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Long-delayed Big Time Entertainment in Oxford opens to excited crowd

Big Time Entertainment Grand Opening BW 14.JPG

Grand opening at Big Time Entertainment in Oxford Monday morning. Photo by Bill Wilson

When doors swung open for the first time Monday morning at Big Time Entertainment in Oxford, a greeter exclaimed, “Come on in” to the 30 or so customers who had been lined up waiting for the complex to open.

After several construction delays, the 75,000-square-foot amusement and theme park opened to the public on Monday, but general manager Kody Imel said there will be another grand opening in the near future that will include a ribbon cutting, balloons and a “big celebration.”

Imel said that people are excited for the new facility.

“It’s bringing something new to the town, some good entertainment for everyone,” Imel said.

Some of the attractions include:

— Two bowling alleys

— More than 70 arcade games

— Ninja challenge course

— Indoor multi-level Go-Kart track with LEDs

— Hologate virtual reality game for up to four players

— Axe throwing

— Multi-story soft play area for children

— Two-story laser tag arena

— Outdoor patio with gas fire pit

— Big Time Grille with a diverse menu

— Event center for private parties and events

— Landscaped Putt-Putt golf course

Imel said the staff is taking recommendations from customers to make the overall experience of the facility even better.

“So far it seems like we’re getting some really good feedback. People are really excited,” Imel said.

Sherry Gay from Anniston was checking out the huge restaurant located not too far from one of the bowling alleys.

Gay said she loved what she saw.

“It’s amazing. It’s brand new. Everything is appealing. It’s welcoming, It’s a place I would come eat lunch and have a nice place to sit and watch TV. They have an awesome patio, an awesome bowling alley, everything is just very nice,” Gay said.

Gay, 59, said she has not bowled since she was a teen but was looking forward to bringing her nephews and nieces to the complex to knock down a few pins.

Gay said there is no local place to bowl.

The last bowling alley in the area was the Anniston Bowling Center in Blue Mountain, which shuttered in 2018. 

“I think this is going to be the place to go to, and I think people are going to come from Atlanta, Birmingham and all around,” Gay said. 

The go-kart track is located in a 23,000-square-foot arena featuring a multi-level track where speed enthusiasts can race one another in electric go-karts.

On Monday, tires screeched as patrons raced around the track as LED lights changed and upbeat rock music blared from above.

Patches Phillips watched her 11-year-old son whiz around the track from an observation deck with other parents.

“I think it’s a great place to bring kids, hopefully to keep them out of trouble,” Phillips said.

The Putt-Putt golf course is landscaped with waterfalls, replicas of the stone heads on Easter Island, palm trees and other tropical decorations.

Daysha Butler and her friends were having a fun time as they played through the various holes. Butler admitted that miniature golf was not one of her strengths, but she was enjoying the experience.

 “We’ve been waiting for this to open for months,” Butler said.

Big Time Entertainment is located at 42 Tower Road in Oxford.

Operating hours are Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-close; Saturday 10 a.m.-midnight; and Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

There is no charge for admission. Pricing is by individual attractions: 

— Go-karts, $15, must be 54 inches tall (ages 10 and up)

— Hologate, $7, four players at a time

— Miniature golf, $9

— Laser tag, $7

— Bowling (VIP), $50 per lane for one hour, maximum six players at a time

— Bowling downstairs, $45 per lane for one hour, maximum six players

— Ninja course/soft play, $5 one-time run through ninja course; $10 all-day pass for ninja course, for ages 4 and up; $10 all-day pass for soft play, for ages 4 and up.

— Axe throwing, $25, minimum of two people for one hour, agea 12 and up. Must wear closed-toe shoes.

— Swipe cards can be bought and used at various arcade games. Some games produce tickets that can be redeemed for prizes.

​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.