Sunday, February 17, 2013

Riviera Pinball Hall of Fame

Every once in a while, during a vacation in Las Vegas, I discover something I hadn’t known about.
This time, it was the Pinball Hall of Fame in the Riviera Hotel & Casino, across from the Circus Circus, at the northern end (the old ... er, the “vintage” ... end) of the Las Vegas Strip.
Turns out it’s no great shakes, unless you played pinball a lot. I was expecting to see the really old ones – the ones without flashing lights, just holes that you tried to get the balls into by gently rocking the game.
Click on Picture for a Larger Panoramic View
I remember guys playing for money in Hilo, and in downtown Honolulu when I got to college. They’d pay a nickel to play, then win money when they reached a certain amount of points. It was actually illegal, and hanging around a pinball parlor was tantamount to being labeled a juvenile delinquent.

Apparently, the games on display are classics, new and old. Even some of the featured characters are familiar (bet you never thought they’d be considered old characters, huh?) – Donkey Kong, Centipede, Space Invaders. They’ve got arcade games like the Rubber Ducky game, hockey, and gumball machines. In all, maybe 30 or so machines.

Most of these look like the 25¢ to 50¢ machines. In my day (don’t you hate when people say that?) it cost 5¢ to 10¢ when I was a kid and forbidden to play; the price was up to 25¢ when I was in college, and 50¢ when I came back to Hawaii in the mid-‘70s.
I wonder what it costs to play today?

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