The story of some Louisiana pinball people saving a lowly 1984 Bally Black Pyramid pinball machine.
Around 5 yrs ago Pinsider Pinmike in NW LA (Bossier City I believe) was getting rid of an old beat up project pin called Black Pyramid. Perhaps he was getting ready to move to Michigan, and trying to get rid of some stuff to ease the loading & moving task. He may have hurt his back around that time and didn't feel like lugging project pins all over the place. So the price was right (free), and it got some interest, partly because we don't even find many machines available for sale in Louisiana.
Nevus didn't particularly want it for himself, but he lived somewhat near by, so he jumped on it, picked it up, thanked Pinmike, and put it in his storage space. This gave time for Nevus to see if he wanted to fix it up, or let another member of our young Ark-La-Tex Pinball Club take it on as a project.
More time goes by, and Nevus wants to get it out of his storage space, so he offers to let me have it as I had expressed interest earlier on. I ended up picking it up from Nevus on my way home to south LA from a trip to Indiana to visit family. Price = free. Thanks Nevus!
After I got it home I eventually set it up and looked it over. Noticed that the backglass was in very nice condition, but the cabinet was really rough from years out on location I guess. Seemed like most of the boards were there, but it wasn't working as I recall. You can tell the coin door had been damaged from someone prying open the coin door and bending the edge pretty bad. Well, I looked at it, ordered some playfield parts for it in prep for shopping it out, but then lost interest and never really worked on it much. So, it sat at my place a year or two I guess.
Eventually, I ended up giving the machine and the parts to Jodester with the intention that we try to keep it within our ArkLaTex Pinball Club circle of friends. If we get it going as a decent player's condition machine, then we perhaps could use it as a machine to bring to pinball expos and festivals to put in the free play area. Price was right and Jodester was getting better working on machines, so he wanted to see what he could do with it.
Machine stayed at Jodester's for a while. He had other machines coming in and going out, but only had a small work space in the garage at the time. More time goes by, Jodester strips the playfield, tinkers with it, troubleshoots some stuff, etc. Jodester notices that some mechanical parts for the inline drop target assembly are missing, and finds there are electrical problems, etc. So interest level is fading. Jodester eventually sells it and another 80's Bally machine to JAHpinWizard in a package deal for a decent price.
So now the Black Pyramid is still not working right, and has moved all over the state of Louisiana, but at least it hasn't been parted-out or thrown away. So now the machine is hanging out in the Leesville, LA area, and JAHpinWizard saves the day and gets it repaired and working. He can fill us in better with details, but basically he found/installed needed parts for the inline drop targets, replaced/repaired some of the electronic boards, finished shop out job on playfield, fixed moving center target, touched up the cabinet a bit, etc.
On the way driving from Nevus's Red River Replay pinball party and tournament in Shreveport this past weekend to Lake Charles, LA area to drop off a Target Alpha e-m pinball machine to Jodester, I had time to stop by JAHpinWizard's place to check out his gameroom building and see his collection.
Hey, what a nice surprise! There's that old Black Pyramid pin sitting in a row of 4 machines. He filled me in about it, and we played a game or two. Cool. Way to go JAH. Hope the machine stays in the Louisiana area for several more years.