New York State In-depth

Ax & Smash Ax Throwing Lounge opens Thursday at Mattituck Cinemas

Marc LaMaina takes aim in his new Ax & Smash ax throwing lounge. Photo by Nicholas Grasso

Marc LaMaina takes aim in his new Ax & Smash ax throwing lounge. Photo by Nicholas Grasso

What’s next on Marc LaMaina’s chopping block? Zombies!

The restaurateur behind popular brand Lucharitos will unveil his new Ax & Smash Ax Throwing Lounge at Mattituck Cinemas on Thursday.

For the unfamiliar, the burgeoning group activity involves people taking turns throwing axes at wooden targets. LaMaina’s new spot in the East End will feature a variety of game modes, from a traditional bull’s-eye to tic tac toe and zombie hunting.

“It’s more finesse than power,” LaMaina explains to first-time casters. “You have to use your upper body a bit.”

Online reservations for 60-90 minute sessions are now available for groups of up to six people.

Upon arrival at the theater, guests check in at the Lucharitos concession stand, where they can order food and drinks, which will be taken to the designated area next to their whelping cage. They will also watch a safety video at the bar before Ax Masters lead them into a short demonstration and give them a few minutes to practice before their official session begins.

Because the attraction was designed for a movie theater, LaMaina chose an end grain design. Instead of banging axes against a solid board, axes land much softer in the ends of soft pine beams.

In addition to three lanes for adults and children 12 and older, the father of three LaMaina has prepared a separate cage with rubber axes for children between the ages of 6 and 11. Anyone wishing to book the children’s cage must contact the lounge directly to make an appointment.

“This is a project close to my heart,” LaMaina said of the lounge. “I think because I’m from North Fork and I have young kids, I hear people say, ‘Oh, we don’t have anything to do.’

“I know that because every weekend when we do something with the kids, it’s like, ‘Where are we going? What are we doing?’ He continued. “Just offering this service to other local families means a lot to me.”

LaMaina’s relationship with Mattituck Cinemas began last year when he took over the theater’s concession stand. He provided tacos and tequila for those who had had enough of popcorn and soda.

His new ax throwing lounge is just the first family-friendly activity he has in store for the theater.

The whelping cages occupy what local residents will remember as theater four. Across the hall are two vacant theaters awaiting an overhaul by Greenport artist Ricky Saetta, better known as Ricky TeeVee.

Saetta, LaMaina’s friend since high school, will design and build an impressive putt-putt course set in ’80s wonderland. The list of nostalgic holes he’s planning includes MTV, “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” and “Saturday Night Fever,” all major nostalgic nuggets from the two friends’ childhoods and teens.

“I want to bring back all the nostalgia that we earned from all the years we grew up there,” Saetta said. “I want to keep that cinematic vibe, but I also want some parts to look like a mall and some parts to look like a video store, so the whole place is an immersive experience.” LaMaina also teased plans for golf simulators in another vacant theater he has hopefully up and running this summer.

While the theater has hosted recent blockbusters like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of the Water, it remains closed while renovations are underway.

Even amid the excitement of what’s to come around the corner from Mattituck Plaza, one question lingers on the minds of locals: Will they bring movies back?

“We hope so,” LaMaina said. “We’re cheering it on.”

The Ax & Smash Ax Throwing Lounge is located at 10095 Main Road in Mattituck. For reservations, visit or call 631-292-0020.[email protected]

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