A new attraction in Branson is inviting folks to take a nostalgic trip back to the ‘80s, when some of the greatest pop-culture phenomenons first came into being.
In early September, Retromania opened the doors for its first guests to experience a time warp of fun and activities for the entire family. Inside Retromania, patrons will be treated to 10 different kinds of ‘80s themed attractions.
“When you first come in you’ll see our movie museum, which is full of all sorts of cool movie characters and props and stuff like that from all your favorite ‘80s movies,” Retromania Owner James Kelly said. “On the left side we have a full bar and restaurant. We also have a stage where people can sing karaoke, which is available now.”
On top of the restaurant, bar, movie museum, a gift shop and a free play arcade on the ground floor, guests can then travel upstairs for additional attractions.
“We have Retro Rocker mini-golf, which is nine holes of black light mini-golf. A lot of people have walked through there and said, it’s almost like playing golf at a rock concert,” Kelly said. “Then we have the movie theater, where we show a different movie each week. This week’s movie is Beetlejuice. Then we have an escape room called Escape to the Future, which is based on ‘Back to the Future’ where you help Doc get some plutonium back to the future so he can come home. We have the haunted house, which is a whole bunch of rooms of your classic slasher horror movie characters like Freddy and Jason and Chucky and all the names that people still know today; even though it was 40 years ago they were all created.”
Admission into Retromania is $16.95 for adults and $11.95 for kids, which gives patrons access to almost everything in the building.
“That includes playing in the arcade, going through the museum. You can sit here and watch movies all day if you like. The mini-golf is included. The haunted house is included. When the bar and restaurant opens, obviously food and drink are extra and then the escape rooms are extra,” Kelly said. “The cool thing about the escape room is, right now, especially right now, since we’re new we’re offering if you book an escape room here you can go through the rest of it for free at the escape room price.”
The Escape to the Future escape room is $25 per person. A second escape room inspired by the movie “Aliens”, called An Alien Encounter, is coming soon but is still in development.
The inspiration to bring Retromania to life originated from Kelly’s love of ‘80s music.
“I had a nightclub years and years ago when I was in my early 20’s and we still played a lot of ‘80s music then. I’m just completely in love with ‘80s music, because it’s full of the one hit wonders that have lasted through time, but it was also the birth of punk rock, new wave music and many of the super groups,” Kelly said. “I’m even watching all the ’80s fashion come back into fashion right now. People are wearing ripped up jeans again. Everything makes a circle. Music does, fashion does, but I think it really started with a love for the music.”
While the music of the 1980s is mainly responsible for the creation of the attraction, Kelly admits it was also the building itself that drew him to the project.
“I actually really liked this building. I’ve been looking at it for two or three years now. I was like, ‘I’d really like to take over that building, but I just don’t really know what to do with it yet.’ Then come January it dawned on me what to do with it,” said Kelly. “For over 30 years I had a company out of St. Louis and I built miniature golf courses, haunted houses, laser tag and all those kinds of things, so I knew that I was going to incorporate that kind of stuff into here right from the start. Escape rooms are big right now, so I knew I was going to incorporate that, all of the other stuff kind of fell into place.”
While the attraction is open, the New Wave Cafe restaurant and bar portion of the building won’t be open until the end of November. When it does open, Kelly said they’ll have some cool items on the menu for folks to enjoy.
“We have a really exciting menu coming up. All of it is based on the ‘80s. Not to say all the food is from the ‘80s, because some of the ‘80s food wasn’t that interesting,” Kelly said. “One of our desserts is going to be the Extra Terrestrial, which is going to have Reese’s Pieces in it from E.T. and we’re going to have a dessert Strawberry Shortcake, because that was a popular doll at the time. Then we have the Lethal Weapon, which is like a Cajun style chicken sandwich and we have the Culture Club. For example, one of the things we’re going to have is the Nightmare Nachos, so they’re going to be a little hotter than normal nachos. They’re going to come to you in a bowl in Freddy Krueger’s hands, so you’ll get to eat out of that.”
Though Retromania aims to bring in folks searching to feel the nostalgia of the 1980s once more, Kelly said his hope was to build something people, regardless of age, would enjoy.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun. I think people are really going to have fun with it. Even if you weren’t an ‘80s fan, you’re going to walk in here and say, ‘Wow!’ We’ve made it real fun,” Kelly said. “Just the other day we had a 71 year old here playing video games all day and he was probably in his 30’s in the ‘80s when some of these video games came out.”
Retromania is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Monday and closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Once the tourist season picks back up and the New Wave Cafe has opened, Kelly said they’ll likely be open daily and could extend their hours to be open later.
Retromania is located at 3307 W. 76 Country Boulevard in Branson.
Call 417-544-0143 or visit retromania.com.