(Topic ID: 61889)

Asheville Pinball Museum (NC)


By singlebanana

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 41 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by MK6PIN
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 7 years ago

I was out of town this past weekend to send my brother-in-law off into despair (marriage) and had a little time to knock around while the wife and daughter were getting their hair done. I remembered a post at some point a month or so ago where someone had mentioned a new pinball place that was opening in Asheville. I checked on-line and wouldn't you believe my luck, it had just opened a few days before my arrival. I decided that I had to check this out.

The Asheville Pinball Museum is located at 1 Battle Square, Suite 1A, right in the middle of the downtown shopping and dining district. Parking is a nightmare of course (you know this if you know Asheville), but there is a nice parking deck only a block away, which was very convenient. The location is great for foot traffic and being around the more "touristy" district is perfect for this type of business.

I arrived just a little after 12:00 p.m., the first customer, and was greeted at the door by the owner, T.C., and his lovely wife, Brandy. I introduced myself, we chatted a little about pinball, and T.C. gave me a tour of the place. I was really intrigued by the atmosphere and the types of machines that were in the place. I believe that their website states that they have about 27 machines and I believe that this is a pretty fair account of the number that were there. The majority of the machines were woodrails, EMs and early SS titles, though they did have a few DMDs (Flintstones and TAF are the few that I recall). The variety really gives it a true "museum" appeal. See the list of the machines I remember below. Sorry, I don't remember the names of most of the very early EMs and woodrails, hopefully T.C., or others of you can help me fill this in.

The place is set up like a museum and has cards on top of each machine that notes the name of the machine, the year, the designer(s), and a few random facts about the machine or the era in which it was made. Several of the EMs had the backs taken off and were replaced with plexiglass. Since the EMs were located on the upper level, you could see through them on the lower level and watch the reels and mechanics work while others were playing; again, a really neat feature that added to the museum feel. The machines were in working order and the museum even has a small shop area that is roped off where the mechanics can work on new machines that come in. There were a few cabinets and heads there that looked ready to be be fixed and it's really neat that they chose to leave this area open to public view. As we all know, maintenance is a big part of it, so why not include it?

The machines at the Asheville Pinball Museum are in average condition, except for an impeccable Night Moves cocktail. They are mostly players machines, but everything I played, worked well and appeared to be maintained. Sorry, you want find any sleek, new Sterns here right now, but you may in the future. I spoke to T.C. a little about his plans for the museum and whether or not he had a certain cut-off date for the machines he was including. He seemed to be open to any and all machines and I believe he wants to keep the line-up very diverse. He mentioned that he wanted to keep games flowing in an out of the place to keep the line-up fresh.

The price for admission is $10 per person and allows for unlimited play on all of the machines. Once you pay your admission, you can get a pass that allows for admission through out the day in case you want to leave and enjoy some of the other fine parts of Asheville's downtown. They sell a variety of beverages for all (including cans of beer) and some light snacks. They also have a lounge area with a big screen TV, if pinball is not your spouse's thing. Shirts are only $11 and come in various colors and sizes.

The Asheville Pinball Museum is a great, family-oriented place where you can go to play a nice variety of machines. The owners are super nice and hospitable and I got as much enjoyment out of talking to them as I did playing their pins (If you know me, you know I did more talking ;D). If you are ever in the area, or live nearby, please go in and show your support for another great place to play pinball in NC.

Currently line-up (from what I recall) includes:

Big Chief
Big Brave
Fast Draw
Aquarius
Grand Prix
Buccaneer
Sky Kings
Black Hole
The Amazing Spider-man
Superman
Harlem Globetrotters on Tour
Lost World (1978)
The Simpsons (1990)
The Addams Family
Hyperball
Motordome
The Flintstones
Bobby Orr Power Play
Cyclone
Night Moves
300
Big Valley
Full House
Liberty Belle
Captain Fantastic

#2 7 years ago

Thanks for the info, did you happen to get any pictures?

#3 7 years ago
Quoted from gtown:

Thanks for the info, did you happen to get any pictures?

I did not. My phone was close to being dead when I got there and I had to keep charge on what little was left. I sent a link of this post to the owner and hopefully he can oblige us with some pics soon.

#4 7 years ago

Go to Asheville Pinball Clubs Facebook page to see some pics.

#5 7 years ago

We now have this in the west, Flippers in the east and Lost Ark in the center of the state. Who knew that NC would become a pinball mecca?

2 months later
#6 7 years ago

Hey guys, took my wife to Asheville this week. I promised her when we got married 24 years ago that I would take her to there to see the Biltmore House, so I finally did it. I should be up for husband of the year after her 24 years of anticipation!

But, it was a great opportunity to go visit the new Asheville Pinball Museum and I was not dissapointed. TC, the owner showed me around and was great to talk to. Even found out he went to NC State and I'm sorry but my ECU Pirates (see my avatar) are going to kick their butts on the gridiron in 2 weeks.

The museum has at least 30 pins in there and it was awesome to get to play so many that I have never played and some that I haven't played since I was a kid. TC has a great collection of EM and SS machines. I strongly recommend to anyone in NC, upstate SC or Eastern TN that you make a trip to Asheville to check this place out. $10 for unlimited Free Play on any of the 30 vintage, classic and some A-list games is an awesome deal so go check it out!

#7 7 years ago

Oh yeah, some of the new pins they have added since SingleBanana provided the long list when this post was started:
> Stop-N-Go
> The Shadow
> Funhouse
> Metallica
> Terminator 2
> Star Wars
> Star Wars Trilogy
> Star Trek Next Generation
> Super Mario Bros Mushroom World (lowered to kids height)

http://ashevillepinball.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AshevillePinballMuseum

#8 7 years ago

Heading there this Thursday, taking my Son's entire Soccer Team ( 12-13 year old's with Parents) for an end of season party....I think the Parents were as excited as the kids. It was stated several times that their child " has never played pinball, and can't wait to expose them to this awesome game". Man, just having another indoor hobby for my Son has been great ( nice to get him off the xbox for awhile).

TC is a great guy, and with a group, it's on $7 per person, unlimited free play. Looking forward to an amazing time, and will update the machine list next weekend.

I work a lot, but live in North Asheville. Let me know when any of you are swinging through for a visit ( highly recommend the area if you haven't been here before), it would be fun to meet some of you.....mark

#9 7 years ago

Mark, having a pin party for the kids sounds great. TC should look into working out a deal with a local pizza place or a sub place about doing party packages and temporarily setting his lounge up with folding tables when needed so the kids can eat then play some pinball. Been there and done that kind of thing for years with my son and daughter playing baseball, softball and basketball, and now with my grandkids for their birthday parties. Hope TC can expand his business with these types of parties.

You and the kids have fun Mark!

#10 7 years ago

some older machines there are good, but might be nice to throw a few newer titles to help stimulate interests from the younger generations....

#11 7 years ago

PC-pin-PC......agreed.....we have to import the pizza, but he gets all drink sales ( kids party, so not much revenue there)....we have to bring a couple of folding tables, and away we go.......I also agree with some newer titles to keep the younger ones in it.....hope he does well....I'm rooting for him.....btw, apparently, he had a WW that was in a trade deal to get the MET..wish I would have got my hands on that one....been wanting one.....mark

#12 7 years ago
Quoted from perryd:

some older machines there are good, but might be nice to throw a few newer titles to help stimulate interests from the younger generations....

Completely disagree. It's a pinball "museum" and should stay that way. Pinball for all generations to enjoy, not just DMDheads.

#13 7 years ago

I'll be able to give you the top " moneymakers" from (15) 12 year olds after the event......Nathan, my Son, really enjoys the older EMs there as well.....mark

#14 7 years ago
Quoted from singlebanana:

Completely disagree. It's a pinball "museum" and should stay that way. Pinball for all generations to enjoy, not just DMDheads.

museums hold both old and new and if you want pinball to grow, you better have something of interest to the new younger players or pinball will die out when the old farts are gone! Just saying!! Think about the future.

#15 7 years ago

In this case, the younger players don't even know an 'EM' from a system 11. Doesn't and wouldn't matter in this case. Any bunch of kids exposed to pinball is a flippin' fantastic thing. And Any exposure is a great thing. Its called a museum for a reason. New is not always better!~SpOoKy

#16 7 years ago

Nice thing about Asheville is the small town is surrounded by breweries. I've been going down to Asheville every year for the past 3 years and my friends and I just go to tour around the breweries. We start at lexington brewery for lunch and a flight since the food there is amazing. We then walk to thirsty monk (basement has all Belgium beers), ABC and then Green Man. ABC makes Shiva which is a really good IPA and it's so popular they put it in cans now.

Pretty excited to go down this year with the pinball museum now open. Thanks for the write up!

#17 7 years ago

Yes, I believe we were voted " beer capital of the USA" on some survey the past 2 years ( think we came in second this year, however).....a lot of microbreweries around here. I don't know anything about them, except drinking it occasionally ......TC has quite a variety to try right at the museum, and lots of good food within walking distance.....mark.....

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from SpOoKyRiDeS:

Its called a museum for a reason. New is not always better!~Spooky

museums show both old and new, doesn't have to be only old titles to have a museum. Never said new was better, just think about the younger kids who do respond to "licensed" titles. At the recent pinball festivals over the past few years, I have seen very few young kids stop and play the EM machines, but they do tend to flock to the newer stuff with themes that they are attracted to.

#19 7 years ago

He has a shadow, mettallica, fun house and star wars. That's not enough 'new' for any guest that have never played pinball? I recently got to go to Canobie Lake Park in Salem NH. Huge arcade with 19 plus pins. Woz was there, ACDC and more. Pins getting the most play were: Elvis, G N R, AFM, and even Cyclone. Point taken is that, to those who don't know what they are playing, the newer pins wouldn't make a difference in any way at this location. Maybe to you and me, we would toss eight million coins into the new Stern star trek, but to someone whom has never played pinball, what's the difference between that and playing a ' Fire'?!?. ..~SpOoKy

#20 7 years ago

Exactly Spooky, there are plenty of DMD and SS pins there and T.C. does a great job of keeping the numbers even; it's not "only old titles." From what I understand, Flintsones, JP, and TAF are still there too (someone can clarify), so really the question is, "how many more do 'you' need?" For young kids for whom you want to develop a sincere interest in pinball, you need to expose them to all sorts of games from different eras. They will respond; And as someelse pointed out, the EMs are his kids favorite machines.

What you also fail to understand perryd is that this is a new venture and T.C. had to put 25+ machines in this place at the onset. As a result, you can't just go out and buy the latest and greatest, these things have to come with time. For him to already have a Metallica on the floor is pretty impressive. T.C. is primarily a school teacher (and those of us from NC know what means in terms of pay) who started this venture to expose others to pinball. I think what he is doing is very admirable, and to build this kind of business takes time. Not all of us can throw thousands at every machine, especially in this current market.

#21 7 years ago
Quoted from singlebanana:

What you also fail to understand perryd is that this is a new venture and T.C. had to put 25+ machines in this place at the onset. As a result, you can't just go out and buy the latest and greatest, these things have to come with time.

I understand the upstart, but if truly wants to be run like a musuem, then perhaps some folks can loan some machines to the establishment to help him out! Museums take things on loan for months at a time.

Please remember, I am not bashing this guy at all, just trying to make some helpful suggestions to make it more successful for both young and older players alike.

#22 7 years ago
Quoted from perryd:

Please remember, I am not bashing this guy at all, just trying to make some helpful suggestions to make it more successful for both young and older players alike.

Understood, I think we all want him to succeed.

#23 7 years ago

Update post party :

End to a wild night of (15x) 12-13 year old soccer boys and parents/ friends crashing the Pinball museum in Asheville. Decided just to bump ops thread as I didn't get any pictures ( I know, I know) so a lot of you will say it didn't happen..(ha).....and singlebanana already did a great write up...

Anyway T.C. was as gracious as always, and tolerated our mob..( looked beat however, from a long day)..
Cliff Notes:

a) Metallica gone Freddy in ( trade plus cash) .......machine was really fun to play
b) Attack from Mars added.....good shape, played fine
c) 35 machines on floor ( said he was going to cut back to 33 thinking it was a bit crowded)
d) had a Wizard EM that looked in great shape in the back
e) Black Hole kicked my ass as always

He is definitely into flipping to keep his inventory moving, so I encourage anyone to contact him directly for trades, sales, etc.

Nice Guy, most machines clean and running, so you now officially have another reason to visit Asheville...mark

#24 7 years ago

Mark, thanks for the report. Sounded like YOU enjoyed the heck out of the party. How did the kids like their pinball experience?

#25 7 years ago

The kids LOVED it!!! Most of them never played before, and I know T.C. was approached for future events from a few of the Parents.

BTW.....regarding the " old vs. new for kids" debate from above:

Strictly based on what I experienced tonight, the majority of the boys ( and parents for that matter) played the newer machines ALOT more than the EM's ( which is where I spent most of my night, because I didn't want to hog a machine).

TAF, AFM, STTNG, and T2 were pretty much nonstop, with kids waiting to play. They would play the EM's but only for a game or so before wandering back. Sort of makes sense....with the lights, audio, etc. the newer titles simply had more "attract and keep my interest" power than the older EM's. At least with my crew....

#26 7 years ago

Also.....way more soccer dads playing than moms.....not meaning to imply anything, just stating what I observed. Did make me feel a little better, though, because my Wife encourages my hobby, but rarely plays......

#27 7 years ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Also.....way more soccer dads playing than moms.....not meaning to imply anything, just stating what I observed. Did make me feel a little better, though, because my Wife encourages my hobby, but rarely plays......

Yeah, I have yet to get my wife to play a full game. She just has no interest. When we went to the Pinball Museum, we stopped at CVS first so she could get a couple of craft and decorating magazines (her passion) and she just sat in the lounge and read while I played all of those games.

#28 7 years ago

Yep, wish my wife had an interest as well, but she doesn't complain about my collection or the time I put into my machines, so I can't complain.

#29 7 years ago
Quoted from jsalce:

Nice thing about Asheville is the small town is surrounded by breweries. I've been going down to Asheville every year for the past 3 years and my friends and I just go to tour around the breweries. We start at lexington brewery for lunch and a flight since the food there is amazing. We then walk to thirsty monk (basement has all Belgium beers), ABC and then Green Man. ABC makes Shiva which is a really good IPA and it's so popular they put it in cans now.
Pretty excited to go down this year with the pinball museum now open. Thanks for the write up!

Asheville Brewing Company has an IPA brewed with hot peppers. It is the ONLY IPA I like.

Seriously, it was so different that I really liked it! Asheville was one of the best vacations (second to Hawaii) that I have taken.

Great town. Wish I had known about this place when we were there

Oh well, we'll have to go back. Need to get back to Farm Burger and Wicked Weed anyway!

Chris

#30 7 years ago

Whew.....you too. Great Wife, just not into pinball........she will come down to the game room if I'm really excited about a mod, but that's about it.....

#31 7 years ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Whew.....you too. Great Wife, just not into pinball........she will come down to the game room if I'm really excited about a mod, but that's about it.....

Quoted from singlebanana:

Yep, wish my wife had an interest as well, but she doesn't complain about my collection or the time I put into my machines, so I can't complain.

Same here. She is great, doesn't complain and has had no problems with me buying my first 6 machines in the small time span of the last 4 months, so I have it very good! Like I said, she enjoys crafting and decorating so she likes helping me plan and decorate the gameroom.

#32 7 years ago

My wife's only hobby is drinking beer....... Again, I can't complain.

#33 7 years ago

And a great hobby that is!!!

8 months later
#34 6 years ago

Been there several times. I like it because he has more of the "not top 50" pins, so I can play ones I have not played before. Also great to see there are some other pinside members in my town. Asheville!

#35 6 years ago
Quoted from Jenk540i:

Been there several times. I like it because he has more of the "not top 50" pins, so I can play ones I have not played before. Also great to see there are some other pinside members in my town. Asheville!

Excellent!!!....was planning on swinging by there next week, actually.....I'll PM you.......mark

#36 6 years ago

I've been there a few times. I'm a native of West Asheville. I used to play @ Putt-Putt on Patton Avenue, Take Ten in the Mall and a couple convenience stores on Haywood road. All of thats gone now but its good to see pinball back in Asheville.

#37 6 years ago

I was just there 2 days ago. Everything was functioning pretty well, not perfectly (I encountered a few credit dots), but pretty darn good. Adams Family, Terminator 3, Twighlight Zone, Indiana Jones, Police Force, High Speed, Haunted House, Black Hole, Popeye, Family Guy, Dark Night and a slew of others in there. Lots of people there too.

#38 6 years ago

I was there a couple months ago when my girlfriend took me to Asheville as a graduation present (because of pinball actually). The place had a great vibe, sodas for a buck, blasting some great 80s tunes and all the play time you'd care to have.

Again, they had some games with credit dots, and TAF didn't even have GI (and reset problems), but they had a good lineup and most of them were working pretty well. All in all, it was a major highlight of the trip! The staff were super nice and loved talking shop about games and such.

Give it a try, its a great place! (I wore the crap out of their Funhouse and a Hitters Rally pitch and bat).

#39 6 years ago
Quoted from Compy:

I was there a couple months ago when my girlfriend took me to Asheville as a graduation present (because of pinball actually). The place had a great vibe, sodas for a buck, blasting some great 80s tunes and all the play time you'd care to have.
Again, they had some games with credit dots, and TAF didn't even have GI (and reset problems), but they had a good lineup and most of them were working pretty well. All in all, it was a major highlight of the trip! The staff were super nice and loved talking shop about games and such.
Give it a try, its a great place! (I wore the crap out of their Funhouse and a Hitters Rally pitch and bat).

Did they still have AFM? Gotta get some more time in on that machine........

#40 6 years ago

Nah, as of May 2014 I didn't see AFM there I would've really gotten some game time in on it! But thankfully they're always changing the lineup so its probably only a matter of time.

#41 6 years ago
Quoted from Compy:

Nah, as of May 2014 I didn't see AFM there I would've really gotten some game time in on it! But thankfully they're always changing the lineup so its probably only a matter of time.

Drats!!!....I'll have to find out where it went.....he had a Metallica in there and did some trade to get the AFM.....had a STTNG too, but wasn't working that great.....think he opens at 4....going by tomorrow.......

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