Nationwide coronavirus restrictions have claimed another high street casualty in the form of Timewarp Arcade, a retro amusement centre forced to close now in order to safeguard its future.
Timewarp Arcade in Bridgwater is to close its doors on 4 October due to “unsustainable” visitor numbers caused by new Coronavirus restrictions.
The retro arcade and amusement centre, which first opened in 2014, stated the decision to close immediately was made in order to increase the likelihood of a post-Coronavirus return.
“Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we have found ourselves with no choice but to close doors,” said a spokesperson for the arcade. “Since re-opening, guest numbers were restricted. Even at our new maximum safe capacity we could only reach a break even point at best.”
“Things looked promising for a while. However, now that the virus is rapidly escalating, guest numbers have plummeted to a level we simply cannot sustain. If we knew this was only going to last a month or two, we would try and find a way. But there is no way we can sustain the heavy losses we are experiencing now for another six months.”
Making the announcement, the owners added “we are fortunate we can walk away virtually debt free, but only if we do that now before the bills start to mount up.”
“The only way to save the arcade is to close it, for now. We will return.”
New restrictions hit Irish arcades
Olympic Amusements in Bundoran has been forced to close, after the county of Donegal increased its restrictive measures in line with the Irish Plan for Living with Covid-19.
The arcade, which has served customers for over 50 years, shuttered its shop on 26 September with no scheduled date currently planned for re-opening.
“Due to Donegal being moved to level three restrictions, we have decided to close our doors and do our part to stop the spread of Covid-19 within our community,” stated the arcade.
“We have a responsibility to ensure the safety of both our staff and our loyal customers. We hope you all stay safe during these trying times and we hope to see you all in the near future.”
The announcement was met with support from the local community online, with residents commenting the move was a “tough decision, but a good one” and “a selfless act.”