It’s Showtime For Mt. Juliet

I’ve eagerly anticipated the Providence 14 Theatre in Mt. Juliet for months. Until last week I had assumed it was yet another Carmike or Regal coming to expand eastward. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these theatres are operated by Consolidated. From what I can tell, the Consolidated chain combines the best of our two 400-lb gorillas.

–The theatre was clean and brightly coloured. The decor expands the excitement of going to the movies into the common areas. This has always been a strength of the Regal Entertainment Group, whereas too many of the Carmike Theatres have an air of dimly-lit warehouse. I always appreciate it when a theatre acknowledges that this is an event for its customers.

–As with area Regal Theatres, the Providence 14 Theatre accepts Debit Cards at the box office. Here in Dave Ramsey’s stomping grounds, that’s a good thing. I’m always a bit irked by the de facto surcharge at the Carmike box offices. They won’t take your Debit Card, but will gladly accept cash. Which you can conveniently receive at the lobby ATM–for a low convenience fee of $2.50. None of that nonsense at Providence.

–One of the Carmike strengths is that chain’s superior concessions offering. In addition to the standard candies, popcorn and beverages, the Carmike theatres offer a greater selection of non-carbonated frozen drinks, gourmet popcorn and cotton candy. I didn’t see any cotton candy for sale, but I did notice the slushie machine churning at full capacity, and the free gourmet-topping bar available for popcorn.

–We came a bit late to the theatre, so I’m holding my breath to find out what the pre-show is. Carmike allows you to drink in the theatre by showing an unobtrusive series of slides prior to the trailer reels. This allows patrons to visit quietly before the film while still bringing in advertising dollars. Regal has begun running that most obnoxious of things–The Twenty–as its preshow, assaulting their paying customers with a loud and raucous twenty minutes (hence the name) of television commercials. I hope that Consolidated fits more closely with the Carmike model in this instance.

— Providence 14 Theatres also offer clean, brightly-coloured booster seats stacked at intervals along the hallway. This seemed like a nifty service for parents who elect to take their children to movies.

It is clear that these are very family-friendly theatres. Before you wince and decide to take a pass, I don’t mean that they are a haven for screaming kids. I mean that this theatre aims to make going to the movies a family experience by providing nice surroundings, good snacks, a loyalty discount program for frequent visitors and, most importantly a Movie Mom’s Club.

Each week the manager selects regular adult-oriented features to designate as Movie Moms Club shows (patrons are encouraged to suggest titles.) During these screenings accommodations will be made specifically for the little ones. The theatre house lights are brought up a little higher and the sound will be turned down as not to bother those little ears.

These shows welcome crying! Diaper changes! Breastfeeding! Sleeping! Talking! So, can’t find a sitter? No problem, check out Consolidated Theatres’ Movie Moms Club.

I tried to sneak out of the theatre after our movie was over, but did meet up with the owner of the chain, the manager of the theatre and the Consolidated Marketing rep. I had not been aware that Consolidated once had 44 screens in the Nashville area, which were sold to Carmike. They were quite eager to return and thanked Mt. Juliet for the opportunity. I personally know that Mt. Juliet (and those of us nearby in Hermitage) are glad to have an entertainment option in our backyard.

2 Comments so far

  1. Lesley (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 6:29 am

    I wish there were a theater in West Nashville. Like on Harding Road, maybe. Near Woodmont.


    One thing I really miss about Memphis is Midtown’s Studio on the Square, which not only included great independent and “art” films along with standard fare, but also served alcohol and real food (salads, cheese plates, sandwiches, gourmet coffee) at the concession stand. And it’s new, so it’s comfy and the quality is good. Oh, and it wasn’t in a mall or strip mall, thank goodness. And it’s owned by the local chain Malco (none of the national chains have survived in Memphis).

  2. Michael (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 10:44 am

    I’m glad they have the Mommy movies thing…believe me, I am.

    But do you think they’ll have a time for adults only? One reason I don’t go to the theater that much (OK, other than lack of gf to go with me) is that it seems as if every time I go, some couple figures it is cheaper than a babysitter to bring a small child to the film…..and it just kind of bugs me. I like to get in my movie cocoon and enjoy the film…no distractions like a fussy child.

    I’ll be over on my porch, yelling at the neighborhood kids if you need me.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.