After 30-plus years, the City of Gonzales has a movie theatre.

After 30-plus years, the City of Gonzales has a movie theatre. Malco Gonzales Cinema cut ribbon on May 15 to officially open its family entertainment center (FEC) for business at its Airline Highway location next to Premier Lanes Entertainment Center.

Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux said he remembers going to the old Pasqua Theatre in the “old days” in Gonzales, as it was the last cinema the city has had.

“I am so excited today, I just can’t tell you,” Arceneaux said, after the ribbon cutting. “It’s such a beautiful place but more so that it’s going to be the ultimate entertainment center for our young folks as well as our adults.”

Arceneaux boasted and said the City now has the bowling alley, which has other games and also an 11-screen theatre “that I’ve been waiting for a mighty long time for.”

“I’m very impressed with the facility, it’s a beautiful layout,” Arceneaux said. “It’s going to be huge for Gonzales, and Ascension Parish as well. We’re very excited about it, it’s something new and great for our city and I just can’t say enough about the Malco family and the Robert family for bringing it here.”

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez talked about how the very building has evolved over the years – from being a Wal-Mart, a FEMA Headquarters, “and now the end result is something great for the entire community to enjoy.”

“This is a wonderful venue for our children and grownups to come to and help them have something for them to do over the summer rather than going out on the streets and getting into trouble,” Martinez said. “Between the bowling alley and this, this is something we’ve been waiting on for years in Ascension. They kept saying we weren’t big enough but I can assure you that we’re big enough now.”

Jimmy Tashie, the Executive VP Theatre Operations for Malco, remembers standing a year ago at the ribbon cutting of the Premier Lanes.

“We knew we had something else in the works, just didn’t know exactly how that would come together,” Tashie said. “This is our first FEC - family entertainment center.”

Tashie said he didn’t coin the term FEC but said, “you’ll be hearing more about it.”

“This is what it’s about, bringing families in to bowl, eat, play games, come and watch movies and basically enjoy themselves,” Tashie said. “Gonzales is a wonderful community and has been very good to us in the year we’ve been here.”

Malco didn’t move in just to take money from Gonzales and Ascension; it also came to put money back into the community. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, three checks were presented with donations from Malco to the Project Kidz Kove, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge, and the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.