Hey all,.. I read DToid a few times a week and comment occasionally, but this will be my first forum post. I apologize in advance for the length but I wanted to give you guys the full story of how this played out... anyway, here we go! (if you just wanna see the pics, scroll to the bottom)
I've recently been on the hunt for a decent arcade but as we all know, it's slim pickings nowadays.
Anyway,.. I found an entry on an old list of arcades for a place about an hour outside of philly with a bunch of retro games and a huge selection of pinballs. When I went to their (very 1997 looking) website I was sad to see that the only mention of a date I could find was 2006... so i had no idea if they were open or not. I shot them an email... no response. After 2 days I pretty much assumed the place was long since closed and forgot about it. But... the next weekend,.. I received a brief email confirming that they were in fact still open! I told my girlfriend(who absolutely loves pinball) and we made plans to go the next weekend.
So, that next weekend was this weekend that just passed. We got in the car, fired up the gps and drove a bit over an hour west of northeast philly. we passed restaurants, malls, what appeared to be million-dollar homes, and even farms. We still couldn't believe this place would deliver, but as we approached the final turn on the gps... i looked around the corner and saw their small white sign staring at me. I pulled into the parking lot, which doubled as someone's home driveway-perhaps the owner's?- The building itself is fairly nondescript... it could just as easily be an auto shop.. a cinder block structure with 2 large bay doors. A handwritten sign on the front lawn says "Open 7-10(night)" and there is a small sign on a post overlooking the dark road.
We walked in to find a single attendant. He told us it was $6/hour and they were open for an hour and a half more(only 3 hours a night total). We paid our 9 bucks a piece and he told us to have fun. The first floor consists of what must be a party room.. a long table flanked by chairs and decorated with photos of vintage cars and coke themed memorabilia. In what would be the "garage" area, a surprising selection of arcade cabinets stood side by side. There's a lot of classics here.. Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Joust(1 and 2), Asteroids. There's some late 80's and 90's machines.. Gauntlet, The Avengers, Ninja Turtles(in a Marvel Super Heroes cabinet). Thrown in for good measure are a few linked up cockpit racers, and the mandatory DDR(or something like it.. didn't pay any attn to it). There's plenty more but we were short on time and really wanted to check out the pinball room.
So we moved up to the second floor where we were greeted by I would say about 40 -50 pinball machines ranging from the 1940's to the 2000's - again.. lots of classics... Pinbot, Bride of Pinbot, Elvira(and Scared Stiff), Indiana Jones, the list goes on and on.
The pre-80's machines were neat.. I'd never used one before.. they play much much slower and use actual bells for sound effects and nothing else. Scoring is done on a fixed reel. Many of these only went up to the 10's of thousands.
Now,.. unfortunately, not everything works. A couple of the arcade cabs were powered down, and a few of the pinballs had issues that definitely needed to be fixed - Funhouse had a weak right flipper and Whirlwind shut down with a lost ball error at random points in the game. Since this was my first time there,.. I'm hoping that these will eventually be repaired.
Nonetheless... this place was AWESOME and the whole point of posting all this is just to spread the word. There were only about 5 people in there the night we went, and I would love to see this guy making money hand over fist to keep it running(though I suspect he's running it as a hobby more than anything). So if you're in the philly area and you miss arcades.. you owe it to yourself to check it out!