Enter the Imaginarium magician
Try to escape from the Chamber of Illusions at Enter the Imaginarium. Courtesy Bricolage Production Company.

Now you can be the hero of your very own adventure story and invite a few of your friends along for the ride. Bricolage Production Company has partnered with ScareHouse to open Enter the Imaginarium, a new escape room in Hamarville that will be a permanent piece of immersive theater—as well as a game.

While there are several escape rooms in Pittsburgh, none are the size or scope of Enter. And none combine full-scale live-action theater and intricate sets so real you’ll be racing not against time but to uncover the next part of the story.

Enter the Imaginarium is based on the legend of the Secret Order of Imagninaria — a group of magicians, artists and inventors who lured people to “The Imganinarium” and regenerated consciousness by feeding off their captives’ psychic energy. Bricolage and ScareHouse stumbled upon the legend and collaborated closely on the integration of it into the story and set at Enter.

Bricolage is nationally-recognized for their immersive, cutting-edge theater productions such as STRATA and Ojo. An escape room could be a great fit for an experimental theater company and the creators of a wildly popular attraction in Etna that has been called “America’s scariest haunted house.”

Enter the Imaginarium will not have a “scare factor” or horror vibe, but ScareHouse’s involvement means attendees can expect a totally immersive Hollywood-quality experience. In other words, your very own adventure story.

Enter the Imaginarium handcuffs
The Chamber of Illusions combines magic and the supernatural. Photo courtesy Bricolage.

“We want to create a full-bodied sensorial experience that challenges people’s brains, but also connects on an emotional level,” says Jeffrey Carpenter, Bricolage’s artistic director. The narrative carries through from the parking lot to the end of your adventure.

At Enter the Imaginarium up to 10 people at a time enter an area of the building and must use elements and clues to escape within 75 minutes. The attraction will eventually take up the entire 22,000 square feet of the building that formerly housed nightclubs such as Club Zoo, Oxygen and Club Z before it sat vacant.

“The idea for an escape room came first,” says Rod Schwartz, Bricolage board member. “We went out to look at this building and fell in love ith it. We knew immediately in every possible way that it would work. It is ADA accessible which was really important to us and has plenty of parking which many escape rooms do not have.”

The first “experience” to be had at Enter the Imaginarium opens September 14 and is called The Chamber of Illusions—combining magic with the supernatural. Following that, The Inventor’s Paradox will open on October 12 and by next spring more experiences will be available.

Enter the Imaginarium is located at 32 Alpha Drive West off of Freeport Road in Hamarville. The attraction is open to ages 12 and older, although younger children may participate with parental permission—contact the owners before reserving.

While there is no food or drink on site, several restaurants are located around the corner in Hamarville.

The experience costs $29.99 per person and you can purchase tickets on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended and are available Wednesday through Friday four times per night and Saturday and Sunday from eight to nine throughout the day and into the evening.

Be sure to arrive on time, the illusion waits for no one!

Maya Haptas has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and is a freelance writer covering various topics from architecture and urban design to wellness and skateboarding. She is currently the assistant editor of Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine.