If you are like many people, you enjoy travels that take you somewhat off the beaten path. I know I do. For example, if you are a fan of pinball, including its history and playing the game, (like I am) you may be interested in a trip that involves stops at iconic pinball parlors and museums. In this article, I share with you some of these iconic pinball destinations found in the Northeast of the United States.
Brooklyn, New York
I had the chance to visit the Sunshine Laundromat in Brooklyn, New York, as part of my pinball tour in the eastern part of the United States last year. Sunshine Laundromat lives up to its name
When you initially enter Sunshine Laundromat, you come upon a few iconic pinball machines in addition to a row of washing machines and dryers. As you move towards the back of the room, you come upon what appears to be a stacked pair of washing machines. This stacked pair of washing machines actually turns out to be a door.
You experience something rather unexpected when you walk through that door. You enter into what fairly can be described as being a world of pinball.
You enter into this special space and immediately find yourself surrounded by over 20 amazing pinball machines. Each pinball machine in the space is a true classic. These include some very rare pinball machines like Safe Cracker and the Big Bang Bar These machines sell for about $20,000.
Francesco La Rocca, New York’s representation from the International Flipper Pinball Association, notes that Sunshine Laundromat maintains all the top pinball machines in its amazing back room. La Rocca goes on to note that Sunshine Laundromat is the best pinball venue around.
The bartenders at Sunshine Laundromat are also pinball professionals. One of the bartenders is ranked in the top 100 pros in all of the world by the International Flipper Pinball Association. He is eager to share his tips with patrons.
As an a side, the washing machines and dryers at the front of the venue are all fully functional. You truly can take care of your laundry while at Sunshine Laundromat.
Pelham, New Hampshire
At first approach, this arcade may not seem like much on the outside. However, in my trip to prime pinball locations last year, Pinball Wizard was one of my favorites.
Upon an initial approach to Pinball Wizard, the building is not much to look at. It is a boxy structure located in a strip mall constructed in the 1970s. With that noted, once I got inside, I was in the midst of some absolutely incredible pinball machines.
Pinball Wizard is owned by Sarah St. John. She is something of a legend when it comes to refurbishing classic pinball machines. She has some iconic machines in Pinball Wizard, all of which are in working order. Some of these machines are worth well into the five figures.
St. John is committed to ensuring that the pinball machines in her establishment are not “kept under glass.” Rather, each pinball machine at Pinball Wizard is available for play. I had the chance to check out a number of the machines. Doing so was a tremendous and a once in a lifetime experience.
Silverball Museum Arcade
Asbury Park, New Jersey
My next stop was in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I had an excellent time visiting the Silverball Museum Arcade.
Silverball Museum Arcade is home to an amazing 180 fully functional pinball machines. This is not a museum at which you’re admonished to look but not touch. You are encouraged to check out the machines, and I did. I played over a dozen of the machines during the time at Silverball Museum Arcade.
Silverball Museum Arcade transported me back to the arcades of the 1960s. The museum reminded of my younger days spend at the shore, on the boardwalk, playing pinball with my buddies.
The Silverball Museum Arcade also features a café that also took me back in time. I enjoyed some iconic boardwalk delectable like funnel cakes, hotdogs, and out of this world classic New Jersey salt water taffy.
My time spent visiting these incomparable pinball museums and arcades in the Northeastern United States reaffirmed how much I enjoy pinball in a number of different ways. Of course, I enjoy playing the game. I also now more fully admire the craftsmanship that went into creating some of the classic pinball machines, something I will never forget