Extreme Fun Center reopens Friday, future of the cinemas at Shoppes at Riverside still in question

The Extreme Fun Center was spared the structural issues that closed the Shoppes at Riverside mall in February and will reopen its arcade and cafe Friday.

“We are able to reopen the Fun Center,” said Coming Attractions Theatres Chief Operating Officer Al Lane. Structural engineers told Lane “they didn’t see the same type of issues” that prompted the closure of the mall for safety reasons, “so that’s why we’re able to reopen” the Fun Center.

The future of the cinemas is still unclear.

“That’s going to take a little bit longer,” said Lane. “We don’t know exactly what it entails to reinforce the area around the cinemas, we’re still gathering information on that, so at this point I don’t really have anything to tell you on the movie theater other than we’re not ready to reopen that.”

The mall closed Feb. 13 when structural problems with the roof and floor were discovered during a period of heavy snowfall. A subsequent structural engineering study showed significant structural issues with the roof and the foundation, severe enough to shut down the mall.

The Sears building, the Fun Center, and a portion of the cinemas were built separately from the mall itself, which opened in 1981, and were not part of the structural engineering study.

As for the remainder of the mall, Lane said the company, which purchased the mall in 2015, “is still checking into our options,” and there is nothing further to report at this time. Tenants have been instructed to remove all belongings from their shops by May 4; several have since secured other locations for their businesses.

The Extreme Fun Center will reopen Friday at 2 p.m. Only the arcade and cafe will be operating, at 50% capacity, with masks required at all times unless you are seated at a table and eating. A Fun Center Facebook post said it hopes to have laser tag and the race track open soon. Hours this week are Friday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. For updates on the Fun Center follow its Facebook page, facebook.com/extremefuncenters/.