takes more than a good atmosphere or strong ethos to keep customers coming back for more. AMC displays its knowledge of logos in many ways. The first of which is appealing to the customers' pocketbooks. AMC probably realizes their ticket prices are above average in town, so to counteract that, they offer deals on snacks like the two images below note:
Customers are always on the hunt for a good deal, so if the prices on snacks seem logical, they are more likely to purchase these items. Pictured above are several combo deals as well as some other perks, like "free refills" that may attract more consumers.
The whole point in coming to the movies is to enjoy the latest flick. Viewers flock to the theater to get a movie-experience they could not achieve at home. The expectation of comfortable seats and a big screen has become so predictable that it is now only logical that theaters meet this requirement. AMC does not disappoint. Below are pictures of the chairs and the screen from the inside:
These plush seats were comfortable and situated in an upward angle so that no one had to worry about seeing over another person's head. Short people like me could easily view the movie without the fear of someone else blocking the view. The screen was also quite large, which added to the out of home experience.
Overall, my trip to the AMC theater did not disappoint! Despite the ticket price, I feel that this theater offers viewers an upscale movie-going experience that is worth the money. I found myself just enjoying looking at the murals on the walls and spotting some scenes from my favorite films. Once inside my theater, I was comfortably seated in a clean environment with my popcorn in hand. I would definitely recommend this theater for a night out on the town with the girls or for a date night. Either way, you will have fun! I rate this theater 3 out of 3 tickets!