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Take two: Main Event Entertainment eyeing site at Mall of Louisiana

Main Event Entertainment is once again planning to open its first Louisiana location in Baton Rouge, five months after the company confirmed it had scrapped plans for a facility at the former Tinseltown movie theater site on Siegen Lane.

The Dallas-based entertainment company, which offers bowling, laser tag, arcades, ropes courses, food and alcohol, is in talks to lease the former hhgregg store at the Mall of Louisiana. Hhgregg closed its store at 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd. and 88 others across the nation in March as it struggled to improve its financial position. The troubled retailer folded anyway, announcing in April that it was closing its 220 remaining stores and going out of business.

Main Event has not yet signed a lease with the mall location, says Daniel Smith, director of development at Foremark, the consulting firm handling leasing for the company, but is working on rezoning the property to allow for alcohol sales. The company will ask the Planning Commission to rezone the 1.2-acre site at the panel’s Aug. 21 meeting.

If the deal goes forward, Main Event and the Mall of Louisiana will work to add another 20,000 square feet to the 30,000-square-foot building and reroute traffic at the street adjacent to the property. Smith doesn’t have a timeline, but estimated the work will take between 180 and 240 days once construction begins.

Smith cited location as the main reason Main Event scrapped plans for the former Tinseltown site at Siegen Lane Marketplace.

Smith says the former movie theater site didn’t work economically for Main Event, given the direction the company wants to take with the Baton Rouge entertainment center.

A representative for the Mall of Louisiana didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

Main Event locations typically have 22 bowling lanes, 100 arcade games, several pool tables, a full-service restaurant, bar and cafe, as well as laser tag and a ropes course. Smith says this location will be in the same mold as most others.

“We primarily cater to families, but there’s also a pretty big following from the young adult crowd,” he says. “Depending on where it’s located, bowling leagues are pretty big too.”

The company runs more than two dozen entertainment centers throughout the U.S.

—Sam Karlin

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