Funland is back! Memories of former Jersey arcade to be rekindled with new games event

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WITH its flashing lights, loud music, the sound of coins clanking into metallic machinery and the smell of hot-dogs and popcorn, a trip to the Funland arcade was an assault on the senses.

It offered all the classics – Pac-Man, Asteroids, Space Invaders – giving young Islanders a place to meet, hunch over consoles and try to beat each other in games of skill for a chance to add their initials to different leader boards.

Now, a little nostalgia from the 70s, 80s and 90s is being brought to the Island with a ‘Ghost of Funland’ event.

Organised by a former Funland employee, the pop-up arcade aims to bring back a little of the spirit of the Castle Street building.

Tim Evans, the former owner of IQ, and his wife, Lydia, are behind the plans.

Tim Evans, his wife Lydia and their son Luther. (35416918)

He said: ‘It’s a hark back, a homage to Funland. It was a rather special place.’

Funland was destroyed in a blaze on the 29 July 2000 in what was, at the time, the Island’s largest fire for 50 years. The site was reportedly undergoing repair work when the fire broke out after sparks ignited sawdust waste that covered the floor.

‘When it burnt down, it signalled the end of that era. It was sort of the last of its kind in Jersey,’ Mr Evans said.

Mr Evans once worked in Funland’s workshop, at the back of the arcade, helping to strip the old machines.

‘I just remember thinking “surely we can save some of these machines”,’ he said.

Prompted by his time at the arcade, Mr Evans developed a ‘passion’ for 1980s-era arcade machines, which he has been collecting for the past few years. His collection consists of approximately 30 machines.

Islanders can play pinball, Asteroids, Tron, Tempest, Space Invaders and many more classic games in a pop-up arena known as SpaceBox. Designed by Mr Evans, the SpaceBox is an aluminium structure with a marquee’s outer sheet. It will, he says, provide a temporary event space that feels more like a room than a large tent. It will have its own lights, sound system and a proper floor.

Those hoping for a hit of nostalgia will be able to book a two-hour slot in the SpaceBox.

‘You don’t have to have bags of change with you,’ Mr Evans explained, adding that the background music would be authentically 80s.

‘We’re all realising that the 1980s was a bit of a special era; it really was the last of its kind. You know, you had the 1980s, then the 90s and it’s all gone wrong from there… I feel like young people today look at the 1980s the way I would have looked at the 1960s.’

The event will run from Saturday 8 April to Sunday 16 April at the Weighbridge, with three two-hour sessions available daily.

Tickets can be bought at: A single ticket for a two-hour session costs £19.50 and a group ticket, which allows four people entry, costs £58.50.

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