1984 Arcade is coming
After more than 14 years in Springfield, 1984 Arcade is set to open a second location at the Shoppes at Branson Meadows. Devin Durham, one of the owners and partners of 1984, said they’ve often thought about expanding to another location and Branson made sense.
“There’s a lot of folks who come into Branson who aren’t locals, the tourism industry,” Durham said. “We do get a lot of those who come up to Springfield, but that’s an additional 45 minutes to an hour trip depending on where they’re coming from, so seeing as Branson seems to be the hub for that, it makes sense to get a location here and show them an enjoyable time.”
Durham said the group considered a couple locations for the arcade, but landed in the Shoppes at Branson Meadows, near Comic Force and Branson Meadows Cinemas.
“We have synergy with the comic book store and the movie theatre,” Durham said. “Obviously we want to be here for the tourism industry, but this particular space seems to be big with the locals as well.”
Ron Murphy, co-owner and partner, said he had an interest in bringing a 1980s arcade experience to Branson.
“I knew about these guys from shortly after they opened and I retired a few years ago wanting to get active and had a crazy idea to do an arcade similar to them,” Murphy said. “After talking with them it was like ‘We could do this.’ So we started looking for locations and this one turned out to be a wonderful one for us, a good layout and plenty of space.”
Just like the Springfield arcade, Durham said the Branson location will serve as a sort of time machine and love letter to the 1980s.
“When you walk through the door we do everything you can to make you feel like you’re back in the early 1980s,” Durham said. “There’s nothing in there that’s not original, everything is original games and cabinets. The walls are dripping with all kinds of stuff from the ‘80s, we have ‘80s videos playing all the time. We want it to be this experience where you feel like you step back.
“We call ourselves an arcade, but it’s more of an experience like a museum for the ‘80s.”
While the specifics of the Branson location are still being decided, Durham said it should be a familiar experience for those who have been to the Springfield location, with customers paying a cover charge for authentic arcade cabinets like Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man and Gauntlet without the need for inserting quarters.
“Everyone knows the games, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Pole Position, but very few people, that aren’t our age, have gotten to sit in front of an actual cabinet and play the actual games,” Durham said. “It’s neat because we get 8-year-olds who come in here and they know what Dig-Dug is ... because they play it on their phones, but it’s different, the more authentic experience. It just feels different and that’s what we are is this trip back, and we’re proud of that, we enjoy that and that’s what we’re going to try and bring here.”
“For those that lived in the ‘80s you should have lots and lots of memories that hit you right in the face,” Murphy added. “For those that didn’t, it’ll be a chance to experience what the ‘80s were really like.”
Murphy also said the Branson location will also be able to host private events and be available for rent during non-business hours.
“We’ll be able to have private events and birthday parties,” Murphy said. “You’ll be able to book a party with a large number of people, or rent the buildings on an off day or when we’re closed.
“At that point you’d get all the machines and be able to play for as long as you like for the two-hour window you rent for.”
As for a timetable, Murphy and Durham said they’re hoping to open up in the spring of 2019.
“Frankly the Branson community has a lot of things to offer and we hope to become a good partner,” Murphy said.
For more information, visit 1984arcade.com/ or facebook.com/1984arcade.
Showtimes for January 11 - 17
The Upside (PG-13) - 12:45 p • 3:30 p • 6:50 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:30 p)
A Dogs Way Home (PG) - 12:30 p • 2:40 p • 4:50 p • 7:10 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:20 p)
Replicas (PG-13) - 1:20 p • 4:20 p • 7:15 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:45 p)
Escape Room (PG-13) - 12:30 p • 2:50 p • 5:15 p • 7:30 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:40 p)
Vice (R) - 12:50 p • 4:00 p • 7:00 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:45 p)
Aquaman (PG-13) - 2D: 3:30 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:45 p) • 3D: 12:20 p • 6:45 p
Bumblebee (PG-13) - 12:45 p • 3:45 p • 7:00 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:30 p)
Second Act (PG-13) - 12:20 p • 2:45 p • 5:15 p • 7:30 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:50 p)
Mary Poppins Returns (PG) - 1:15 p • 4:15 p • 7:10 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:50 p)
The Mule (R) -1:00 p • 4:00 p • 7:15 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:45 p)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG) - 1:20 p • 4:00 p • 7:10 p • (Friday & Saturday also at 9:40 p)