‘Meca of Entertainment in Ascension’
In January of 2010, Mark Pater and Stuart Moss decided with new things coming out in bowling – going from being called bowling alleys to bowling centers – they needed to jump on board with what’s happening in the now.
Pater and Moss had two bowling locations already in Baton Rouge, but felt it was time to do something a little different, something “above and beyond.” They landed in Gonzales.
With the opening of the Premier Lanes Entertainment Center in early 2013 that brought 42,000 square feet of entertainment to Ascension Parish, still that was not enough.
For a place that calls itself the “Meca of Entertainment in Ascension,” 42,000 sq. feet just didn’t cut it. Set to open today, May 15, Pater, Moss and Thomas Gandee open Malco Cinema to add to the entertainment experience.
“The company loved what was happening here so much they said let’s put a movie theatre here as well,” Pater said. “It’s been four years in the making and when we open this in May we’ll have 82,000 sq. feet of entertainment for the parish.”
Adding the movie theatre to the bowling center was not a go at first, Pater said. There was about 20,000 sq. feet of building that wasn’t used for the bowling center and they didn’t know if “we would build a movie theatre or more entertainment like laser tag or something.”
The decision was made to add the theatre after Malco looked at the fact that Ascension Parish was one of the fastest growing parishes in the state in both people and income. With that, 11 theatre screens with Real D capabilities ranging from a capacity of 45 to 275 persons are able to house a maximum of 1,500 people at one time for movie-watching.
Gandy, who’ll serve as the theatre’s manager, said the movie experience won’t just be a view-and-leave. There’s perks.
“Our concession refreshments area will serve the usual stuff: popcorn, hot dogs and etc.,” Gandy said, “ but then we’ll go above and beyond that in having burgers, chicken tenders, pretzels, personal pan pizzas and much more.”
Pater said the extended menu is really what makes the theatre unique and the fact that “we have a popcorn popper room.”
“People in the lobby can have an eye-view and can watch us make the popcorn behind a glass,” Pater said.
There will also be a fireplace with a sitting area around it for those who like to come early before your movie.
“You don’t have to wait around in the car or you can come in and sit down by the fireplace,” Gandee said.
“With having all of this that you can do, and especially the extended menu here and the café in the bowling area, you can kill a few hours before your movie by bowling, grab a bite to eat, or play in the arcade rather than just sitting outside in the car playing on your phone,” Gandee said. “We give you options to help you have a really good time.”
Pater added, “The public has embraced us and we’re grateful for that and we hope to continue the relationship.”
Malco Cinema is currently hiring. Applicants can go to Malco.com or Premier Lanes on location. Gandee will be there Friday and Saturday accepting applications and answering questions. Must be at least 16 years of age.