Pinball Hall of Fame
The Pinball Hall of Fame is a registered 501c3 non-profit. It relies on visitors stopping by to play these games, restored pinball machine sales and 'This Old Pinball' repair dvd videos (available for sale at the museum). The PHoF has also helped out with fundraising for the local Salvation Army, accepting donations to benefit them. There is a candy vending stand, where the entire 25 cents of each quarter goes directly to the Salvation Army. And after the PHoF covers its monthly expenses for rent, electricity, insurance, endowment savings, the remainder of the money goes to the Salvation Army.
Tim says, 'I like the Salvation Army a lot because they're kinda like us. They're downtown on the cheap side and they put all their emphasis on the areas that need emphasis and not a lot on hierarchy and organization. When the crap hit the fan with Katrina, the government failed completely, the Red Cross failed mostly, but everybody that was there said the Salvation Army was exemplary in every way. This is why we help the Salvation Army. They are unlike any other charity or government, very little overhead and helping lots of people that need it. Today's society is often too self-centered to bother doing community service. So I'm just giving them a vehicle where they think they're being self-indulging by playing pinball, but they are really helping charity.'
The best thing about the Pinball Hall of Fame is their complete lack of a 'profit' mindset. It's about the games and charity and not about making money. Tim explains, 'we just don't care that this or that game isn't making any money. The minute we start becoming professional, it's all gonna be about the dollars and it's not gonna be about the games. I mean like the kind of things we do to maintain these games - we change the rubber rings more often than we have to. We replace light bulbs the minute they burn out. That doesn't make any economic sense. If we were professional, we'd let things slide a little. There's no real economic reason for this to exist, or capitalism would've already built it.'
That 'cheap side' approach gives the Pinball Hall of Fame its disarming, thrift-store feeling. The royal-blue carpet? It's scrap from a Convention Center weekend show. The change machines? Grabed from the Golden Nugget's trash dock before the garbage men came. But it's not about cutting corners - it's about maintaining an almost obsessive focus on the pinball games themselves. Forget about public relations, marketing, uniforms, or even a sign outside. 'If the games play, the people will come, quarters at the ready. There's stuff here that hasn't been seen since my mom was a kid. And it's all up here and it's playable.'
This Is always a must visit when I'm in Las Vegas. The owner and staff are incredibly friendly and passionate about pinball. Some of the tables they have resurrected are childhood favorites of mine. Being able to play tables from as early as the 50s is also awesome. There are 100s off tables in great shape to play. Cheaper and more fun than playing the slots!
Andrew Adam Caldwell
We travel to Las Vegas just to visit this wonderful palace of history and fun. So many great examples of arcade entertainment, from old-school video games to a wide range of pinball machines, vintage and contemporary! The friendly staff restore and take great care of the machines and offer friendly service to patrons. Their care preserves not just machines and parts, but memories and experiences that are in danger of dying out. Their commitment to that preservation should be honored and supported.
I am a pinball fanatic and own a few machines myself so I know what to look for. This was not my first visit here but it has been a few years. Anyway, I was impressed by the game selection as they have more machines in one place than anywhere on earth. The first thing I noticed is there were two people working on the machines - One was cleaning the playfields and the other was repairing the electronics. This is important because when you play games that work properly, you can actually have fun playing them. Go support this place!
Have visited before & thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Tonight was a different story. We took our 3 kids (ages 7-14) & we were stalked aisle to aisle from creepy, white haired man that worked there. He literally followed us down every aisle. Our kids were next to us the whole time trying to learn about the pinball machines. He came up to my husband & said we needed to learn to control our kids. We left with $15 in quarters & an teary eyed 7 year old. So much for a fun family night. We won't ever go back or advise anyone we know to go there.
Very rude staff - I’ve been here 3 times and loved it before, but the way my family was treated by multiple employees makes me want to never return. We arrived at 10:35 (close at 11:00), and a woman immediately told me “No more games we’re closing, and get your drink off the table.” My brother put in a coin and a different employee said “Don’t start a new game, we’re closing.” We asked why it was closing before they were supposed to, and they just said “we’re closing a couple minutes early.” We tried to get his coin back, but it wouldn’t come out, so we said so, and the employee just walked away. They then lectured my mother who was visiting town, and she told them she wouldn’t be back. Such a great concept and some cool games, but I’ve never once encountered a pleasant employee. Too bad cause I was telling lots of people about them.