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Flippers Up! Pinball Hall of Fame – Las Vegas, NV West Coast Retro Roadmap Report by Keith Valcourt

Posted on: November 3, 2016

Beatle John Lennon once sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” The same can be said for my recent Las Vegas trip. But instead of life, pinball was what happened while making plans.

Let me explain. I was in “Sin City” filming a documentary about famed ventriloquist Willie Tyler & Lester. On a break from interviewing living legends like Shecky Greene, Pia Zadora and Carrot Top, the film’s director and I decided to hit some local thrift stores in hope of finding retro treasures.

It was in between thrift shops that we saw a sign:

“Pinball Hall Of Fame.”

Perhaps it was a mirage? After all the giant elevated sign sat alone in an abandoned lot surrounded by chain link fence. Nope the sign was real.

But maybe we were too late? No building. Just a sign. “There it is!” exclaimed my director pointing to a neighboring strip mall not more than 50 feet away with a less elaborate sign. We pulled into a free parking space (free parking is always a plus) and stared at the nondescript cinder block building.


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We each grabbed a handful of quarters I had stashed in the van for metered street parking and ran into the joint. Admission is also free! Only a few steps in we realized this was no simple tourist trap or roadside attraction. This was a mecca for pinball enthusiasts both casual and hardcore.

Although it has only been in existence for three years, The Pinball Hall Of Fame is 10,000 square feet of fun packed with row after row after row of vintage pinball machines. I counted nearly 100.

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These beautifully restored antique games are quite a sight to see. And even better to play! It takes is a quarter to unleash those metal balls of fun. We spent close to two hours (and about 20 bucks) immersed in the sights and sounds of this magical place. The artwork on the games from the 1960s is especially groovy.

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I could have sworn Mod Betty herself was the model for more than of few of the vintage game panels. But then again, she’s far too young. (oooh, good save there, KV! xo Mod B)

Later period branded machines from the 1980s and 1990s are also present in case you have a hankering to play “Addams Family”, “Guns N Roses”, “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons” or “Waterworld” pinball machines. (But be warned the later games cost 50 cent to play.)

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Now if pinball isn’t your thing (did you not read the sign on the way in?) they even offer some vintage crane, novelty and bowling games. My favorite non-pinball unit was a safe cracking game I couldn’t quite master. Atari kids can enjoy the handful of 1980s video games like Pac Man and Donkey Kong.

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The Pinball Hall of Fame is the most fun you’ll have shoving coins into a machine in Las Vegas. If you find yourself in Nevada, take the trip off the strip and get ready to flip. And don’t worry about the quarters. They have change machines.