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(Topic ID: 166810)

Anyone Have Bally Factory Photos 1979-1983?


By JoeNewberry

4 years ago



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  • 113 posts
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  • Latest reply 2 days ago by Ballypin
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    There are 113 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 4 years ago

    I have a co-worker that worked at Bally during this time period. I'd like to jog her memory of the place with some photos, but unlike Gottlieb, who has that whole tour photo set floating around, Bally seems to have no factory photos except a single one of the outside of the building. Does anyone out there happen to have any photos of the inside of the Bally plant?

    #2 4 years ago

    I frequently drove past Bally's building on Belmont in the late 1970s. What I remember is the "atomic man" sculpture on the building's west corner at Belmont. It was the same design that appeared on the bottom apron of Bally pins in the 1970s. I wonder if anyone has that sculpture today. In my memory it was about 8 feet tall. I regret I have no photos.

    You mentioned a Gottlieb factory photo set. Do you have a link? I've never seen it.

    #3 4 years ago

    Here's the previous thread about the Gottlieb tour photos:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gottlieb-factory-tour

    Here is the link I posted in that thread to good quality versions of the same pictures:

    http://www.retro-flip.com/t2429-GOTTLIEB-FACTORY-TOUR-IN-71.htm

    #4 4 years ago

    Is this the same factory? (1982 Ms. Pac Man assembly)

    #5 4 years ago

    Hmm. That's a good question. After Bally and Midway merged in 1981, I don't know if they maintained two factories or shared one. My friend worked in the pinball division. She's told me some interesting stories about the Korean workers sleeping in empty pinball cabinets during their lunch break, and how the workers preferred to use a wall of microwaves (just like Stern years later) than use the regular lunch room service because it took a long time and wasn't that great.

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from BlackCatBone:

    I frequently drove past Bally's building on Belmont in the late 1970s. What I remember is the "atomic man" sculpture on the building's west corner at Belmont. It was the same design that appeared on the bottom apron of Bally pins in the 1970s. I wonder if anyone has that sculpture today. In my memory it was about 8 feet tall. I regret I have no photos.
    You mentioned a Gottlieb factory photo set. Do you have a link? I've never seen it.

    The "Bally Man" on the West facing protrusion of the Belmont plant was "bought" by JPop as the building was being demolished . It has since been "donated" to Tim Arnold. It was at least 15' tall plus the balls and slot hopper discs that surrounded it. It was awesome to look at when backlit with neon at night. Here's a poor photo I took with a Polaroid camera around 1975.
    There was a beautiful oak model in the building's lobby which was five feet tall.

    Screenshot_2016-08-20-16-30-16_(resized).png

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Here's a poor photo I took with a Polaroid camera around 1975.

    I'd like to see that. Though I think the Belmont factory came before the 1979-1983 version.
    http://forgottenchicago.com/forum/read.php?5,3651 - This thread talks about the Belmont factory and shows a hard to see version of the Bally Man.

    I believe I'm looking for the Bensenville factory on O'Leary, shown here:

    http://www.pinballnews.com/news/nib2.html

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from JoeNewberry:

    I'd like to see that. Though I think the Belmont factory came before the 1979-1983 version.
    http://forgottenchicago.com/forum/read.php?5,3651 - This thread talks about the Belmont factory and shows a hard to see version of the Bally Man.
    I believe I'm looking for the Bensenville factory on O'Leary, shown here:
    http://www.pinballnews.com/news/nib2.html

    Hey! I know the dude that took those pictures when the Bensenville plant was being demolished and the older photo where he's wearing the 3 piece YSL suit with his yellow '74 Super Beetle.....

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Hey! I know the dude that took those pictures when the Bensenville plant was being demolished and wearing the 3 piece YSL suit with his yellow '74 Super Beetle.....

    Do you know what happened to the wooden Bally Man?

    #10 4 years ago
    Quoted from JoeNewberry:

    Hmm. That's a good question. After Bally and Midway merged in 1981, I don't know if they maintained two factories or shared one. My friend worked in the pinball division. She's told me some interesting stories about the Korean workers sleeping in empty pinball cabinets during their lunch break, and how the workers preferred to use a wall of microwaves (just like Stern years later) than use the regular lunch room service because it took a long time and wasn't that great.

    There were three factories in the early '80's. Bensenville on O'Leary Drive. Grand Ave. in Franklin Park (Later sold to the US Postal Service to make & repair the white mail carrier bins) . And Belmont Avenue in Franklin Park. I've posted a pic of my VW Scirocco on the site.

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from dmbjunky:

    Do you know what happened to the wooden Bally Man?

    I believe it stayed with the O'Donnell Family. Bill retired in Palm Desert. After he died in 1994, either Bill Jr or Jack inherited it.

    #12 4 years ago

    I'll ask on Monday which of the three she worked at. I thought the Belmont plant closed and they moved to the O'Leary facility. Didn't realize they had three at once.

    #13 4 years ago

    I don't have any photographs of the old Bally factory but I do have a one hour plus video tape of the entire Bensenville plant. At the time Bally had a metal stamping facility called Diemasters and a cabinet, playfield, and backglass facility called Lenc Smith. The last machines through Bensenville (over by the airport) were Speakeasy, Baby PacMan, and BMX. The plant was being converted for use by Bally Gaming. You can see in the video concrete work getting ready for the printing presses. Pinball moved over to Midway in Franklin Park where the leisure division manufactured fitness equipment, plus any video games. I attended a couple of reunion lunches in the mid-80's and got to know many of the managers.

    #14 4 years ago

    That would be neat to see.

    Hmm, I wonder if she worked at Lenc Smith. She mentioned installing backglasses. Definitely going to ask on Monday.

    #15 4 years ago

    When pinball production moved from Belmont in Chicago to Bensenville, the Chicago plant remained open for a few more years making slot machines. Eventually it closed and slot production also went to Bensenville.

    What a lot of people don't realize is that all Solid State pins were made in either Franklin Park or Bensenville. Prior to O'Leary Drive, Bally leased two buildings in Franklin Park for the Freedoms, Night Riders, Mata Hark, Lost World, Playboy and Kiss machines. One plant was on Melrose ave. and the other on Acorn Lane. Some Kiss machines were made on O'Leary Drive.

    Some prototypes were built in the engineering building on Fletcher between Rockwell & Washtenaw.

    #16 4 years ago

    I have some pics of the Bally factory when they were making EBD. Not sure which location that was. I doubt the photographer will appreciate it if I would post them here.

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from unigroove:

    I doubt the photographer will appreciate it if I would post them here.

    information-wants-to-be-free-1-638_(resized).jpg

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from BlackCatBone:

    I frequently drove past Bally's building on Belmont in the late 1970s. What I remember is the "atomic man" sculpture on the building's west corner at Belmont. It was the same design that appeared on the bottom apron of Bally pins in the 1970s. I wonder if anyone has that sculpture today. In my memory it was about 8 feet tall. I regret I have no photos.
    You mentioned a Gottlieb factory photo set. Do you have a link? I've never seen it.

    If I remember right that Atomic Man sculpture was saved by Duncan Brown or somebody else there at Bally. Seems like there was a article about it in either Gameroom Magazine or Pingame Journal magazine years ago.

    John P. Dayhuff
    Battle Creek, MI.
    269-979-3836

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from Dayhuff:

    If I remember right that Atomic Man sculpture was saved by Duncan Brown or somebody else there at Bally. Seems like there was a article about it in either Gameroom Magazine or Pingame Journal magazine years ago.
    John P. Dayhuff
    Battle Creek, MI.
    269-979-3836

    I recall it was Jpop. Maybe it was Duncan. Regardless, it ended up with Tim in Las Vegas collecting dust in the Big Hit Shed......

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from fordtudoor:

    I don't have any photographs of the old Bally factory but I do have a one hour plus video tape of the entire Bensenville plant. At the time Bally had a metal stamping facility called Diemasters and a cabinet, playfield, and backglass facility called Lenc Smith. The last machines through Bensenville (over by the airport) were Speakeasy, Baby PacMan, and BMX. The plant was being converted for use by Bally Gaming. You can see in the video concrete work getting ready for the printing presses. Pinball moved over to Midway in Franklin Park where the leisure division manufactured fitness equipment, plus any video games. I attended a couple of reunion lunches in the mid-80's and got to know many of the managers.

    I wish you could put that on Youtube. That would be really cool to watch.

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    It has since been "donated" to Tim Arnold. It was at least 15' tall plus the balls and slot hopper discs that surrounded it. It was awesome to look at when backlit with neon at night. Here's a poor photo I took with a Polaroid camera around 1975.

    Mr Bally - Bless you for taking that photo and thanks for sharing it. It is a little different than I remembered. Who is JPop?

    #23 4 years ago

    She says she worked in Bensenville, then moved over to Franklin Park.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from fordtudoor:

    I don't have any photographs of the old Bally factory but I do have a one hour plus video tape of the entire Bensenville plant.

    In case you want to preserve your video tape, Dazzle makes a device you can use to capture the tape contents on your computer. It's about $50. If you can play the tape, it can be captured.

    If you're interested in sharing it with the pinball community and want some help please let me know.

    #25 4 years ago

    Mr. Bally is one of my favorite pinside posters. Great information.

    #26 4 years ago

    Would be nice to learn more Bally history and see some factory pics. My favorite brand of Pinball from the "good old days".

    #27 4 years ago

    A question for those with deeper knowledge of Bally history:

    Was the Bally building on Belmont in Chicago (ever) a manufacturing facility?
    When did Bally vacate the Belmont building?
    Is the illustration below that of the Belmont building in Chicago? It is from a 1955 Bally user manual.

    Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.59.40 AM (resized).png

    #28 4 years ago

    Yes, that is the Bally Belmont plant & General offices. It always was a manufacturing facility. It was added on to the East in 1968. It was vacated by Bally in 1983 becoming Moloney Coachbuilders for a few years before being demolished to make way for Townhouse & Condo development.

    #29 4 years ago

    Fun video of the WMS facility in 1992

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/5wXq-WraO1Q

    #30 4 years ago

    subscribed love this stuff!

    #31 4 years ago

    This is some very 90's editing/commentary. It was interesting to see how the did the recording for MK. Good share!

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    The "Bally Man" on the West facing protrusion of the Belmont plant was "bought" by JPop as the building was being demolished . It has since been "donated" to Tim Arnold. It was at least 15' tall plus the balls and slot hopper discs that surrounded it. It was awesome to look at when backlit with neon at night. Here's a poor photo I took with a Polaroid camera around 1975.
    There was a beautiful oak model in the building's lobby which was five feet tall.

    What is the deal on this? Was it on the side of the building or something? When was it built? Has to be a story on this somewhere....

    #33 4 years ago

    The main Bally plant & Offices had three cool signs. All were backlit neon that bounced off of the Terra-Cotta/yellow face brick. The Bally guy had the prettiest, colorful neon while the other two had white & green neon. I have better daytime pictures but they are stored away at the moment.

    When Bally Gaming relocated from Bensenville to Las Vegas in 1990, the signage on the building payed homage to the Belmont plant signage with white neon backlighting onto the grey & white building exteriors. Later, as the Las Vegas campus was expanded, more signs were added and the white neon was replaced with red LED's that provide the same "halo" effect as neon.

    Photo of one of the buildings in Las Vegas.

    IMAG3968 (resized).jpg

    #34 4 years ago

    The video is from the Chicago PBS show "Wild Chicago."

    #35 4 years ago

    That video was fun. It was cool to see Steve Kordek, Ed Boon and John Tobias. Does anyone know the woman voice actor and the guy who was working on the software?

    #36 4 years ago

    This is off topic but that WMS video led me to a History Channel show that showed Stern building Ripley's Believe It or Not. It also, unlike today, showed a sneak peak at the upcoming Elvis machine.

    #37 4 years ago

    Heh, I like that the fixtures still have the Sega logo on them, even after the change over to Stern.

    #38 4 years ago

    Couldn't find any from bally at that time but I did find some tour pictures from various years at the pinball expo which was interesting to see

    1988, Williams, taxi was being produced: http://www.pinballclicks.com/article/2009/williams-pinball-factory-tour-1988-21

    1994,DataEast, Maverick was being produced and Frankenstein was started to roll out as well as unreleased game deathball 2000 being shown : https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/sets/72157656018570726

    1995,Midway : Johnny Mnemonic and Who dunnit were being produced: https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/albums/72157656310337275

    1997, Midway : No good gofers and circus voltaire were being produced : https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/sets/72157656312373205

    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballgeek:

    Couldn't find any from bally at that time but I did find some tour pictures from various years at the pinball expo which was interesting to see
    1988, Williams, taxi was being produced: http://www.pinballclicks.com/article/2009/williams-pinball-factory-tour-1988-21
    1994,DataEast, Maverick was being produced and Frankenstein was started to roll out as well as unreleased game deathball 2000 being shown : https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/sets/72157656018570726
    1995,Midway : Johnny Mnemonic and Who dunnit were being produced: https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/albums/72157656310337275
    1997, Midway : No good gofers and circus voltaire were being produced : https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/sets/72157656312373205

    Those are beautiful pictures, especially those 1994 pictures. Such clear quality for the time. Weird to think I wouldn't be born until 4 years later.

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    Those are beautiful pictures, especially those 1994 pictures. Such clear quality for the time. Weird to think I wouldn't be born until 4 years later.

    Must be some expensive camera , I did notice that the frankenstein had the data east logo on the head instead of sega. Just wish that deathball 2000 came out as from what I heard it was a terminator esc game but by then data east became sega and focused on licenced themes.

    #41 4 years ago

    One of my favorite videos, used to love watching that show growing up. A young Roger Sharpe, a still alive steve kordek, The midway team still working on mortal kombat that wasn't even out yet, hundreds of addams family's shipping out, barely any spanish workers on the assembly line. Will klinger doesn't know the magic he got to see that day.

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballgeek:

    Couldn't find any from bally at that time but I did find some tour pictures from various years at the pinball expo which was interesting to see
    1988, Williams, taxi was being produced: http://www.pinballclicks.com/article/2009/williams-pinball-factory-tour-1988-21
    1994,DataEast, Maverick was being produced and Frankenstein was started to roll out as well as unreleased game deathball 2000 being shown : https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/sets/72157656018570726
    1995,Midway : Johnny Mnemonic and Who dunnit were being produced: https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/albums/72157656310337275
    1997, Midway : No good gofers and circus voltaire were being produced : https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/sets/72157656312373205

    All of those Taxis had Marilyn backglasses I think.

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballgeek:

    Couldn't find any from bally at that time but I did find some tour pictures from various years at the pinball expo which was interesting to see
    1988, Williams, taxi was being produced: http://www.pinballclicks.com/article/2009/williams-pinball-factory-tour-1988-21
    1994,DataEast, Maverick was being produced and Frankenstein was started to roll out as well as unreleased game deathball 2000 being shown : https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/sets/72157656018570726
    1995,Midway : Johnny Mnemonic and Who dunnit were being produced: https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/albums/72157656310337275
    1997, Midway : No good gofers and circus voltaire were being produced : https://www.flickr.com/photos/26432743@N05/sets/72157656312373205

    That Data East tour was awesome. I wish I had that Data East Pinball sign. What is that Home Alone ticket game? I've never seen that before and can't find any info on it.

    19646861329_ed2e276b1e_z (resized).jpg

    #44 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    I recall it was Jpop. Maybe it was Duncan. Regardless, it ended up with Tim in Las Vegas collecting dust in the Big Hit Shed......

    I went to PHOF and saw Tim a few years ago and was confused by the place, run down and dirty, but PACKED, and it had buses of people from CES there, a corporate party with food truck in the back, alcohol, etc and there is Tim looking angry working on games, so much so I was afraid to approach him.

    The more I learn about Tim I'm glad I didn't meet him and the more I learn about the treasures PHOF has locked away the sadder I get at the situation. Man it would be AMAZING to see that Bally Man!

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from dmbjunky:

    What is that Home Alone ticket game? I've never seen that before and can't find any info on it.

    I don't know which section you clicked on but that's interesting. Doesn't look like a video game but rather a redemption game since it has a bubble front, almost as if it had some ball popping game? Right next to it is the famed dual total recall pinball. Well if it got shelved, we at least know it wasn't thrown away right after the show. SOMEBODY may still own that.

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    I don't know which section you clicked on but that's interesting. Doesn't look like a video game but rather a redemption game since it has a bubble front, almost as if it had some ball popping game? Right next to it is the famed dual total recall pinball. Well if it got shelved, we at least know it wasn't thrown away right after the show. SOMEBODY may still own that.

    I contacted Jared about this and the photo album from the tour in '94 is uploaded now to sterns facebook page. Hopefully things will surface

    #47 4 years ago

    The Home Alone game has to be a prototype. The cab art looks hand painted.

    This makes me realize when Stern was doing their 30 year profiles on games they didn't show any of their redemption machines. I wish they would include them because there isn't a lot of info about some of those games.

    3 months later
    #48 3 years ago

    A decent color picture of the "Bally Man" in the day. Also a few other pics of the Belmont plant & HQ including an almost never seen picture of the East facing sign.

    20161129_215131 (resized).jpg
    Screenshot_20161129-215936 (resized).png
    20161129_215305 (resized).jpg

    #49 3 years ago
    Quoted from dmbjunky:

    Do you know what happened to the wooden Bally Man?

    Here is a picture of it in the Belmont lobby. US Royal/Uniroyal has to be proud of the Naugahyde seating.....

    Screenshot_20161129-215536 (resized).png

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Here is a picture of it in the Belmont lobby. US Royal/Uniroyal has to be proud of the Naugahyde seating.....

    Beautiful set of photos. The one of Bally Man in the lobby: is that a large photo, or an image reflected in crazed glass, or something else? I'm trying to process the image and having trouble.

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