(Topic ID: 59608)

A Funhouse story and reunion of sorts.


By shacklersrevenge

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 29 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Spybryon
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 5 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

funhouse_at_fun_o_rama.jpg
$T2eC16N,!zQE9s3sr(9cBS!8RfI)wQ~~60_3..jpg
beach.jpg
funhouse.jpg
fun_or_ama.jpg

#1 6 years ago

One of the very first memories I have of pinball is of a Superman in our basement back in the early 80's. I was probably not much older than 3 or 4, but I remember playing it. My sister does also, but it was not the Atari version, which I currently have. She remembers it having ''flip scoring'', and I just remember playing it and thinking this was fun stuff. It seemed full size? from what we remember...(if anyone has any information on it, let me know. My search has turned up nothing)

Fast forward several years and to my next few memories of early pinball. My parents owned a seasonal home in York Beach, Maine, where we would spend much of the late spring and summer months every year as a family. Thinking back on those times are some of the most cherished moments of my youth. A LOT of alone time for a young kid, as my sisters always had ''better'' things to do, rather than hang around with their younger brother.

I spent much of my time roaming around downtown shops, playing basketball at the court, catching an early evening movie at the vintage theatre. I would plop down on the beach sometimes, but often times would feel the need to go in Fun O' Rama- A huge beach side arcade.

I barely remember playing and seeing a Taxi, High Speed, and a lousy Black Knight in the late 80's. 15 or so years later these become easily recognizable not only as classics, but to many collectors and players as well.

The arcade was dominated by all the best arcade and video games, really a true ''Arcade buffet''
I would play some skee ball and some vids from time to time, but I became very disenchanted with how fast my quarter was gone.
Then I discovered pinball, and some great ones too. One of the very first games I would play and feel a connection with was Funhouse, Earthshaker and Whirlwind. Here, I could win free games, and it felt more my fault if I lost. 3 balls and the chance at extras? Kids love this stuff It was always a good day when you got to put your name in too.

Fun O Rama had about 8-10 pinball machines. I would play the Lawlor pins the most, not even knowing who he was or that they were the same designer/pins. They just felt right to me. Then came The Addams Family, which knocked my socks off. Little did I know, I was playing a legendary machine, but man, I couldn't play it enough. The pinball bug had bit, and later in the summer of 1993 we purchased a Gottlieb Bounty Hunter for $350 from a New Hampshire antique store. (which I still have to this day-an amazing feat, given my collection history)

Through out the mid 90's, pinball becomes fuzzy for me. I remember playing a good deal of Freddy a Nightmare on Elm Street, among others. Funhouse was starting to become just an old game, and many of my other old friends, such as Earthshaker and Whirlwind, disappeared from the lineup.
In 2003, my folks had sold the summer home and York Beach became just another moment frozen in my mind. I would visit from time to time, sometimes several years in between. Very bittersweet, and changing rapidly. New construction and homes, the complete removal of the vintage theatre, and VERY busy with vacationers everywhere, much more than I had remembered.

One visit to Fun O Rama several years ago, I noticed Funhouse was still there, only now he was demoted to the very back corner of the arcade, where his years of service would go unnoticed.
''This was one of the very first pins that got me hooked!'' I told my wife. Rudy looked about as unimpressed as my wife did. He was tired, literally. Probably wondering why he hadn't join his friends ES and WW long ago.

I was planning a small day trip up to York with my wife's family a few weeks back to have a beach day. I thought I would go online and youtube the old arcade, to see if there was a video. Sure enough, there was a 2012 video, and I saw The Funhouse. The next morning I sprung out of bed and called the arcade to ask if it was for sale. They told me it was, and the price was $1700. I told them I would be there the next morning. This was a crazy chance after all these years to own a real piece of my youth and I was excited. One of the very first pins I played and became addicted to!

I showed up cash in hand and there it was, buried in a corner (I have a picture on my friends camera, I will upload later)
I offered $1400, to which he replied ''nah, owner won't do that'' I then offered $1500 ''I'll check, he says''
10 minutes later ''he said he'll split it with you at $1600''
Sold.
Out of all the pinballs I have had or acquired, this was one of the strangest feelings. I was excited, and glad, but at the same time felt I was removing another old piece of York Beach, my childhood and many others too. It was only a matter of time of it being sold, as the owner confirmed that 5 other people were seriously interested but they (Fun O Rama) didn't want to ship it, or they never came back. For that reason alone, I felt enough time had passed over the decades, that Rudy should come home with me as much as anyone.

I wheeled it out the back, down the busy main street I once frequented with Reebok ''Pump'' sneakers with, down the short sands parking lot and in the bed of my truck. We then spent the day at Long Sands beach, and it was as good a day as I've had there in 20 years.

Funhouse plays exceptionally well, with no errors, but he is dirty and needs a bath. Not sure what my plans are with it yet, but I'm leaning towards new parts/restore but for now, to just clean up the playfield so it's fresher to be a good player.

Pinballs are the closest thing to a time machine that I have found. Doesn't everyone want to go back in time?

fun_or_ama.jpg funhouse.jpg beach.jpg

#2 6 years ago

Great story, thanks for sharing! There's a TAF from an ice cream shop in Southmont, NC near High Rock Lake I'd sure like to find and bring home one day, though unfortunately, the shop is long gone now and there would be no way to identify it.

#3 6 years ago
Quoted from The_Director:

though unfortunately, the shop is long gone now and there would be no way to identify it.

That's why I carve my name onto the cabinet of every pin I play in the wild now. Just kidding, great story OP.

#4 6 years ago

Excellent story and congrats on getting the game!

#5 6 years ago

Yea, good story and nice score. If that's the same machine you grew up playing and it still works well, they at least took some care of it. You have to admit the beach day afterward might have been nice, but bet you thinking about getting Rudy home and setting him up the whole time

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from BR80:

Yea, good story and nice score. If that's the same machine you grew up playing and it still works well, they at least took some care of it.

Well, yes and no. It is a seasonal arcade, so it is closed all during the fall, winter and much of spring. The clock inserts were raised like crazy, but I was able to cut the mylar there and bang them back down with a block of wood. The flippers were all limp, rubbers rotted. Displays look fine, and all the switches do work which is the amazing part. Rudy also works all the way, except I don't think he looks left. Subway was so black I thought it was black plastic lol.

Having it in the truck felt great, something to look forward to after the day was over.

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

all the switches do work which is the amazing part

These machines are much more resilient than we expect at times. I bought a F-14 at auction that the owner, a longtime operator, told me had been sitting in a warehouse for 15-17 years. I actually found a letter in the cabinet to the op, nothing important, some credit card solicitation or something, dated 1997, so he was pretty spot on with that estimate I think.

I set it up and all switches, all flashers and all solenoids work, not to mention there was no corrosion or battery leakage and the batteries were in the machine!

#8 6 years ago

Awesome Story.!

#9 6 years ago

cool man!

#10 6 years ago

Cool story! Would love to find one of the old classics I played as a youth. Unfortunately, none of the places they I played pinball at are still standing...

#11 6 years ago

That is a truly awesome story! I'm very sentimental about my youth in the 80's. Everything just seemed better back then. Wish my childhood arcades were still around!

Interesting that you had a Superman that wasn't the Atari one. I know of no other, and neither does IPDB. Anyone else have an idea?

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from Napabar:

That is a truly awesome story! I'm very sentimental about my youth in the 80's. Everything just seemed better back then. Wish my childhood arcades were still around!
Interesting that you had a Superman that wasn't the Atari one. I know of no other, and neither does IPDB. Anyone else have an idea?

Thanks, I've been trying to find an image of it, and several years back I thought I had, but a recent search has turned up nothing. I'm almost certain it wasn't full size or as glorious as I remember, but maybe half size, and it did stand on legs. My father owned a refuse business in central Ma, and one of the stops was a toy store which either threw this out or he bought it? so we had it for a few years.

#13 6 years ago

Fantastic post. It's actually similar to how I got my Spy Hunter arcade machine; bought it from a bowling alley where I played it long ago. It's a surreal feeling buying something like that; the same exact piece that you enjoyed way back. Even more of a trip is seeing my son play it now who is the same age I was when I played it on location! Very cool.

#14 6 years ago

I found it!

Just kidding....

$T2eC16N,!zQE9s3sr(9cBS!8RfI)wQ~~60_3..jpg

#15 6 years ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

Subway was so black I thought it was black plastic lol.

I am in the middle of a Funhouse teardown and I thought the same as well. That black dust must be 23 years old!

#16 6 years ago

Very cool story... Thanks for sharing. Funhouse is the first game I brought home back in 94'. I still have Funhouse and 20 others. I felt "if" I ever had the need to sell everything, the 3 I would keep be FH , TAF and TZ. Then give 1 to each of my 3 sons.

#17 6 years ago

FH is a sentimental game for me too. Used to play it on location in Frisco, CO when I lived out there. Now I am stuck in Jersey, but my funhouse brings me back in time with every game. I remember how shocked I was the first time Rudy busted my balls during a game. How aggravating

#18 6 years ago

Great story!!!

#19 6 years ago

Very cool story! I'm feeling a bit of nostalgia playing my Cyclone that I picked up last week. It was my adolescent favorite on the boardwalks of NJ and now I own it!!!

#20 6 years ago
Quoted from practicalsteve:

I am in the middle of a Funhouse teardown and I thought the same as well. That black dust must be 23 years old!

Same here. Installed some Cliffy hole protectors last night and the job took twice as long because I had to remove the subway and clean it. Super filthy.

#21 6 years ago

Funhouse? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

#22 6 years ago

What a truly amazing and awesome story.

The game that made you fall in love with Pinball... the actual physical wood and game... now your own possession to love and cherish forever. What a amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing it. And great writing skills too man!

#23 6 years ago

Here is a picture of Rudy just before I broke him down, from the back corner of the arcade. I estimate he had been sitting in this one spot for well over a decade.

funhouse_at_fun_o_rama.jpg

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

Here is a picture of Rudy just before I broke him down, from the back corner of the arcade. I estimate he had been sitting in this one spot for well over a decade.

WOW!!!! Thats a part that is accessible to the public???

#25 6 years ago

yes, this is the only corner of the arcade with random things like floor fans and parts. Everywhere else is jammed packed with redemptions, vids, pins and skee ball. They told me that Funhouse only was turned on now when someone requested to play it.

#26 6 years ago

Thank you for sharing this story, I wish there were more good tales like this one shared on here. Love reading these type of adventures with great outcomes that ties into the emotional side to this hobby. Awesome!

#27 6 years ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

yes, this is the only corner of the arcade with random things like floor fans and parts. Everywhere else is jammed packed with redemptions, vids, pins and skee ball. They told me that Funhouse only was turned on now when someone requested to play it.

LOL playing next to a trash can...

Hardcore. BIFF.. lol

#28 6 years ago

funhouse and bride of pinbot were mine and my friends favorites back in the day at putt putt golf and games ! im lucky enough to now own both of them. rudy got a playfield swap recently and are both in great shape ! yeah... its like going back in time !

#29 6 years ago

Wow nice story and enjoy playing Funhouse!

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 16.00
$ 34.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
The MOD Couple
$ 40.00
Lighting - Other
Rock Custom Pinball

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside