ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The 80s may seem like a lifetime ago, but one Abilene family is looking to take you back to a time when hairspray, woodgrain, and high-scores ruled the day.
“We’re looking at opening a small town retro arcade. We will have all your classics from Galaga, Donkey Kong, you name it. Most of your main titles” says co-owner and founder of Retro World Arcade Leone Huerta.
Within the past few years, classic arcades have seen a resurgence in popularity. Retro World differs by offering one of the most authentic 80s experiences around.
“Take a trip back into the 80s. that’s the motto of Retro World Arcade.” said Huerta.
Huerta used to collect and repair classic cars. Around 2019 He says he got bit by the gaming bug.
“So it was out with the car collection and in with the and in with the arcade collection” he said.
The idea to open his own arcade came after he had acquired his first few cabinets.
“Kinda got a random idea late at night. Told my wife I said hey it would be awesome if we could open an arcade” said Huerta
It was then at one in the morning that his wife Candy turned to him and said.
“Uh yeah go back to bed you’re crazy”
But one conversation and over 80 arcade cabinets later.
“I said you know what, it’s time for a building we need to do this.” She said.
Both Candy and her husband came of age in the 80s.
“Times were a lot simple, music was a lot better in my opinion” Huerta commented.
Now they’re looking to bring that lived experience to Abilene families.
“Especially the new generation of kids that didn’t have the opportunity to play this the way we did growing up” says Huerta.
Leone and his family do much of the repair themselves. He says it was tough to learn but seeing parents re-discover old passions and their kids find new pastimes together makes every hour worth it.
“They’re just shocked because they’ve never seen anything like this. And once they get the hang of a game, they’re hooked.” Huerta said.
For now getting the arcade up and running is just a part time job to both Leone and Candy who both work full time elsewhere.
“It was a big scare and a big leap to try to do something like this. but now it’s come a long way.” Candy says.
But they’re looking to fully open before the end of Summer 2021. Entrance will be a flat fee with all arcade machines set to free play for endless fun. All day and even month long passes will also be for sale.
(Information from BigCountryHomepage.com)