(Topic ID: 84562)

The best city in the world to play pinball. Where is it?


By DMC

5 years ago



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  • 111 posts
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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by tmac
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    There are 111 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
    #51 5 years ago

    Seattle and Portland are probably both at the top of the list.

    #52 5 years ago
    Quoted from sckurk:

    I even played WOZ for the first time in a little dive arcade.

    It was nice meeting you too.

    LTG : )™

    #53 5 years ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    We use maps like that in Chicago, too. Only ours are used for drive-by shootings and homicides.

    Hey, only on the south and east sides, not all centered around the middle like that!

    #54 5 years ago
    Quoted from tb0ne:

    A Boston area barcade would make an absolute killing around here. There are two good locations in the Boston area (one of which is close to an hour away) - one sells booze but doesn't allow it in the gameroom, the other has nothing. Pinball with beer > pinball without beer.

    Quoted from raisindot:

    Although I will say that the Boston area does have a vibrant communities of private collectors. I've managed to "beg" my way into the homes of many people with anywhere between 5-20 machines ranging from classic E-Ms to the newest DMDs.

    It's so sad for pinball around here. In a city like Boston with all kinds of money and big business, you'd think there'd be a bunch of places to go. People's kindness in letting you into there homes is excluded. I'm talking about having places to play like Pinball Wizard is Pelham, NH. There should be several places like that in and around Boston, but there just aren't. Past Lanes and Games on route 2, what else is there? Everything has closed down. It's sad.

    #55 5 years ago
    Quoted from jamieflowers:

    Grandy NC has to be in the running. Flippers has one of the best public collections I have even heard of. Where else can you find BBB,MM,WOZ,AFM,MB,SC,CV,IJ,LOTRLE,XMENLE,RSLE,METMPLE,TRONLE,AVLE,TSPP,TOTAN, KD,STLE,SS and the list goes on for .50 a play!
    Dave gets every new game (and the LE version), has color DMDs in every game they are available for... etc etc

    Wow! That place sounds fantastic!

    #56 5 years ago

    The number of pinball locations is directly proportionate to the number of liberal-minded people and/or hipsters according to the location maps that I see. This is NOT the demographic that posts here as pin owners from what I can tell.

    Please note that this is not to start a political debate. It's just a simple observation.

    #57 5 years ago
    Quoted from j_m_:

    south-east michigan (the area) is home to marvin's marvelous mechanical museum [10 pins + a slew of videogames] (farmington hills), the arcade [100 pins + 100 videogames] (brighton) and clay's new place [200 pins] (ann arbor). These 3 locations are all within an hour's drive of each other

    It's more than that. In the US23 run between Ann Arbor and Flint, you have Mike's "the Arcade" with (arguably) 100 pins, our Ann Arbor pinball museum with 200 pins, and Pinball Pete's in Ann Arbor. In fact, "the Arcade" and the VFW (vintage flipper world) museum are only about 5 miles apart. (Andy's flint venues too.) Between these venues there's way more games than even the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. In fact, aside from PAPA, there probably aren't more games ready for play and in one spot than any where else in North America.

    #58 5 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    Emerald City!
    I'd vote Grandy, NC.
    why? Flippers Arcade. The place is a pinball lovers Mecca... great selection of machines (MANY LE' models) and then when you get tired of pinball (????) you can take a short drive over to the Outer Banks...
    If you look at the top100 list, i think I counted them having about 45 of the top50 and ALL of the top20.... including WoZ, Metallica, CC, BBB, etc.... it's a fantastic collection.

    Sounds like a good place, but Grandy isn't a city. it's not even near a city. And one location does not make a good "pinball city." (I'm still marveling at the Portland pinball map!)

    #59 5 years ago
    Quoted from Pinfidel:

    It's so sad for pinball around here. In a city like Boston with all kinds of money and big business, you'd think there'd be a bunch of places to go. People's kindness in letting you into there homes is excluded. I'm talking about having places to play like Pinball Wizard is Pelham, NH. There should be several places like that in and around Boston, but there just aren't. Past Lanes and Games on route 2, what else is there? Everything has closed down. It's sad.

    There's a new place opening in Weymouth--a bit out of the way, I guess. Back in the day, MIT's gameroom had around 14-18 EM games, and it was awesome.

    #60 5 years ago
    Quoted from usandthem:

    The number of pinball locations is directly proportionate to the number of liberal-minded people and/or hipsters according to the location maps that I see. This is NOT the demographic that posts here as pin owners from what I can tell.
    Please note that this is not to start a political debate. It's just a simple observation.

    Hey thanks.Nice catch BTW.Seattle/Portland for the win.

    #61 5 years ago
    Quoted from Slugmeister:

    Hey thanks.Nice catch BTW.Seattle/Portland for the win.

    It's certainly no put-down. I live in the wrong state when it comes to that. However, I do have to agree with Clay. I don't think you can touch 350 pins within 45 mins. of each other like we have here in SE Michigan. The problem is that you can't go to a bowling alley or bar to play pins here. In that since, location play is totally a thing of the past with few exceptions.

    We used to be able to play pins at a bar when "The Arcade" was formerly located within the bar/restaurant of the same owner. That was the best set-up. Pinball, food, beer, and sports. I'm actually quite disappointed that that arrangement no longer exists.

    #62 5 years ago
    Quoted from usandthem:

    It's certainly no put-down. I live in the wrong state when it comes to that. However, I do have to agree with Clay. I don't think you can touch 350 pins within 45 mins. of each other like we have here in SE Michigan. The problem is that you can't go to a bowling alley or bar to play pins here. In that since, location play is totally a thing of the past with few exceptions.
    We used to be able to play pins at a bar when "The Arcade" was formerly located within the bar/restaurant of the same owner. That was the best set-up. Pinball, food, beer, and sports. I'm actually quite disappointed that that arrangement no longer exists.

    350 pins with 45 minutes driving and no beer is roughly 2 dozen pins with beer and no driving needed.

    #63 5 years ago
    Quoted from usandthem:

    It's certainly no put-down. I live in the wrong state when it comes to that. However, I do have to agree with Clay. I don't think you can touch 350 pins within 45 mins. of each other like we have here in SE Michigan. The problem is that you can't go to a bowling alley or bar to play pins here. In that since, location play is totally a thing of the past with few exceptions.
    We used to be able to play pins at a bar when "The Arcade" was formerly located within the bar/restaurant of the same owner. That was the best set-up. Pinball, food, beer, and sports. I'm actually quite disappointed that that arrangement no longer exists.

    No put-down taken.It's certainly a great problem to have access to so many pins.The ambience of the Seattle locations is part of the draw to me.They are just cool bars with a lot of pins.I'd have to defer to the Portland crowd on their locations but again anywhere with access to pins is a win to me.

    #64 5 years ago
    Quoted from usandthem:

    The number of pinball locations is directly proportionate to the number of liberal-minded people and/or hipsters according to the location maps that I see.

    A much better indicator is the local weather. Generally speaking, the farther north you go, the more location games you'll find. Portland gets 39" of rain a year. More things for folks to do outside in fair weather states. Miami briefly had one location listed at pinballmap.com and now it's gone. Portland has a slightly bigger population, but 571 games to none? The LA area was a pinball desert for a long time. It's getting better now, but nowhere near what it should be when you consider the size and population of that area. You can see the weather effect at the link below. Plenty of red cities with pins.

    http://pinballmap.com/

    Portland wins overall.

    #65 5 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    In the US23 run between Ann Arbor and Brighton, you have Mike's "the Arcade" with (arguably) 100 pins, our Ann Arbor pinball museum with 200 pins, and Pinball Pete's in Ann Arbor. In fact, "the Arcade" and the VFW (vintage flipper world) museum are only about 5 miles apart. Between these venues there's way more games than even the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

    If I was working in the area, could I drop by your place at lunch to play a few games? Is 'the arcade' on coin drop? If you can't drop in at lunch without paying $10 to enter, that doesn't really count to me. I appreciate what you have going on there, but I'm guessing I can't drop by any (reasonable) time for a few games. Even if you have annual passes, that's still not the same to me. A 'location' should be on coin drop and open to the public IMO.

    #66 5 years ago

    Here in OKC, Cactus Jack's Arcade. Only complaint is they charge .75/game.

    24
    AC/DC
    Addams Family
    Attack from Mars
    Avatar
    Breakshot
    Cactus Canyon
    Champion Pub
    Corvette
    Creature from the Black Lagoon
    Demolition Man
    Family Guy
    Flintstones
    Guns n Roses
    Harley Davidson
    Jack*Bot
    Judge Dredd
    Lord of the Rings
    Medieval Madness
    Metallica
    Nascar
    NBA Fastbreak
    NBA Fastbreak
    No Fear Dangerous Sports
    No Good Gofers
    Playboy
    Revenge from Mars
    Ripleys Believe it or Not
    Road Show
    Roller Coaster Tycoon
    Royal Flush
    South Park
    Star Trek
    Star Trek : The Next Generation
    Star Wars Episode 1
    The Avengers
    The Shadow
    The Simpsons Pinball Party
    Tron Legacy
    Twilight Zone
    Wheel of Fortune
    Wizard of Oz
    World Poker Tour
    X-Men

    They only machines I would like to see there are Whirlwind, Funhouse, and TOM.

    #67 5 years ago

    Sydney is awesome for pinball, and Newtown (inner suburb of Sydney) is a mecha. Just about every pub has a pinball machine (or 10).

    With the new Coogee Diggers Pinball HQ, I think we are also the first place in the world to have a Mustang on location? It arrived yesterday and we gave it a good bash last night. Seems pretty fun.

    #69 5 years ago

    also, clays ems play better than most any in the world. they are tweaked to perfection play. he also has many rare machines.
    "The arcade" has very high end machines, le's of most sterns and primo examples of bally/williams..all the high dollar pins (mm, cv, mb, woz, ij, tom, ss, cftbl, taf, etc etc).
    then add marvins, head up to richfield bowl where the pins are well varied and well kept and more being added and the tons of collectors who have pins in their houses.
    head towards saginaw, bay city and more of the same.
    the lower peninsula of michigan alone is a pinball mecca on north, south, east and west as well as mid locations.

    #70 5 years ago

    I think US23 in michigan is the "pinball highway."

    #71 5 years ago

    I personally think that Pittsburgh, PA is (now) the center of the pinball universe.

    Lots of quality games on location.
    http://pinballmap.com/pittsburgh

    PAPA

    One of the biggest pinball leagues in the world, with some truly great players.
    http://www.coinball.com/

    #72 5 years ago
    Quoted from LEE:

    I personally think that Pittsburgh, PA is (now) the center of the pinball universe.
    Lots of quality games on location.
    http://pinballmap.com/pittsburgh
    PAPA
    One of the biggest pinball leagues in the world, with some truly great players.
    http://www.coinball.com/

    I think Portland is still winning. PAPA is great, but it's only open 2 weekends per year. Sizeable league, though!

    #73 5 years ago

    I'd say Ann Arbor area:

    Pinball Pete's 40 pins (newly reopened)
    The Arcade 90 pins
    Ann Arbor Pinball Museum 200 pins (although it does not really count since it's not open every day to the public)

    Las Vegas:

    Pinball Hall of Fame 155 pins
    HoF Annex 37 pins
    Flipperspiel Wunderland 25 pins

    #74 5 years ago

    Portland gets my vote. The quality of their 'dive' bar scene is second to none. Almost hard pressed to find one without a pin (or 3). Plus the line-up and condition of machines at the Ground Kontrol barcade is top notch.

    #75 5 years ago

    Portland is still #1, but we're trying hard to make Seattle rival them. I'd say we're a solid #2 right now.

    #76 5 years ago

    Portland gets my vote, but I'm kinda biased living in the area. Places like Ground Kontrol with free play nights twice a month make it even more appealing . Half the fun is the search for the perfect spot to eat drink and play,as we really haven't even scratched the surface in choices. Makes me wanna start routing our next Portland Pin adventure as I still haven't played WOZ!

    #77 5 years ago

    I am a little biased, but the Bay Area seems to have the most concentration of on-location machines.

    #78 5 years ago
    Quoted from StevenP:

    There's a new place opening in Weymouth--a bit out of the way, I guess. Back in the day, MIT's gameroom had around 14-18 EM games, and it was awesome.

    I'm a carpenter at MIT. Those EM's were replaced with MM,TSPP, and Junkyard. Played after work alot. got me back into pinball. games lasted about a year. The students weren't playing much. I was there the day the owner was pulling them out, he offered to sell me MM for 5k. This was about 6 years ago. Wish I had a clue back then. Just met Scott who opened up the Weymouth arcade, great guy.

    #79 5 years ago
    Quoted from policano:

    Minnesota has great places to play, all within an hour or so from each other.

    Indeed. Pinball was off my radar until I moved here.

    #80 5 years ago

    Here's a second vote for South Roxana, IL. CP pinball!

    #81 5 years ago
    Quoted from StevenP:

    I think Portland is still winning. PAPA is great, but it's only open 2 weekends per year. Sizeable league, though!

    Yes, PAPA is only open to the public two times a year. However, PPL(Pittsburgh Pinball League) has connections and having connections has certain benefits

    I stand by my opinion on Pittsburgh.

    #82 5 years ago

    Galena, il. At my house

    #83 5 years ago

    Not the State of Delaware

    #84 5 years ago
    Quoted from Topper20:

    Galena, il. At my house

    Why is it every time I'm near your place, I have to sneak in and out when your wife's not home.

    #85 5 years ago
    Quoted from Pinfidel:

    I can tell you where it AIN'T...Boston! Sadly.
    I'd say Chi town is the heart of Pinball. Most companies started there and Stern's obviously still there and isn't the Chicago pin-fest the biggest and best of them all?

    I guess you don't know about lanes & games in Cambridge and one of the best pinball arcades in the country in Pelham NH (45 minutes from Boston). There are a ton of collectors here, too.

    #86 5 years ago
    Quoted from tb0ne:

    A Boston area barcade would make an absolute killing around here. There are two good locations in the Boston area (one of which is close to an hour away) - one sells booze but doesn't allow it in the gameroom, the other has nothing. Pinball with beer > pinball without beer.

    You actually CAN drink booze in the game room at lanes at games, just set your beer on the railing at the edge of the room.

    #87 5 years ago
    Quoted from Topper20:

    Galena, il. At my house

    At the Silver Eagle riverboat casino. Oh, wait, all gone. Except for the wreckage left as a rental banquet hall.

    #88 5 years ago

    I think we need to better define what "makes" a good city for pinball.

    For example I would say that one good location does not make a city, so while CP pinball is amazing it does not make Roxana the best pinball city.

    I would say a place's like Clay's VFW is also amazing but not open often enough to be factored in for a city/region on the whole.

    A great city/ the best pinball city needs???
    My list:
    1. Multiple good locations with 2 to 40 games each.
    2. A wide variety of well maintained games
    3. A regional/ reasonably close big annual pinball show
    4. Active leagues
    5. Some pinball manufacturers/designers/ modders/ restorers
    6. An active collector community

    Anything else to add?

    It is likely that even 1 city does not fit the single best but we could also factor in a general region to bring in things like big shows.

    #89 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I think we need to better define what "makes" a good city for pinball.
    For example I would say that one good location does not make a city, so while CP pinball is amazing it does not make Roxana the best pinball city.
    I would say a place's like Clay's VFW is also amazing but not open often enough to be factored in for a city/region on the whole.
    A great city/ the best pinball city needs???
    My list:
    1. Multiple good locations with 2 to 40 games each.
    2. A wide variety of well maintained games
    3. A regional/ reasonably close big annual pinball show
    4. Active leagues
    5. Some pinball manufacturers/designers/ modders/ restorers
    6. An active collector community
    Anything else to add?
    It is likely that even 1 city does not fit the single best but we could also factor in a general region to bring in things like big shows.

    Or to simplify, you could say...

    1. Who has the best pinball community (include all your 6 ideas above)
    or
    2. Where is the best place to plan a vacation to play pinball...

    I would vote Portland for (2) so far, It's hard to beat liquor + pinball + "visual distractions"...
    I would vote SFBA for (1)... Beyond Locations, we have BAA, Cliffy, and 3 leagues.

    -mof

    #90 5 years ago

    oh YES, ability to have an adult beverage while playing needs to go in the criteria also!

    #91 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    oh YES, ability to have an adult beverage while playing needs to go in the criteria also!

    Great, I'm out.

    LTG : )™

    #92 5 years ago

    If I ever move to Tucson, I will take my seven machines with me and Tucson will be the new pinball Mecca.

    #93 5 years ago

    Everytime i travel i never find more pins than portland metro area. They are all over and lots of places with 5+, 10+ etc

    #94 5 years ago

    What city/town has the most commercial pinball machines per capita?

    In South Roxana, IL there is more than one pinball machine for every 20 people.

    I bet Portland doesn't even come close to that!

    lol

    #95 5 years ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    You actually CAN drink booze in the game room at lanes at games, just set your beer on the railing at the edge of the room.

    I personally don't consider walking back and forth to a railing to take a sip of beer, a good drinking experience. But that's just me. That being said, it's a bowling alley so you get a lot of kids, so I don't blame the op. Hence the need for a Boston barcade.

    Also, Lanes and Games is 100% Stern with the exception of Addams Family, which again in my opinion is unfortunate.

    #96 5 years ago

    If you want to start factoring in cost of living so you can afford a bigger house to store your machines and not spend tons of money on long commutes, tolls etc, I think St. Louis metro area (which includes CP pinball in IL) Southern Michigan and Pittsburgh would be the top contenders.

    #97 5 years ago

    For those who don't know where South Roxana, IL is, it's right across the Mississippi River bridge from St. Louis.

    I live in Roxana but work in St. Louis. Right across the river there are establishments like "The Silver Ballroom" and "The Orbit Pinball Lounge".

    All in all it's a pretty-happening place for pinball.

    #98 5 years ago

    According to the Pinball Map app there are 45 pins on location within 1 mile of my house. I'm not moving any time soon.

    #99 5 years ago

    Portland is amazing.
    Hell, they have even trickled down a few miles South to Salem, OR - stop at The coin jam if you are in the area. 11 plus pins, mostly all "A" titles in really nice shape. They just added a very-very sweet Monster bash to the lineup.

    --- Or further South to Eugene - Blairalley & Level up.

    #100 5 years ago

    HEY OP.
    GOOD THREAD.

    I'd say tally up all the responses here, and create a poll. Make it very clear what the poll is about, and what it is NOT about.

    Example:

    This poll is about the best "TRAVEL SPOT" for pinball, where there are at least XX locations with YY pins...

    And this poll is NOT about where the "Best Community" is for owning a home and being part of a community.

    Or whatever you choose, but be clear, so people have a better shot at voting for whatever aspect of "better pinball" you want to capture in a poll.

    thanks!
    -mof

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