I just got back from visiting a few likely “date spots” in the Spa City. I tried to choose some activities that are often frequented by people going on dates, so that I could give you the 411 on the best “date spots” in the city. I went to two places that are pretty much the staple of first dates, the movie theater and mini golf. This, is what I found…

I decided to start by checking out one of the two movie theaters in town, the Behind the Mall Cinema (BTMC) located off of Central Ave, behind the mall (duh). Well, I wish I could say that I had a great movie going experience, but that was just simply not the case. The BTMC started rubbing me the wrong way because they would only accept cash for tickets and concessions. I mean come on, it’s 2010, if you don’t accept plastic by now something is wrong. So, I had to venture over to their ATM machine, which charged me $2.00 for being without cash, and then headed to the ticket line, which brings me to my next grievance. The BTMC sold their tickets for the show and concessions from the same line! Which means that it took people twice as long to get through the line and into their seats. A separate line for concessions and tickets would help cut down the huge lines, as well as speed up the time that customers get into their seats. Although the lines were painfully long and slow, the friendly staff helped ease some of the anger that I was slowly building for the small theater. Needless to say, I wasn’t too excited for the movie once I finally sat down…in my obnoxiously squeaky seat. On a good note, the lights dimmed and the movie started right on time, which isn’t always the case at movie theaters, but unfortunately there were some other things that needed improving.

I am definitely not a movie theater critic or anything, but in my opinion, in order to have a great movie experience, the theater needs to have stadium seating, or at least a way to always have an unobstructed view of the screen. This however was not the case for the BTMC, and resulted in my view being partially obstructed the entire movie. I also felt like I wasn’t getting the full movie experience because the movie wasn’t fit right for the screen, in the beginning of the movie the director’s name hung halfway off the screen.

After having a bad experience at one “date spot,” I almost lost hope for the city, but then I pulled into the parking lot of Funtrackers Family Park and my spirits were immediately lifted! Funtrackers is an excellent miniature golf “date spot,” complete with go karts, bumper boats, and a fully stocked arcade. The focal point of their mini golf course is a huge volcano that actually erupts every couple of minutes, spurting a 25 foot ball of fire! With waterfalls and caves to go into, Funtrackers mini golf course is one of the best around and a very desireable place to take that special someone. But the fun doesn’t end there! Funtrackers boasts the fastest go karts in town, and when you combine that with an exciting fast-paced track you can only come to one conclusion…fun!

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend going to the Behind the Mall Cinema (try checking out the Carmike Central City 10 theater) for anyone, it is in dire need of some upgrades. However, Funtrackers Family Park has many different things to do and is fun for everyone, including young people! So, if you’re going on a date in Hot Springs…take her mini golfing.

Location: Funtrackers Family Park – 2614 Albert Pike, 71913 Behind the Mall Cinema -4501 Central Ave, 71901

Contact: Funtrackers Family Park – http://www.funtrackersfamilypark.com/, (501) 767-8140 Behind the Mall Cinema- (501) 525-0883, http://www.btmcinema.com/