2 Florida Pinball Museums Are Among The Best In The U.S.
Often pinball games are thought of as being “retro.” However, these machines are not only a present-day collectors item, they are also still wildly popular. Perceptive Travel (who notes new machines are still frequently being found) recently published a list of the best pinball museums in the country, and two Florida locations were named.
The first proper pinball machine (coin-operated) dates back to the 1930’s. “Because it was a game of chance, pinball was considered a form of gambling and was outlawed in the 1940s,” Pastime Pinball explains. In fact, there was recently a film about this, called Pinball: The Man Who Saved The Game.
By the 1980’s, there were over 200,000 pinball machines, and interest in the game was peaking. Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s it was common to see a pinball machine in every arcade you frequented. Furthermore, pubs and restaurants also would have a game in-house for patrons to play during their wait or simply marvel at, even as video games (which were more modern and took up less space) were becoming more popular.
Video game publication Destructiod, recently highlighted the most iconic pinball games in the country. “Pinball has a visual style all of its own, a tangible reality that most interactive entertainment fails to capture,” they say. According to their list, the machines of the early ’90s that properly blended with the cultural phenomenon are those considered most legendary today. They include “The Addams Family,” “Twilight Zone,” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
According to Perceptive Travel, Florida has iconic pinball museums on both coasts.
Replay Amusement Museum
Let’s start along the gulf shores in the greater Tampa, St. Pete area with Replay Amusement Museum. This arcade has 120 games. At Replay, all the games are set to “Free Play,” which means you pay an entry fee, and that’s it. Replay makes an effort for their experience and game setup to be interactive and educational. Their pinball games include the AC/DC-themed machine and Ghostbusters.
Silverball Retro Arcade
Next, we will head east for the second of the legendary Florida pinball museums. The Silverball Retro Arcade in Delray Beach is the other pinball paradise mentioned. It offers a variety of experiences in addition to games. For example, you can eat, drink, and hang at the happy hour at Silverball Delray. They have 87 pinball machines. You can play by buying a half-day, full-day, or night pass.