Local Brothers Team Up to Parlay Their Entertainment Background Into the Area’s Newest Attraction!
MOUNT POCONO – A little bit of Hollywood is coming to downtown Mount Pocono.
Brothers Peter and Matt Hensel have teamed up to create an original-concept “escape room” experience out of their shared passion for movies and television. Their creation, Big Screen Escapes, opens November 21 in the heart of Mount Pocono, at 1434 Pocono Boulevard/Route 611 across from Little Asia and next to Pocono Rocks.
Together, the Hensels conceived, designed, and built from scratch their three themed rooms to challenge the ingenuity and logic of the teams of players. Both have worked in the entertainment industry. Matt won an Emmy in 2003 for his work on the popular PBS show Reading Rainbow. Both Hensels worked as editors for the TV Show Forensic Files.
They designed Big Screen Escapes as if they were designing a big-screen movie set. Every aspect of the business, from the custom-made “Coming Attractions” movie posters in the windows, to the lobby, and the three different-themed escape rooms themselves, have the look and feel of being on a Hollywood set.
They, with help of family and friends, built each of the rooms from the ground up. Teams of players are given 60 minutes to find clues and solve puzzles in each unique room.
There’s “Nuclear Family” - a room filled with just the right vintage furnishings to make you think you’ve time-warped to the 1940s. There you’ll try to ‘save the world’ by stopping a nuclear bomb from going off.
Forty years into the future from “Nuclear Family” is the “Trapped in ‘88” room. There, you’ll test your 80's knowledge to solve the puzzle. Or, select “Solitude” and find yourself in a remote log cabin in the woods trying to survive a 100-year storm event. Each room provides a unique fun and challenging experience.
A chance visit to an escape room instantly hooked the brothers as enthusiasts of the genre. After visiting several more, they eventually came to the idea to create their own. As they discussed the concept, it was a natural to merge their love for movies, and their professional experience, with their new love for the challenge and fun of the escape rooms. “Just like that,” Peter says, “Big Screen Escapes was born!”
Then came the challenges. First, finding the right props to tell their stories. Like “American Pickers”, without the cameras, they traveled around loading Matt’s pick up truck with hidden gems people wanted to get rid of. Then the real challenge - devising clues, puzzles, and apparatus needed to tell the stories, test players’ wits, and provide the fun. Matt said that took “mind-numbing late night sessions, numerous test runs, and some new gray hairs” before they were satisfied that Big Screen Escapes was ready for it’s close-up!
Having grown up in the Poconos, the brothers were thrilled to add their entertainment venue to downtown Mount Pocono. “With great neighbors like Pocono Rocks and the Casino Theatre, we knew 1434 Pocono Blvd was the perfect place to set up shop!”
The Grand Opening is Saturday, November 21, at 1:00. Bookings are available starting Saturday at 5:00 pm, but you must call to book (272.219.0777). Starting Monday, November 24th, players can book through their website (bigscreenescapes.com).
Big Screen Escapes will be open daily 11 am - 9 pm. Each room can accommodate three to eight players at $30/person (tax included).