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Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda (2004-), Interactive Pinball Museum with over 90 Playable Machines - $20 for a Full Day of Playing


DonRocks
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This topic reminded me of the great Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda

The Pacific Pinball Museum is a privately owned (yet non-profit, 501(c)3 charity) run by a bonafide expert when it comes to pinball machines - from their history, to their mechanics. I spent about five minutes talking with the gentleman, and figured out that he runs this museum as a labor of love; not in order to acquire wealth.

For $20 per adult, you can play to your heart's content, and I honestly haven't had this much fun in a long, long time - I spent several hours in there, feeling like I was a kid again - it was not that far away from being "a kid in a candy store."

This place is a *little* light on the truly old (1930s) machines, but it has a few - these "Bagatelle" machines are almost like Pachinko, in that they're almost pure chance. The museum's playable selections run the gamut from the old, "cannot-defeat-gravity" (*) wooden models; to the new, "cannot-see-the-ball-because-it's-going-so-fast" digital wonders. Even if you live in San Francisco proper, it's worth a trip out here (I even found a *fantastic* Chinese restaurant in the vicinity which I'll find and report on).

I urge anyone who loves, or even likes, Pinball to visit here - for me, it was like going to an amusement park with a Fast-Pass. As good as life gets!

Some sample pictures I took (I visited in January, and would be there right now if it wasn't 3,000 miles away.)

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(*) As revolutionary as 1947's "Humpty Dumpty" sounds, it's nearly impossible to keep the ball in play for very long, as it invariably drops, drops, drops, until you can flip it no longer, and it sinks down into the pit. Here's a video I found of Humpty Dumpty in action, though not at this museum (playing this machine is more educational than fun):

Actually, I found a video of a 1941 Genco "Seven Up" which is at the Pinball Museum. Do note: Most of the museum's machines are the type of "fast and fun" machines that we're all used to - these are mainly of historical interest (I just don't want you to think you're going to show up here, and be bored playing these antique machines - that's not the case at all):

 

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