Flashing lights and whirring machines flooded the arcade room. Children and adults maneuvered controls translating moves to onscreen race cars and motorcycles Saturday, February 16, during the grand opening of Newtown’s new Sandy Hook Arcade Center (SHAC), which has sprung up in record time in Sand Hill Plaza, 228 South Main Street.
Organizers Andrew Clure and Scott Cicciari got more than they had hoped for in past days as they set up the arcade — to see residents playing at the more than 20 games including Cars (which is not yet available anywhere else), Doodle Jump, Temple Run, Avengers Pinball, Fast and Furious Super Cars, air hockey, X-Box dance, a host of other interactive games, and more.
Glancing at the crush of game players and families, Mr Clure said, “There are a lot of happy faces.” He remarked on a “great turnout,” and “steady flow” of guests enjoying the free-to-residents arcade, which will be open through the spring.
Hours are Wednesdays through Fridays from 4 to 8 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 pm. During the school break from February 18 to 22, the facility has been open daily from noon to 8 pm. Mr Clure and Mr Cicciari had the recent idea to stage the games in one of Newtown’s empty retail spaces, and with the help of “terrific donations,” the men were able to open the space free to residents.
Greeting guests Saturday were children Andrew, Rachel, and Hannah Cicciari, and Tyler and Jillian Clure. They welcomed guests, handed out the tokens that ran the machines, and pointed out the coffee stations also free to guests.
Local small businesses, national companies, town officials, and many local tradespeople have lent goods and services to get SHAC off the ground. For more information, visit the SHAC website at www.sandyhookarcadecenter.com or Sandy Hook Arcade Center on Facebook.