TimesUnion.com - Albany, NY March 3, 2014 8:18pm

Crossgates Mall will soon add another place to play to its offerings.

Latitude 360 will feature high-end bowling lanes with leather couches and large screen audiovisuals at the ends of lanes. Performance spaces will feature comedy acts, DJs and live music. A sports theater will have Vegas-style large television screens showing multiple events. An arcade will offer games and prizes.

Slated to open in October, the facility will occupy 50,000 square feet. It will join Dave & Buster’s, another family entertainment center that opened in Crossgates last August. Its entrance will be located inside Crossgates Mall on the lower level by Pandora.

The upscale entertainment venue currently has three locations: Jacksonville, Florida; Pittsburgh; and Indianapolis. It is working on five new locations, including Crossgates, said Chief Executive Officer Brent Brown.

The existing locations are standalone facilities, not inside a mall.

“This is the first, and we’re very excited about it,” Brown said. “We’re excited about the strategy of going to markets where there is traffic already.”

He said the mall’s location, the fact that it draws customers from a wide area and that it sees 20 million customers each year were all attractive. Having other entertainment businesses there also appealed to him.

“We love that,” he said. “It’s a good clustering of great brands.”

He declined to say how much the firm would invest in the Crossgates Mall location.

Latitude 360 will include 20 lanes of bowling the chain promises will be a much different experience.

“A lot of video screens, colored lighting,” said spokesman Rob Rinderman. “It’s not the old traditional bowling alley. We call it luxury bowling: leather couches and cutting edge audiovisual systems.”

It won’t, however, include the “cinegrille,” a theater where customers can eat while watching a recent film that is available in other locations.

Rinderman said malls present a good opportunity for entertainment businesses. With some stores closing due to web competition, he said, that opens up spaces for different experiences.

“Some of the large brick and mortars suffered from online shopping so it’s certainly an opportunity for us to grow,” he said. “We’re a unique experience. There is nothing quite like us.”

Dave & Buster’s restaurant and game emporium covers 33,000 square feet and offers 168 games, from skee ball to a zombie-shooting video adventure.

Originally called Latitude Global, the new tenant recently changed its name as it seeks to expand.

“We are proud to welcome Latitude 360 to Crossgates Mall,” said General Manager Joseph Castaldo in a statement on the mall’s website. “This premier bowling and night life establishment will significantly add to the entertainment experience at Crossgates Mall and the Capital Region.”

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