Escape the 1980s on E. Passyunk Ave. to close, residential units coming soon
Escape the 1980s, one of the city’s top escape rooms, will close its location at 1804 E. Passyunk Ave. on June 30th. The business opened in August of 2015 in a former pharmacy that had been vacant for at least five years. According to a press release announcing the closure: “Building owner Vince DiBacco plans to develop a luxury condo unit[s] and [a] storefront. Construction will begin July 2018.”
The changes to the building required a zoning variance and were vetted at a public meeting of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association zoning committee on January 11, 2017. Plans call for the addition of a third floor to create three dwelling units above the first-floor retail space. Roof decks (more akin to balconies) would be added to the back of the building above the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors. The top floor deck is initially permitted for maintenance purposes only.
The presenter, Ron Patterson, attorney for the owner, said the third floor facade will feature “a metal panel with wood slats. Lighting and a small canopy will accentuate the residential entrance.” The plans were approved by the community and EPX zoning committee.
At the time the plans were presented, Escape the 1980s, which obtained an “assembly and entertainment” permit in 2016, was to remain as the tenant. According to their website, the business now hopes to relocate and add an Escape the 1990s room as well.
Escape the 1980s is an interactive game where 2-12 players figure out clues and codes to unlock doors and get through an 80s themed adventure. The award-winning game, conceived by Steel Owl Productions, was built in the summer of 2015 by Philly artists, programmers and engineers. It’s been featured in dozens of publications including USA Today and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
If you’d like to check it out before June 30th, go here.