Special to AFN

Laurie McCartney stepped out of her office at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle morning and was surprised to see the lobby flooded with children.

At first, she thought it was a field trip. Then, she realized that the entertainment venue’s philosophy is working.

“We hope to bring excitement, consistency to the brand and, bottom line, let everyone who doesn’t know about UltraStar know we’re here,” said McCartney, UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle’s marketing director.

“This is the place to enjoy movies, discounts, specials, birthday parties or corporate events. There’s something for everybody to do here,” said McCartney, who is this year’s chairwoman of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

This summer, the focus is on kids and their families, with UltraStar offering three special packages.

The UltraStar Cinemas’ Summer Series runs through Aug. 4. During this time, kids’ movies will be shown at 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

The 2-D films amount to 50 cents per movie, with a 10-movie package for $5. Individual films are available for $1, too.

The scheduled movies are “The Neverending Story, through Friday, July 14; “Storks” from July 17 to July 21; “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” from July 27 to July 28; and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” from July 31 to Aug. 4.

“It’s an awesome deal,” McCartney said. “It’s nice and cool in here. We want people to have fun and enjoy their summer.”

UltraStar’s bowling alley, Tin Pins Down, is serving up the Family Fun Deal from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For $49.95, families are given 90 minutes of bowling, five pairs of shoes, five $5 game cards and a large cheese pizza. It’s an $88 value.

For those who enjoy laser tag, it’s included in the $59.95 version of the same package.

Specials are offered during the week as well, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday until Aug. 4. The Summer Fun Pass is $10.95 per person for unlimited bowling with shoes, or $15.95 per person for unlimited bowling and laser tag, shoes included.

Officials at UltraStar, which will be connected to Harrah’s via skybridge this fall, hope to give families a taste of fun this summer without breaking the bank.

“We’re trying to offer an affordable option for families, so they don’t feel pinched in the summer heat,” McCartney said.

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