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Medieval Times: Feast Your Eyes Upon the Unholy Union of Movie and Restaurant

By Jodi Clager | Trade News | May 14, 2013 | Comments ()


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Are you familiar with the themed restaurant Medieval Times? Perhaps you glimpsed the glorious dinner theater in the 1996 movie The Cable Guy and thought to yourself, "Surely this nirvana, this Heaven on Earth is not a real place that I can visit!" Oh ho, my friend! Medieval Times is real and it is magnificent.

Once, long ago, when I actually went on vacations, I found myself in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Along with spending time at the beach, screaming when fish dared come near me while I snorkled, and going with my aunt, my cousin, and her boyfriend to House of Blues to see Busta Rhymes, we all decided to go to Medieval Times. I was excited. I love food! I love jousting (sort of)! I love food!

When you visit Medieval Times, you are seated in a section that corresponds to one of the champions participating in the 'tournament' you are about to see. As luck would have it, we were seated in the Red Knight's section. The Red Knight is the bad guy (although, according to the website, that isn't necessarily the case anymore). Cheering for the bad dude is the most fun that you can have at a jousting tournament, I can tell you. We screamed such marvelous taunts and nearly went hoarse from calling "...down, down, down, blue knight's goin' down...".

The food was also amazing! As pointed out in The Cable Guy, there are no utensils. You drink a thick and hearty soup from a handled bowl. You gnaw on half a chicken. There is bread and you are given drinks and a dessert at the end.

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As idiot kids in their late teens, we took a raucous delight in loudly belching, screaming, and generally being the kind of people that were having so much fun that the people sitting around them seem to melt away. I belched so loudly that a fellow patron in front of me actually turned to look at what massive beast had let loose so foul a sound, only to see a petite teenager grinning back at them.

That day was a good day. I tell you that to tell you this: Benderspink and Broken Road are hoping to film a Medieval Times movie based on the restaurant of the same name. Maybe the Pirates of the Caribbean exceeded expectations for a film based on a ride, but that was tempered by the game-turned-move Battleship. A restaurant being turned into a movie. This is what it has come to in Hollywood. Attempting to bottle an experience that cannot be replicated properly, at least in my eyes, by a movie.

If Hollywood wants to make a jousting movie? Make one. A tournament during medieval times? Sure. A movie about actors portraying other actors that are portraying medieval knights for a crowd of actors portraying customers? I don't see how this could work. Some things just don't translate.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Uriah_Creep

    When I went to the Medieval Times in Torornto many years ago, the women were asked to obey the men, as they were simple "wenches", so I got to order my rather bossy date around all evening. It was about the most legal fun I could have had with her outside the bedroom.

  • Even Stevens

    No utensils, but they do have Pepsi! We went there on an 8th grade trip to NYC for Spanish class... how that related to either thing, I have no idea. But yay for jousting!

  • e jerry powell

    UGH.

  • wonkeythemonkey

    When I went there in high school, the Green Knight was the villain. I think they may rotate which knight gets to be the villain.

  • Bert_McGurt

    The only way I could see this working is if this is actually the premise for what turns out to be a super-duper secret "Party Down" movie.

  • Robert

    This could work in a few ways. 1) Mockumentary. 2)Onstage/backstage madcap comedy ala Noises Off. 3) The story of the creation of Medieval Times. 4) Quasi-anthology film about different all converging on the same performance at Medieval Times.

    None of these guarantee a good film. But compared to Battleship, there's at least a few ways to make it work.

  • I was the rep for an artist who did some jewelry consignment at the Medieval Times in So Cal. That place is sad when there's no one in it, and it smells funny, but it is absolutely a fun and kitschy experience when the show is happening.

    On the other hand, there are way better ideas for a jousting movie, and actual jousters who already act for a living to help out the folks who attempt to stand in for them. Because your average marquis actor is not likely to want to do what professional jousters do, nor should they. Those guys are batshit crazy - mostly in a good way.

    Conversely, they could just follow this guy around with a camera and make cinematic gold: https://www.facebook.com/SirMa...

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Ah, are the Medieval Times jousters as crazy as these guys?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05...

  • Yes, but in a different way. Both the Med Times jousters and those who perform at faires are (usually) choreographed. That said, the horses are the x-factor and anything can happen. Also, simple things like the state of the ground (wet, dusty, churned up) can change things in an instant. I saw a guy put a sword through his opponent's shoulder. The injured guy did his whole death scene 5 minutes early, bleeding like crazy, then they called the show and the victor carried out his wounded buddy. The crowd had no idea it wasn't fake blood. (The injured guy still jousts to this day, so it ended better than it might have.) No matter what, they are all cocky as hell, but very few approach the comedic and over the top hubris of the guy I linked to above. For the record, he totally does not believe his self-created press.

  • I've been wanting to go to Medieval Times forever, if only because it looks so completely ridiculous and kitschy, but that shit is like $60! Per person! What the shit?

  • rocboltin rocbolt

    I'm embarrassed to know this, but it is usually pretty easy to find 1/2 price coupons online or around touristy brochure racks. It's definitely one of those things so wonderfully dumb you gotta do once in your life.

    Also if you go to Tennessee you can see the Civil War equivalent "Dixie Stampede", literally the same show and food only in Blue and Gray

  • Robert

    Yay, it is truly an event to behold. They switched to all LED lighting a couple years ago and it really heightens the experience. The show starts with at least 6 horses and usually ends with 3 rotating out on all the parts. I went a few weeks ago and this gorgeous horse that looked like Epona from the Zelda series was used in jousting by the green, red, black and white, black and yellow, and rogue Russian combatants in a 20 minute period. Most of the horses were over it.

    You go to get drunk, hoot at the actors, have delicious soup, and laugh at the anachronisms. Bonus points duly awarded each time the idiots in the audience choose to stand up during the falcon handling and practically get tackled by security to stop them from being targeted by the bird of prey. And you just have to applaud when a knight and/or squire accidentally slips in a huge pile of shit.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I dunno, maybe keeping horses and armor and and insurance is pricey? And falcons. They usually have a falcon. It's dinner and a show, yo.

    But if you know any discount ticket services, like Goldstar or maybe even Groupon - it shows up from time to time. Or check a print newspaper for coupons. I swear they have them.

    We went to the one in Lindenhurst a few times in the few years after it opened, for Mother's Day, for a birthday here and there. It is definitely fun. And we kept those crowns for a long, long time.

  • Sherry

    I'd wanted to go forever, mostly because we lived near one and my parents would never take me. On Father's Day a couple of years ago, they had a great deal and we went and it was awesome. ALSO as a result of me filling out a survey, I got a lifetime fan pass which=50% off everything. Even more awesome. But getting away from the awesomeness of my MT experiences, my point was for you to be on the lookout for deals and packages--they have them ALL the time, at least for the one up here (DC/Baltimore). If you can take advantage of one of those, it really is so much fun.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT!

  • Puddin

    Yes. A thousand times yes.

  • BWeaves

    Naw, what we NEED is a Game of Thrones interactive restaurant.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    But if you get seated at Joffrey's section, you'll also need bodyguards.

  • Lamprey Pie for all!

  • Kristen Mc

    I don't know, it could work. Sort of Adventureland meets Waiting set in a Medieval Times?

  • bleujayone

    Wasn't A Knight's Tale basically all this anyway? It had jousting in medieval times complete with various actors fraudulently playing both bards and knights. It even came with an anachronistic soundtrack and belching/farting contests.

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