(Topic ID: 130749)

Pinball Arcade Museum in Wisconsin Dells


By Zim

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 37 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Superdan
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 4 years ago

    We took the family out for some tourist fun at Wisconsin Dells a few weeks ago. My daughter never found all the wizards at Wizards Quest the last time we visited, and about three years of questions was all the wife and I could handle - happy to report that issue has been put to rest!

    While venturing downtown, I parked on a side street off of the main drag so I wouldn't have to feed the meters (I have a much better use for quarters!) Lucky we did, or I would've never have stumbled upon this little place! I spoke with the gentleman (Craig) that runs it, and he mentioned that the "museum" had only been open for a week. He has a passion for old coin operated gadgets, and decided to put his collection on display. Admission is supposedly $10, which gets you in the door, but all the games are on free play. For us he had a special price of $5 as we were there before many local schools were out for the summer, and business was slow. I gave him a $20 to get the whole family in, then started plunging some balls. He asked if we wanted any music - why not? - and the juke box was fired up.

    The venue is pretty small, but about 15 pins, a few jukes, and a couple vids (one of which is a multicade) are squeezed in. All the pins except one were EMs, and his one SS (Firepower II) was down apparently due to battery leakage. EMs are clearly his passion.

    Just giving a shout out if you are in the neighborhood and itching to give some different games a try - if you don't know it's there you're likely to miss it (check 805 River Road.) An especially nice hideaway for the guys if your better half is strolling through the shops. Another great little place to share some pinball stories!

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    #2 4 years ago
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    #8 4 years ago

    Very cool, thanks for sharing!

    #9 4 years ago

    I get out that way now and then. Will have to check that out next time!

    #10 4 years ago

    Looks like some good EMs. Thanks for sharing.

    #11 4 years ago

    Very cool! Love me some EM's. He has courage to put such a large number out for play (and some great Gottlieb wedgeheads to boot!) I'll definitely stop by there soon to check them out!

    #12 4 years ago

    It appears I have someplace to look forward to in the Dells on the next trip up

    #13 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

    #14 4 years ago

    Pretty cool to see. Right across the street from here on River Road, there used to be a nice aracade with skee-ball back in the late 70's. My family would spend hours there each summer. So many memories....

    I hope he's not paying rent, because if he is, he'll be closing real soon.

    #15 4 years ago

    Very cool. Looks like that Royal Flush is for sale/trade on craigslist:
    madison.craigslist.org link

    #16 4 years ago

    Cool, not too many Seeburg "Trashcans" on location these days.

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Cool, not too many Seeburg "Trashcans" on location these days.

    I sold one to a guy that planned to put it in his Army/Navy store down in Rockford.

    Looking forward to checking out the Pinball Arcade Museum. We usually make it to the Dells a couple times a year.

    #18 4 years ago

    Funny the owner didn't advertise it on Pinside. Guess he didn't know about the site???

    Great that you posted the info.

    #19 4 years ago

    When I was speaking with Craig, I was trying to get a feel for his knowledge of the pinball community - he didn't really let on that he knew much about it. He mentioned that the museum was added to pinball map, but aside from that I got the sense that he isn't really tuned into places like Pinside. I asked if he would mind me taking photos and posting about it, and he was very eager of course to get some press. I hope he's still open and you all get a chance to check it out. If you wanna tilt a WoZ or WWE, the Moose Bros Pizza there has those in the basement - GREAT pizza. I tried their 10 beer sampler too!

    #20 4 years ago

    Cool does moosejaw still have pinball?

    #21 4 years ago

    Oops, Moosejaw - yep, they had WoZ and WWE downstairs just a couple weeks ago. As far as I could tell, both machines were in fine working order.

    1 month later
    #22 4 years ago

    Thanks for the photos! I just learned about this place tonight, and we're going to WI Dells this weekend!! Might have to check it out.

    #23 4 years ago

    Was there a few weeks back. Owner was really friendly. Place was fun. Spent a good hour or so there. Hope he's around for a while. It was a BUSY Saturday afternoon, but no one was at his place.

    4 weeks later
    #24 4 years ago

    I also stopped by a few weeks ago on a rainy day. It was a nice way to spend a few hours. I was the only one there for the majority of the time.

    2 weeks later
    #25 4 years ago

    If someone finds this thread and wants to take a trip to the Dells to see the pinball arcade museum - it's now closed and there's a new business in that spot. We went to check it out today and were disappointed to find them gone.

    Hopefully they just moved somewhere else in the area, but the location the OP has pics of is no more.

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from pinball4ever:

    If someone finds this thread and wants to take a trip to the Dells to see the pinball arcade museum - it's now closed and there's a new business in that spot. We went to check it out today and were disappointed to find them gone.
    Hopefully they just moved somewhere else in the area, but the location the OP has pics of is no more.

    I think they sold the majority of the games?

    4 months later
    #27 3 years ago

    Heading to the Dells this weekend. Is this still here or is it truly gone?

    #28 3 years ago

    Not sure if he is still open to the public but looks like he is still selling games.

    madison.craigslist.org link

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from orangestorm87:

    Heading to the Dells this weekend. Is this still here or is it truly gone?

    last report is that all gone.

    #30 3 years ago

    Trip advisor from October 2015 says its now in his basement. Anyone been there?

    #31 3 years ago

    Well drove past and doesn't seem to be there. Also called the number listed on facebook, and just sat and rang for 5 minutes.

    So if its moved, somebody will have to do more digging.

    #32 3 years ago

    Guess it's offically dead

    milwaukee.craigslist.org link

    #33 3 years ago

    Guy gave it a try, gotta hand it to him.

    But for anyone that went there and actually played an EM ... Those machines DO NOT represent well maintained EMs. There were rubbers on games that were black from dirt, AND cracked. I am all about EMs but I played maybe 2 balls on one game and left.

    #34 3 years ago

    Some very neat EMs I wouldn't mind owning.

    #35 3 years ago

    I had just wished they would have had better examples, and been maintained. There was a pinball in a machine that wasn't round anymore. That takes a lot of rust for that to happen! I unfortunately thought that if this were to be someone's first experience on an EM, they definitely wouldn't have any further interest.

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from Zim:

    Oops, Moosejaw - yep, they had WoZ and WWE downstairs just a couple weeks ago. As far as I could tell, both machines were in fine working order.

    Dammit, was just there 2 hours ago and never went in the basement arcade! There are NO pinballs here at Wilderness.

    2 months later
    #37 3 years ago

    Unfortunately it's not 1981 anymore when one can buy a warehouse, put in machines, and have the money roll in. Sounds like all the mistakes were made: no business projections, no bundling with another business like a bar or restaurant, pins in poor shape, no curb appeal, little advertising, etc etc. my hope is these owners learn from these mistakes, obtain capital funds and/or investors, hire techs and make sure the machines are working, advertise and market and promo, and make a more serious realistic attempt that succeeds. Unfortunate that I hear of this type of thing too often. Perhaps using their basement isn't a bad move and they can capitalize on that move, also not having to pay rent and insurance and such.
    Cheers

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