Intencity Hurstville opened in blaze of publicity in 1995 and closed two years later

Westfield Hurstville was the launching pad for what was described as "an entertainment revolution" in 1995.

The first Intencity interactive video game centre opened in a blaze of publicity in the shopping centre.

Kerry Packer's Nine Network Australia partnered with Village Roadshow for the $100 million venture, which was spruiked as "a world first in entertainment - suburban indoor theme parks".

The Leader joined in the hype, with one report saying, "Westfield Hurstville is poised for the greatest event in its history (or even in Hurstville's history)".

A following report told how "the red carpet was rolled out" for the Saturday night opening.

Jamie Packer, one of 450 guests at the gala event, described it as "just terrific".

Other big names at the opening included TV series LA Law star Joan Severance, John Farnham and Daryl Somers with Plucka Duck.

In the first month, 200,000 people visited the new entertainment centre, according to a video game magazine.

The centre included eight zones, Wide World of Sports Centre, The Chameleon, DiMMMensions, Virtual World, Wizards, The Lost City, Vocal Recall and Hide & Seek, as well as three food centres.

Three more Intencity centres opened the following year.

However, the timing of the venture was terrible, with unforeseen competition from a new generation of high quality video game consoles, including PlayStation, for home use.

Intencity Hurstville began to struggle and closed in 1997, followed by some other centres.

The Packer company bailed out in 1999, leaving the business to Village Roadshow.

Intencity Family Entertainment Centres still operate in seven locations in Australia, but there are none in Sydney.


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