The family entertainment business is making a comeback, and two brothers want to get in on the action early. 

Andrew and Trevor Rempel have converted a 3,800 square-foot space in the Altona Mall to create The Warehouse, a family entertainment centre (FEC) filled with arcade games and more. 

"We started to look at the industry because we also develop hotels, and we had a company that was interested in partnering with us to put an FEC close to one of our hotels. And so, once we started looking at the industry, we figured that it seemed like it was a good opportunity for us and that we could utilize some of our knowledge with construction and building, and finding the right locations for something like this," explained Andrew who is the Chief Operating Officer of The Warehouse. 

With bowling alleys and other family entertainment centres in communities across the region, Andrew says Altona needed something for kids to do after school and on weekends. In fact, Altona will serve as a test site for the business as the brothers eye the possibility of additional locations across Western Canada.

"We figured, start small in Altona. We'll prove the concept and then we'll expand from there," said Andrew.

Once open, The Warehouse will offer any manner of video games like basketball, shooting, racing and ski ball.  

"We have a brand new one that just came out," added Andrew. "It's one that you fly and so, the entire seat that you're on rotates kind of side to side as you turn. We have Break the Plate which you throw balls at a TV screen with plates, and it breaks, kind of like the old arcade where you down the clown."

There's also something new for people try - a 20 x 20-foot virtual reality arena. 

"So, four to six people can free roam in a large space in an immersive world and battle bad guys, pretend to cook in a fast-food restaurant and stuff. It's a lot of fun," noted Andrew. "There's some games we have where you're up on a platform and it's interesting to watch from the outside because people are standing on a completely level floor and you can see they're tiptoeing around and trying not to fall off."

Andrew added, VR is becoming a large part of gaming and offers a different experience for people. "We wanted to add it to bring something new that people haven't tried."

That's not the only thing that's changed from the arcades of old. Nowadays, the games operate on a card-based system instead of with coins or tokens, and that includes The Warehouse. Patrons can load up a card with tokens either at the front desk or at self-serve kiosk. 

"You just go up, you type in what you want, tap your debit card or credit card and it will spit out your game play card. So, that's loaded with all of the tokens and stuff to play the games," explained Andrew, adding each game has a reader on it that shows you how many tokens it takes to play. You tap that with your token-loaded card and play. Some of the games are called redemption games where you earn points through play. Those points can be redeemed for prizes at a big vending machine.

Not only is the card-based system easy to use, but Andrew says it's also a great way to buy someone a gift. 

"So, you would purchase a card and give it to them. It's already activated with however much money is on there and they can just go and start playing."

There's also the opportunity for people to purchase time. 

"If you have a birthday party, you can buy an hour's worth of game play and then you can play however much you want. There's some restrictions to that with some of our redemption games but yeah, you can play with time or play per play."

Speaking of birthday parties, The Warehouse is also decked out with a party area available for reservation. 

"We're not limited to just birthday parties," noted Andrew. "We were thinking of any corporate events. You know, there's a lot of times where a business wants to do something with their staff and their employees and so, it's just another way they can come out and let out some steam. We have some fun target shooting games and things like that. It's just a fun way for you to reward your employees without having to travel to other communities. We are looking at expanding our offerings down the road. What that is, we're unsure of or don't want to release it yet but we are always looking for ways to expand what we offer, how we offer it. Whatever the community wants and needs."

Throughout the space, there are also a few tables and chairs to allow patrons a place to take a break and snack on the concessions offered through the kitchen. 

A grand opening of The Warehouse is planned for this Saturday, and Andrew invites the community to come and celebrate.