The Las Vegas Pinball (And Arcade Game) Hall Of Fame: A Photo Essay Through Time

In a sleepy, nondescript lot away from the lights of the Vegas strip lies the Pinball Hall of Fame — home to around 400 vintage pinball machines (and some arcade cabinets) from the 1940s through to present day. Best of all, they’re almost all playable. I took some time out from the Consumer Electronics Show to make a pilgrimage this week. Here’s what I discovered.

Turns that that the museum is now a legitimate non-profit and actually relies on people coming through to play the games for a few 25 cent coins (quarters) each go.

I met founder Tim Arnold who not only owns all the games, but repairs and maintains them for a new generation to discover. Apparently, Tim and his brother did pretty well in the 70s and 80s when they owned and operated 'Pinball Pete's' in Lansing, Michigan. Pacman was big business.

In the 90s, Tim sold his share, moved to Vegas, and started donating thousands to The Salvation Army, a charity he feels actually places money where it’s needed.

Even though his museum is now in a bigger location than where it was originally, he still has rows of gum ball machines where the money goes to charity.

I had never played Donkey Kong, Defender or Pong the way they were originally imagined, cabinet and all. I had no concept of what a pinball machine from the 1948s would play like.

It was great.

And definitely a place you should check out if you’re ever in Vegas.

Entry is free – it’ll only cost you a few quarters. That, and an afternoon well spent.


Comments

    How long has it been there? I was over there about 16 months ago and would have loved to see it. We have a Twilight Zone machine and I worked at a repair place in Melbourne for a while, so its become a little hobby of mine.
    I'm assuming its still new because of the lack of signage on the outside, really could do with a bigger banner or a proper sign. The guy could surely make something big, creative and mechanical for the front.

    I went here in May. It's an amazing place and definitely worth a visit. It's amazing to hear how much money they raise each year for charity, from memory it was a few million $$ each year. There is a circus themed pinball machine here that is a prototype that never made it into production. It's one of only two in existance. Great fun.

    We're planning a trip to the US next year, so this will certainly be on the agenda now... my wife should be thrilled :)

    This was one place that was on our Travel Agenda in 2009 so that I could give bit of a History leasson to my kids. A great way to loose a couple of hours and is well worth the visit for those whom what to travel back to the glory days of the Arcades of the 70's and 80's its of Flamingo Blvd or just google it..

    why is there nothing like this in Australia?

    why is there nothing like this in Australia?

    I'm trying to sell my Mad Crasher arcade game that was made in 1984 and I cant find anyone who buys games.. Does anyone know where I can sell this? Im in las vegas, NV

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