Bing. Ping. Ding. I use to play pinball after school at 7-Eleven. It was very convenient as it was located behind my elementary school. Sometimes my brother would take me to the bowling alley and we played a few games there. Gradually video games replaced the pinball machines and it became harder to find pinball machines. One of my last great pinball moments was when The Simpsons Pinball Party machine came out in 2003 and they had it on free play at Comic Con. That was before Comic Con became overcrowded and I played all I wanted as the Simpsons booth wasn’t that popular. 🙂 I miss watching the silver ball bouncing off the bumpers and the flippers and hearing the musical sounds and seeing the flashing lights.
One day I was looking for groupon deals for my upcoming San Francisco trip and I saw the Pacific Pinball Museum. I bought admission for me and my kid. It was a fun adventure getting to the museum on the ferry and bus walking through the desolate parts of Alameda. I was awestruck seeing how they documented pinball machine history. They had pinball machines from 1879 to the present. The first machines by the entrance were mostly wood and a bit slower than the machines from the 70’s I was raised on. I gave each machine a try till I got to the newest ones. The brand new ones were the fastest and had the coolest sounds and video effects.
We played for hours till our feet and wrist were giving out. As we were leaving we met the founder Michael Schiess. Was awesome talking to him about pinball machines. He fixes them and travels the country looking for more machines. We thanked him for starting the museum and keeping it running since 2004. This place feels like home…
Pacific Pinball Museum
1510 Webster St
Alameda, CA 94501