Fayetteville movie theater owner credits arcade for keeping business thriving

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville business owner has leaned heavily on his arcade to keep the rest of his entertainment complex afloat during the ongoing pandemic.

Dean Melvin, the owner of the Omni Plaza Properties in Fayetteville, oversees his outdoor golf course, movie theater, and arcade.

During a period where movie theaters have lacked major foot traffic because of a lack of new films and tight restrictions, Melvin said his arcade has far exceeded the loss of revenue he's seen for his theater.

"It's paying our bills. I think the theater might be barely breaking even," Melvin said.

Melvin told ABC11 that the upcoming slate of films like Disney's "Raya and the Last Dragon" will help encourage customers to come back into a movie theater. However, he's thankful that his financial state isn't solely reliant on that portion of his business.

"The theater had just had its best week, best weekend since we opened in October," Melvin added.

Right now, the arcade is generating about 80 percent of Melvin's business.

He said his employees are constantly wiping down the arcade games and other surfaces, along with the usual CDC requirements such as face masks and physical distancing.

"The main thing we're doing, we're wiping down games," Melvin said. "As people play them, they come off ...we keep them wiped down. So, we got a couple of people doing that when we're busy."

Melvin said the recent loosening of restrictions and lifted curfew will bring more potential income to all three of his businesses, signifying an optimistic future.

"You know, it's not over, but I think someone like me can see the light at the end of the tunnel," Melvin said. "So, uh, I feel good about that. It was scary there for a while."
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