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Atlantic Canada’s first Rec Room opens Thursday in St. John’s

The gaming area at Cineplex's Rec Room in the Avalon Mall is known as The Yard and contains dozens of classic and modern arcade games, all accessed using reloadable radio frequency identification wristbands instead of coins or bills.
The gaming area at Cineplex's Rec Room in the Avalon Mall is known as The Yard and contains dozens of classic and modern arcade games, all accessed using reloadable radio frequency identification wristbands instead of coins or bills. The new 30,000 square foot entertainment and dining venue opens this Thursday at 3 p.m.- Kenn Oliver

First Cineplex facility to combine VRcade, 10-pin bowling and axe-throwing

A shade over a year since it was first announced, Cineplex will open the Rec Room at the Avalon Mall this week.

Cineplex’s Rec Room at the Avalon Mall is the first location to feature VRcade, axe-throwing and 10-pin bowling.
Cineplex’s Rec Room at the Avalon Mall is the first location to feature VRcade, axe-throwing and 10-pin bowling.

As guests enter the 30,000 square foot dining and entertainment facility — located across the hall from Cineplex Theatres and encompassing part of what used to be the Starcade and Glow in One Mini Golf on the shopping centre’s second floor  — they are greeted by a dazzling display of all manner of games in an area dubbed The Yard.

Games are played using reloaded RFID (radio frequency identification) wristbands instead of quarters or loonies — are grouped together based on type and target demographic, with added space allotted for spectators that will inevitably congregate around certain games.

But the Yard isn’t just for kids, families and video game enthusiasts. There are also some modern takes on some popular 1980s video games like Pong and Pac Man, as well as pool tables, ping pong, air hockey, and a glass bubble dome hockey table.

It’s worth noting, as well, that the Rec Room obtained a recreational liquor license, meaning patrons are free to move about the entire facility — not just the bar and dining area — with their alcoholic beverages.

More than half the games are point-bearing games which allow the user to collect points and cash them in The Trophy Case, which features everything from stuffed toys to video game systems to Michael Kors handbags.

While the gaming area offers a feast for the senses — sight, hearing and touch — Cineplex says it was able to rise above the din of its entertainment with a menu focused on bold flavours that would add to the multi-sensory experience.

The full service restaurant at the new Cineplex Rec Room is called Three10, so dubbed for Canada's 10 provinces and three territories. For those interested in quicker fare, the Rec Room also features a canteen-style takeout counter called The Shed.
The full service restaurant at the new Cineplex Rec Room is called Three10, so dubbed for Canada's 10 provinces and three territories. For those interested in quicker fare, the Rec Room also features a canteen-style takeout counter called The Shed.

Opposite the gaming area is the dining area where patrons can sit down for a full-service meal at Three10 or grab a quick drink and a snack from The Shed. It also features a full-service bar, semi-private dining area and a stage for concerts, comedians, trivia and other entertainment options.

The Avalon Mall location is Cineplex’s first Rec Room in Atlantic Canada and the first to offer the VRcade, a virtual reality experience from VRstudios. It’s also the first Rec Room to offer VRcade, axe-throwing and four-lanes of 10-pin bowling in one location.

The Rec Room opens to the public this Thursday. Hours of operation for the first week are 3 p.m. until close, which is dependent on how busy it is. After the first week, regular hours of operation 11 a.m. until close. Initial demand is expected to be quite high, so Cineplex officials are strongly advising potential guests to make a reservation.

An official grand opening is set for mid-May. 


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