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Arts and Entertainment

A Micro-Amusement Park Is Coming To Downtown L.A. In 2018, Complete With A Robot Bartender

Robot bartender, hard at work (Photo Courtesy of Two Bit Circus)
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If you've ever spent a Saturday afternoon fighting the crowds at the Santa Monica Pier, you know firsthand that Los Angeles amusement parks can be overwhelming. Luckily, the Lincoln Heights-based experiential entertainment company Two Bit Circus is working to bring a high-tech, small-scale amusement park to downtown L.A. in early 2018.

In a radio interview with KPCC on Tuesday, Two Bit Circus co-founder Eric Gradman—a technology whiz whose prior experience includes stints as a professional fire dancer and acrobat— described the amusement park as "completely disrupting the entertainment industry...the world has nothing like this."

In case Gradman's circus credentials weren't enough, his co-founder Brent Bushnell—the son of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese founder Nolan Bushnell— used to perform as a circus clown. Together, the two entrepreneurs raised $15 million to build micro-amusement parks into a new social space for people to come together around technology.

Attractions at the micro-amusement park will include 3D Tetris, an interactive "magic mirror," and, of course, a five-foot robot bartender designed to look like a retro jukebox (because what good is cutting-edge technology without a side of '50s nostalgia?) "We're trying to take some of the old and make it new again using social technology," Kim Schaefer, head of parks for Two Bit Circus, told LAist, describing the company's virtual reality division as "the future of fun."

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The downtown L.A. park will be housed inside a former power plant with 50-foot ceilings, and will be the first permanent location for what Two Bit Circus hopes to turn into a micro-amusement park chain. If you just can't wait for the micro-amusement park's opening in early 2018, sign up as a beta player to check out the park's facilities before it opens to the public.

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