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Arcade Review: All Amusement Fun Center

Tuesday 22nd November 2016 by Matthew Morrell

Dearest reader, this review is unlike any Arcade Review to date: you, the reader, will be given the power to make a positive change in the world. Especially now, you may be feeling a little helpless. Maybe a little isolated? We at Geekscape implore you to venture from your console to Burbank Town Center to the last Mall Arcade in Los Angeles:

The All Amusement Fun Center, Burbank Town Center.

"No, this time we really do mean the 'The last one.'"
“No, this time we really do mean the ‘The last one.'”

We braved the claustrophobia inducing, void of all hope that is the LA Freeway system because we value gaming culture. We value our past. We value our future. We value preserving small businesses that exist to support an environment where gamers like us can do what we do best. That’s why we’re calling on you to act. Here’s what’s at stake…

"Behold, the very last of a dying bread."
“Behold, the very last of a dying bread.”

THE PRESENTATION:

This arcade is not a nostalgia museum. This arcade is not a hybrid bar, or restaurant, or lounge where twenty and thirty somethings reminisce about retro gaming. The All Amusement Fun Center is where gamers are born.

"Yes, exactly, but different."
“Yes, exactly, but different.”

It is the place where kids discover their courage to face off against raptors and T-Rex. They develop their determination to reach new high scores on pinball machines. They increase their reflexes mastering every hairpin turn on Superbikes 2. It’s in Arcades like this where that feeling, that heart pounding love of the game begins.

For some of us growing up that couldn’t shell out hundreds of dollars for a home console, Arcades like AAFC offered those with just a few bucks to spare an equal opportunity for adventure, and fun.

int-arcade
“Pictured: fresh paint, new carpet, days worth of adventures.”

In this spotless, dust free, loved and cared for space you would think that this arcade is brand new. It’s not. Several generations have passed through these doors in the last twenty-three years All Amusement Fun Center has been in Burbank.

This Arcade also has some of the most helpful and friendly staff I’ve ever come in contact with. People like Art, and Vanessa, and Krystal know their regulars on a first name basis. They treat strangers, (like this reviewer) with a genuine smile and make themselves available if you need help.

Then there’s the owner, Jim; a true game master. The man opened up a safe place for families and seasoned gamers alike with his own blood, sweat and tears and kept it alive for two decades and during a recession. He rebuilds Arcade cabinets on site like a boss with his bare hands. Speaking of which…

THE GAMES

All Amusement Fun Center has an impressive variety of games; ticket, sports, fighting, racing, rail-shooter, you name it. They’ve got a little bit of everything. There may not be a Mortal Kombat cabinet, but there’s a perfectly good Marvel V. Capcom 2 and Tekken: nothing parents would have to worry about their kids stumbling upon.

You may even find a rare classic such as Sega’s Confidential Mission. With more than a few dozen machines on the floor, Jim does indeed have a secret stash of machines that he repairs and rotates onto the main floor.

int-3-arcade

Even more important, they all work. There was a moment where the Tekken machine was down for a second, but the staff promptly got it up and running again. Again, this isn’t some neglected relic slowly rotting away in an abandoned corner of the mall; this place is pristine.

This Arcade also boasts four working change/token machines. We can’t stress enough just how easy it is to enjoy this place. You will find that your gaming experience is enhanced when you’re in tangible space with other gamers who are just as excited to mow down hordes of zombies as you are.

THE EXTRAS

This place is a piece of history. More importantly, All Amusement Fun Center is a place that brings people together and breeds future gamers for generations to come. There is a genuine family atmosphere here. Not the Afternoon Special way either, but a genuine community of all generations and cultures.

"As one sided as this match is, it sucks to play it alone."
“As one sided as this match is, it sucks to play the game alone.”

Two brothers, Lenny and Robert, have been regularly coming to AAFC for years. Lenny, the younger, admitted, “It’s gonna be sad to see this place go.”

Robert had introduced his younger brother to Tekken and that as part of the community, “[AAFC] Brings people together.”

Especially during a time when so many people feel divided, a physical place where people can come together is needed more than ever.

Tragically, as of March 2017, like so many other small American business, they are being shut down. Sure, a mall exists to make money. AAFC does that too, but they also have the added benefit of enriching a community. Cypress Equities, (based in Dallas, Texas), has decided that what the community of Burbank really needs is another Ikea.

So, if you’re a real gamer, that means you’re always up for a challenge. By your very nature, you look at impossible odds, laugh, and willfully engage in battle. That’s what’s needed now. You are needed to make a difference, to help save this place of joy and community.

Here’s how…

Easy – You can add your name to this petition on Change.org.

Normal – You can email this nice man chris.maguire@cypressequities.com. Let him know that gamers aren’t some seedy sub-sect of society, but people who value a place to play in peace and community: All Amusement Fun Center is that place.

Legendary – Physically drive (Or have someone drive you) to sign the in-store petition. Experience a great arcade first hand.

Burbank Town Center, 201 W Magnolia Blvd # 128, Burbank, CA 91502.

10 AM – 9 PM Monday – Saturday

11 AM – 8 PM Sunday

This is a mission where everyone’s voice actually counts. This is your chance to help preserve gaming culture.

You can make a difference.