Reliving My Past At The Pinball Hall Of Fame In Las Vegas

by joeheg

I was going through my pictures of last year and I realized that I never wrote about our trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. More accurately, I should say that this was MY trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame as Sharon really couldn’t have cared less about the visit (Note from Sharon: true story! But you went to Frankie’s Tiki Bar with me, so…). This time was all mine and I made sure to take advantage of every second until I felt guilty about keeping her there any longer. I have our readers to thank as this was one of the suggestions when I asked about places to see in Las Vegas. Most of the pictures in the article were taken by Sharon as I was far too busy playing pinball games to take any pictures myself.

Here I am entering the nondescript entrance of the building.


Pinball Hall of Fame
1610 E. Tropicana
Las Vegas NV 89119

The Pinball Hall of Fame is located on Tropicana Ave, just a short distance from the Las Vegas Strip. It was totally worth the 10 minute drive to get here.

Here’s a description from the Hall of Fame website.

The Pinball Hall of Fame is an attempt by the members of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club to house and display the world’s largest pinball collection, open to the public. A not-for-profit corporation was established to further this cause. The games belong to one club member (Tim Arnold), and range from 1950s up to 1990s pinball machines. Since it is a non-profit museum, older games from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are the prevelant, as this was the ‘heyday’ of pinball. There are no ‘ticket spitters’ here (aka kiddie casinos or redemption). It’s all pure pinball (and a few arcade novelty games) from the past. And since it’s a non-profit, excess revenues go to non-denominational charities.


When walking in the front door, you’re welcomed by several newer pinball games. You know, the kinds you’d likely see if you walked into any “arcade” that still had one or two pinball machines just for decor.


Winter is Coming……to your local arcade. Game of Thrones? Really????? That’s not why I went there, so I ventured deeper into the building hoping to find some of the games I remembered from my wasted youth spent in bowling alley arcade rooms.


Terminator 2. Yes, please. Just in case you were concerned about my pinball skills deteriorating, I still was able to spend 30 minutes on this machine with 50 cents and I popped it twice. I even was able to shoot the gun for the jackpot bonus (I can’t remember the last time I played one these machines when the gun actually worked).


Addams Family. I can’t begin to tell how many hours I spent playing this machine when I was supposed to be working bowling center’s front desk. Cousin It, Thing, The Mamuska, SHOWTIME!!!! One of the best pinball games ever!!

I eventually found many of my old favorites including Pinbot, Comet and Mata Hari. I had to throw a quarter (or two or three) into each of them, just for old times sake.


It was then I found the row of machines I was looking for. The older pinball machines. It was then that I saw it. Old Chicago.


You don’t understand. I was spending so much money on pinball machines when I was a kid that it was actually CHEAPER for my parents to go and buy one for me to put in the house. This was the machine we had. It was in the den for many years and eventually moved to the basement (in between the washing machine and the storage racks of my mother’s ceramic molds). It was as boring of a machine to play now as it was when we owned it. Only a couple of bumpers, five targets to knock over (and over and over) and one spinner. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF PLAYING IT!!!!!

There were plenty of things I never even saw while there but Sharon was able to get some pictures. The Hall of Fame is always fixing up old machines as evidenced by several of them around the building in various stages of repair.

The collection of older machines was very impressive.

They also had several unique items like the “Last Penny Gumball Machine In America” and a movie showing the fourth round of a Jack Dempsey fight.

The Hall of Fame also collected “One of a Kind” machines like their prototype of “Pinball Circus” and a Flintstones game I’d never seen before.

We only spent an an hour (Note from Sharon: Only an hour?) (OK, maybe two hours) touring the Hall of Fame. I got my fill of playing pinball games I remembered from my past and Sharon was able to remember all the reasons she loved me enough to sit there and watch me play pinball games.


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