First look inside new Airsoft and Nerf gun arena at old Odeon on Freeman Street

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 2 Jan 2019

A new Airsoft, Nerf gun and laser tag arena on Freeman Street has now officially opened inside the former Odeon Cinema after being completely transformed over six months by just two men.

Arena Airsoft Grimsby took over the former cinema on the East Marsh earlier this year, with the hopes of creating a huge new multi-purpose wargames arena.

Leaving their old premises on King Edward Street for the Freeman Street venue, owners Andy Jervis and Kevin Brown have spent the last six months building three amazing arenas for Airsoft, Nerf gun and laser tag games, with each having their own special theme.

Look inside the new Arena Airsoft Grimsby on Freeman Street.

The pair have completed nearly all the work themselves from scratch, with the help of a few volunteers.

The Nerf gun arena, which is primarily for children, although growing in popularity with grown-up 'kids', has been designed in a building-block Lego theme, with a huge army tank based in the middle. It has various levels for the users to run about it and also has a fully working crossbow to shoot huge Nerf arrows.

The laser tag arena has been given an authentic sci-fi design based on the classic Alien films. There are various different corridors and obstacles to hide behind, it has already proven to be a huge hit with the young warriors who have used it so far.

The centre piece of the development, a three floored Airsoft arena based in the former main movie theatre, has also been painstakingly crafted from scratch by Andy and Kevin who first unveiled their ambitious plans earlier this year.

The airsoft arena in the former main cinema theatre (Image: Grimsby Live)

It features camouflage nets, winding staircases and sniper towers, along with a host of other hidden gems and a viewing area, so that parents or visitors can keep an eye on all of the action that is taking place.

Andy said that he was thrilled with how the new centre has turned out, saying that it has already proven to be very popular. He said with the feedback he has received from users he is already planning further alterations to the arenas to make them 'even better'.

He said: "We have spent the last six months throwing ourselves into creating this new arena and we are thrilled with how it has turned out so far.

"We look at this arena as a living project, where we are always looking at ways that we can make it better, based on our own observations and feedback.

"Just the other day we had a Nerf gun party here, and I was watching the kids I noticed that they tended to favour certain areas over others. So I felt that we need to maybe add another level, a climbing wall and some slides, to really bring it into life.

"The Airsoft arena has proved to be very popular, and there are a number of dedicated Airsoft enthusiasts in the town whose feedback we greatly appreciate, but so far they have loved it. It may be a bit dark in places, but that is what people want, as it gives you somewhere sneaky to hide.

Andy Jervis, owner of Arena Airsoft, which has opened at the former Odeon cinema in Freeman Street.

"The laser tag has also taken off really well and I was shocked at how many 10 and 11 year olds really know their Alien movies, I thought that it would just be older people who caught onto it."

Andy has also said he had further plans for the venue since taking it over and hopes to transform further parts of the building which closed down as the Odeon cinema in 2009.

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