Modern Pinball is the only pinball parlour in the city (unbelievably) but there are a few others sprinkled around; one in Asbury Park (New Jersey) and another in Las Vegas. Maybe they presage a resurrection. There were millions of machines at one time and their ubiquity was fantastic, as much an guage of American ‘flash’ as motor cars what with their styling, pizzazz, colors, lights, speed, bells and whistles.
In the late 1970s, during the culture of cocaine and disco, pinball and roller skating went hand in hand as two things you could do while high, for hours and hours and hours and it was made more pleasant because other people thought similarly. Safety in numbers (though people would not stop talking — I wonder why?). The next morning, with over-worked finger tips blistered by intense pinball action manipulation, party-ers could barely recover before heading out to do it all over again.
This parlour is not that, but it is reminiscent of that time, especially the Elton John Captain Fantastic model. Wow — there’s still one around!!
The sensible policy here is that you pay for a unit of time — blocks of hours (like at Amsterdam Billiards) during which you can come and go for cookies at La Delice Pastry Shop, for example. It’s barely a stone’s throw away.
Three machines have pistol grip ball launchers that stand out as being authentically American, given that the machines are still made only in America, surprisingly.
Become an American patriot! Play pinball!