Family entertainment gets flashy

The “Palms Theatre” opened its doors in Muscatine on Thursday. The $9 million investment comes complete with the latest amenities, and it could be a sign of the times for family entertainment.

For the latest trends in family fun, one only has to look to QC Family Entertainment — a far cry from the 1950s bowling alley.

“It’s not your conventional bowling center, where you come in, and you have your 32 lanes of bowling and a few video arcades or something like that. We have 65 video arcades, a redemption area, two-level laser tag, 32 lanes of bowling,” said general manager Jon Carter.

At the Palms Theatre, there are similarly flashy amenities, like floor-to-ceiling screens, a bar, and high-end technology.

“The sound is amazing. It is literally coming at you from everywhere, and it’s mixed appropriately for these Dolby Atmos movies. The bass is so thick and rich,” said director of operations Russel Vannorsdel.

The amenities are things that more folks say they’re looking for when it comes to family entertainment.

“They needed something more, and they wanted something more,” said Carter.

Since opening in September, QC Family Entertainment has seen growing business. On weekends, there are often waits up to an hour-and-a-half for lanes.

“They love the arcade, they have a lot of games, and they just love going around to all of them and just trying each one out,” said mom Angie Rasmussen about her kids’ excitement.

It’s why Rasmussen and others think the flashy, high-tech entertainment centers are where family fun is headed.