It’s a toss up when going to the movies. Do you drive farther to look for a parking spot almost aimlessly and sit next to strangers, or do you go close by and sit in an almost 90 degree angle seat with no cup holders, and your feet glued to the ground because of the coke that spilled last week and the JuJuBes that some punk kid put in his mouth and then threw to see if it would stick to anything. But really, it’s a tossup.
At least it was until December when Rave Motion Pictures opened The Rave, the hot new spot for moviegoers. The 13-screen theater at the Ridgmar Mall is perfect for any moviegoing experience from a date to a night with friends. The overly dramatic neon lights are like stepping into a funhouse, but inside, the 4 feet between the rows allow even the tallest movie buff to have an enjoyable time, a perk nearby theaters lack.
The a few of the closest theaters to TCU are AMC Hulen 10, United Artists Hulen 10, and Loews Cineplex on Bryant Irvin. The problem with some of these, however, is their upkeep. Though they could easily be ranked from least appealing to not that bad, they all seem to exert a sense of “this place is pretty old” or ghetto, for a lack of a better term.
Being comfortable in a movie is a thing of the future when going to these three theaters. One of them (I won’t say which one for their protection, but it’s not on Hulen), has straight backs on their seats that will recline only a bit more. Still, sitting at a 99 degree angle in a seat with torn material isn’t any more comfortable. The same theater has no cup holders for the drink that (I admit) I bring in, but if they don’t care, why should I, right? Tickets aren’t even bought at a ticket window anymore but instead, inside at the concession stand. Probably because there is no need for a ticket window due to the lack of patrons they have attending their theater. Thus having no student discount. What a disgrace.
Going hand-in-hand with the up-keep is the cleanliness factor. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I prefer not to use two toilet seat covers. The overall essence of the theaters is not up to par to what a moviegoing experience should be; they’re just too run down.
The downtown theaters on the other hand are a bit more exciting and more of an event to attend. They’ve got the lights and the glamour of a two-story theater. Going from Bryant Irvin to downtown is like going from rags to riches.
The downside: driving and parking. On any given weekend night, lines can be seen trailing from the ticket window. On an opening night, the line can be around the corner. Those same people standing in the lines are the people who got all the good parking spots ahead of everyone else, meaning you.
If you have trouble driving through the escapade of the big city, it’s an even bigger adventure … problem, whichever. Then, because of less theaters and less showings, you get to sit next to those same people and rub elbows with them during the movie. Stimulating, huh? These theaters also have some trash around that give it a subway feeling, but at least your feet don’t stick to the floor.
And then there’s The Rave. It’s like a breath of fresh air, literally. It’s clean, new, exciting and what a moviegoing experience should be. Like when our grandparents went to the movies for the first time as children, it’s like that for us now. For the first time, we are going to the movies as it was intended. Comfortably. The space in the lobby makes a 200 person crowd seem like half that. Though there are still lines, they are not as bad because of the multiple ticket windows, show times and screens. More parking is another perk to the new theater that makes any hint of a crowd quickly dissipate once inside. With no parking garages and an additional entrance other than just through the mall, you can hardly tell they’re connected. The 3,200 comfortable rocket seats, arranged in stadium seating, provides a perfect line of vision wherever you sit. The extra 4 feet between the rows are just a bonus. Plus, retractable arm rests with built-in cup holders for the couple (like the one who sat in front of us) who just have to snuggle during the movie. The drive time is a bit shorter compared to downtown, and it’s a straight shot right off the highway. Much easier than winding through one-way streets.
With all the extravagances, there’s no doubt The Rave is taking business from the other theaters.
“We opened as the leading theater in town and have remained there,” said Jeremy Devine, director of marketing for Rave Motion Pictures.
Not too old, not too far … mmm, just right. No longer a toss up. Though my seat still got bumped and people still talked throughout the movie, The Rave was a pleasant experience compared to going downtown or other area theaters.