It’s all fun and games

Published 1:28 am Saturday, November 14, 2009

How many times have parents heard their children say, “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do here.”

Now, that phrase can be wiped out of the vocabulary of Florala’s youth population as the doors to Gerry Kimbril’s “The Game Room” officially open Saturday.

Kimbril, who is also the owner of Stateline Mini Mall on Fifth Avenue, has converted the entire third floor of the tri-level shop into a kid-friendly, gaming paradise — with pizza.

“In Florala, there really isn’t a lot for the kids and their families to do,” Kimbril said. “So my thinking was to give them the opportunity to have a place to hang out, to have good clean fun in a spot where their parents don’t have to worry about what they’re doing or who they’re with.”

Kimbril’s concept is simple – two pool tables, a ping-pong table, an air hockey table (that is soon to arrive), tons of board games, a downstairs movie theater and, most importantly, video games. There is no charge for admission.

Pool games are 75 cents each; ping-pong tables can be rented for $2 an hour, and video games, $5 per hour. Play is supervised by an adult at all times, Kimbril said.

“We’ve got a television with an X-Box 360, one with a Wii and another with a PlayStation all hooked up and ready to play,” she said. “We’ve got Halo 3, Rock Band, games everywhere to choose from.

“If you don’t want to play video games, if you just want to come and watch a game on television, I say come on,” she said. “I want the kids to consider this to be their hangout. I’m not charging anyone to get in, but if they want to use the games … well, it’s cheap.”

And there isn’t anything cheaper than free, which Kimbril said is the cost of just coming and enjoying the atmosphere or “even a turn at a board game or two.”

There are concessions available at “The Jazz Café,” which boasts a menu ranging from staples like pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers, to a taste of New Orleans with red beans and rice, jambalaya and gumbo.

On Saturdays and Sundays, there will be a children’s movie matinee at 2 p.m. Cost is $2 per child and supervision is provided.

“Sometimes mom and dad need a break to do a little shopping or just spend some time together,” she said. “These weekend movies are a great opportunity for just that.”

Also on the weekends, a pool tournament will be held each Friday at 6 p.m.; an X-Box tournament Saturdays at 6 p.m., and a ping-pong tournament Sundays at 1 p.m.

“I want this place to offer something for everyone, but I can tell you up front, no disrespectful behavior will be accepted,” she said.

Those wanting to get a free sneak peak at what the place has to offer are asked to attend Saturday’s grand opening celebration. Beginning at 11 a.m., kids play for free until closing.

Normal hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. “or later if there’s a crowd,” and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.