Pirate’s Theme Center opened up (7090 Coral Way) in December of 1983 just a few short miles from my home in Westchester. My world wasn’t the same after that day.
Sure, there was Castle Park (later Malibu Grand Prix) right next to Midway Mall (now Mall of the Americas), Chuck E Cheese in Hialeah right on 49th next to the recently opened Toy R Us and the Mark Twain’s Riverboat Playhouse right near Don Carter’s Bowling Alley on Kendall Drive & 137th. Pirates Theme Center was for us Westchester & South Miami kids.
Most folks who remember Pirates called it by the name popularized by abuelitas, who brought their grandchildren there, Piratas.
Pirates Theme Center was filled with the hottest arcade games of the day and a bunch of interactive games where your skill was paid in tickets that could be traded in for a whistle or some other item you just had to have when you were a kid.
Later on, they opened a second wing in the back which included one of those ball pits and bumper boats, amongst other attractions.
My parents brought my sister and me to Pirates regularly and we attended a handful of birthday celebrations which meant hangin’ in the theater, eating & watching the animatronics show. I do remember the Pizza being good, but I was just a kid, so who knows.
My most vivid memory at Pirates Theme Center was my first encounter with the animated video game Dragon’s Lair. It probably holds the lifetime record for taking the largest amount of quarters from me, I was absolutely horrible at it (and it was 50 cents a game back then).
MY PRIZED POSSESSION
If you’ve got any Pirates or Pirates stories for that matter, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear them.
And if you’ve got any pictures, me love you long time.
*Prior to its incarnation as a child’s entertainment center, it was Davidson Lumber Yard, it’s now a Pollo Tropical.
**Pirates Theater picture courtesy of Marisol Geilin Sosa