grand opening hollywood event center

Hollywood Event Center brings leisure to the extreme

Hollywood Café already operated six Glowgolf locations and several Escape Rooms. On the Cor Kieboomplein the Hollywood Event Center has now added a whole series of new activities, such as an interactive Minigolf, 24 racing simulators, x-cube escape rooms, interactive darts, shuffleboard, curling on synthetic ice, and pool tables.

Next to all the leisure activities there are also catering facilities like a sports bar and lots of entertainment. During The Grand Opening, there were performances by Douwe Bob and Emma Heesters for example.

Emma Heesters at the Grand Opening of Hollywood Event Center
Emma Heesters at the Grand Opening of Hollywood Event Center

Peter van Leeuwen about Hollywood Event Center

In the current spring issue of our magazine, Jelle Simons interviewed Peter van Leeuwen, the owner of the Hollywood Event Center.

Peter van Leeuwen recently opened Hollywood Event Center
Peter van Leeuwen recently opened Hollywood Event Center

The future is our friend

If high-end hospitality and digital leisure would defy the laws of nature and produce a love baby its name would be Hollywood Event Center. The godfather of this unconventional newborn is Peter van Leeuwen, a Rotterdam-based entrepreneur who defied the laws of economics by creating a gigantic game and entertainment center in the middle of a pandemic.

”We’re not going to talk about Covid”, Peter exclaims before he starts to talk about Covid. Peter is a quintessential entrepreneur, a man who has been around when it comes to adapting to adversity. “The pandemic wasn’t my first rodeo”, he explains. “I used to sell CD’s and I owned a video rental store. The advent of the Internet and streaming services like Netflix and Spotify put me out of business in a heartbeat. Having learned from those setbacks, I decided to move into the hospitality industry. In 2016 I set up Hollywood Café, an American-themed restaurant in Rotterdam South. Having learned from my earlier mishaps, I thought that the hospitality industry would be resilient against the digital disruptions that ended my other ventures. I wasn’t counting on a biological disruption though. And then the pandemic hit.”

PANCAKE TRAFFIC JAMS

“The pandemic required an instant reorganization of our business model. Many restaurants choose to offer take-out or delivery solutions, but we decided otherwise. Within a fortnight we transformed Hollywood Café into a drive-through pancake restaurant. The concept was an overwhelming success. The line of cars waiting to be served often stretched out for miles, causing instant traffic jams. The police occasionally asked us to pause our sales, because they couldn’t cope with the insane amount of traffic coming our way. Mission accomplished if you ask me.”

HOLLYWOOD EVENT CENTER

Hollywood Café is only a small part of the enormous Hollywood Event Center, which consists of two floors, three bars and several digital game and leisure areas. When asked how Hollywood Café expanded into the multi-faceted event center it is today, Peter smiles. “Well, that also happened during the pandemic. I got an offer to buy the retail space next door, which I did. Investing during a pandemic might sound crazy to some people, but I was confident that things would get back to normal sooner or later. The lockdown gave us the time to refurbish this newly acquired space into a multifaceted event center.”

THE FUTURE IS MY FRIEND

An interview in the Netherlands, or any meeting for that matter, requires the consumption of a mandatory cup of coffee. And a meeting with the proprietor of HollywoodEvent Center is no exception to this rule. After this rite of passage, Peter can’t wait to give me a tour. And with reason, as it appears. I’m being led through an area with 24race simulators, where guests can experience a race on every F1 circuit on the face of the planet. I see three hightech X-Cube escape rooms that promise ‘the next generation Escape experience’. There is a high-end sports bar, equipped with countless flat screens, to accommodate sport lovers with a litany of sports matches. A brand-new cocktail bar, including a dancefloor, is open for business. The second floor provides customers with a digitized minigolf course.

“This blends the nostalgic joy of traditional mini golf with proprietary technology to deliver an unforgettable social experience”, Peter explains. Four beautiful pinball machines stand in the corner, analogue relics of an age gone by. When I compliment Peter on the impressive amount of state-of-the-art and digitized leisure areas his event center has to offer, he gives me a telling look.“I’ve learned throughout the years that a business model should be in tune or even ahead of its time. I applied that lesson here. The future is our friend.”

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