It's been almost 16 years since I graduated from Penn State, and back then the State College pinball scene was hot with two large arcades and pinballs scattered in the commons-areas for each residence hall group. I got in contact with Joe (username JOESCHALL) a couple weeks ago on here after I saw his Cirqus Voltaire FS post. I knew that name rang a bell, and it turns out, small world, that I knew Joe from the Earth & Mineral Sciences college as a writing instructor and having seen him down at the old Playland!
Anyways, Joe helps maintain a suite of pinballs at Chronic Town, which is a hookah lounge/coffee shop/pinball shop on the West (right) end of College Ave. Firstly, this place was incredible. I don't smoke, but there wasn't even a hint of funk in the air that's how clean this place is. All the pinballs (TWD, LOTR, WoZ, POTC, SS, BSD) were immaculate. I mean, these are far and away, the nicest routed machines I've ever seen. It's clear that the owner Jeff, Joe and the clientele really CARE. Everything played perfectly without so much as a bulb or switch out. I can't wait to get back.
Joe let me know that Jeff was selling his TZ after I mentioned my wishlist. To say Joe went above and beyond, would be an understatement, 30 something pictures, several emails, and 5 YouTube videos later (all unsolicited), I knew every inch of that game before I arrived. There wasn't a single flake of paint that I wasn't aware of before driving up from Pittsburgh.
It was really an awesome experience. Joe played a bunch of games with me, apparently solidifying my need to get into tournament play, passionately explained all the rules and scoring objectives on the two I hadn't played (TWD/LOTR -- now my next grail), and is an amazing treasure to this hobby.
The best part was I didn't have to lift a finger. A bunch of patrons who were sad to see TZ go, came over and chatted, and helped wrap, pack and load the game into my vehicle for me!
So +1 for Chronic Town in State College as a great pinball destination and +1000 for Joe and Jeff's amazing hospitality.