After accomplishing her dream of owning the Eaton Theatre, Leann Owen wanted to take it a step further. She has spent the last few months renovating the space they owned next to the theatre and transforming it into a retro 1980s-themed arcade.
The room was previously rented out to Sue’s Tailoring but has been sitting empty for a few years. Owen opened up the wall next to the mural in the theatre lobby, and then added in some black lights and carpet that glows underneath them to add to the experience. There are also plans to add in some wall art that will be done by her daughter.
The new arcade is packed with classic games such as Pac-Man, Centipede, Mario Bros, and many more, all from Owen’s own collection of arcade games. There are approximately 20 games, all available to play for 50 cents or less. Some games, like the Pokémon game, offer prizes that people can take with them.
Owen said she had always wanted to add more to the theatre so families had more to do after school. The next project is to add a virtual reality gaming room to the right of the front entrance, where the arcade used to be. The virtual reality will be a fun experience that allows people to feel immersed in the game they’re playing as opposed to just watching a screen. She hopes to have the room running shortly after New Years.
There are more plans to continue repairing the historical theatre. She said she wishes to keep the nostalgic feeling alive in the main theatre building, while adding fun entertainment rooms on the side.
Weekly showtimes can be found on the Eaton Theatre’s Facebook page and in The County Journal. Doors open an hour before the shows start so there is plenty of time to try out the games before heading into the theatre.