Where to play pinball?

pinball machine closeupTom (and Josh) ask via Twitter:

Anyone know of a place to play pinball in the capital region?

Keepin' it simple.

Got a favorite spot (or just any spot)? Please share!

photo: Flickr user Chase N. (cc)

Comments

I'm not positive, but I am fairly certain that Footsy Magoos on First and State in Troy has a pinball machine.

McGeary's still has The Addams Family

Flying Chicken in Troy has a Monster Mash pinball machine it's pretty awesome (and some really good fried chicken too). Also Valentine's has a machine I think it's Nascar but not sure.

I found a Simpsons machine up in Saratoga at Desperate Annie's

Jesus Christ, stay away from that machine at Footsy's! It's a Nascar, already a bad machine, and it's so poorly shopped the most important target sends the ball straight down the middle 9 times out of 10. Not that I haven't played a half dozen times to satisfy a pinball jones...getting a replay while trying to avoid the bash target is Real Skill.

There's an Addam's Family at MCGeary's in good condition with genuinely high scores.
A Stern Indiana Jones at Wolff's 1-11 on Wolf Road. It's pretty fun but has a kind of a by-the-numbers feel to it that reminds me of a bad cell-phone game.
I've heard rumors of a Whitewater at the Playdium.

Best table is of course the Simpsons Pinball Party in my basement. Actually most of the best pinball will be found in the basements of enthusiasts -- pinball machines cost too much to maintain for them to be the on-site cash cow they were in the 70s and 80s, so pinheads are making their own arcades and absorbing the maintenance hassles as a part of the hobby.

The bad news? Unlike video games, pinball machines hold their value awfully well. A working machine from the 90s will run you from $2000 to $4000 and new machines are $5000+. Cherry examples of the best machines are five figures easy. My suggestion is to lurk the Pinside.com forums, and try to make friends. I happen to know there are some badass pinball collections in the area.

I would happily swap out the Trader Joe's for a good pinball arcade.

BTW, it's not local but if you have an extra few minutes to kill on your way to or from Boston, several of the service areas on the Mass Pike have pinball machines.

I am so pro this question and comment thread!
@dasmb: Is there a local "Home Pinball Enthusiasts" organization?

The Bayou in Albany has a pinball machine. I can't remember which one. Its all the way in the back of the back room.

Not exactly local...but Rock Fantasy in Middletown, NY is about as close to a pinball arcade as I remember:
http://www.rockfantasy.com/wp/?page_id=140

I have a Flash (Gordon) machine in my basement that needs some electronics work (wiring, etc) anyone know a good repair person?

I also love this post. We've been taking our kids around town this winter playing vintage video games and pinball - such a great family activity. I can add that Sunset Lanes on Central Ave has one pinball game, forget the name though. It's a shame that there are really no arcades around anywhere. Even NYC has no arcades anymore (I remember a good one on Broadway and 52nd street in the 90s, right around the corner from where I worked. Made for some fun lunchtimes...) But we did find a great place in the East Village (when searching on nycpinballleague.com under "where to play pinball in NYC") It's a skateboard shop called Reciprocal Skateboards that has 9 pinball games in a separate pinball room. Apparently the owner is a collector and owns something like 50 games. The machines where in great shape. The guy working there was super cool, he welcomed us and quickly pulled out a milk crate for my son to stand on. Great spot. (Love Addams Family and Simpsons from back in the day, by the way)

To truly satisfy a pinball jones, I suggest a trip to the Jersey Shore. The boardwalk culture has preserved a number of pinball centric venues, such as the Silverball Museum (which blissfully survived Sandy). There's also Pinball Wizard in New Hampshire, and twice a year, the awesome PAPA facility in Pittsburgh. Which is hosting Pinburgh 2013 April 11-13. It's an 11 hour drive -- get a rust-belt on your pinballs and watch the world champions at play!

@Laura: If there isn't, there really should be. I've got a top 20 machine, a 500W stereo and 7 kinds of whisky -- it's a crime it's just me hanging out down here.

@llcwine: Flash Gordon is notorious for its difficulty and layout! I am my own repair guy but I don't know anything about 80s solid state pinball. Maybe call Greco Amusements and ask for a hand, or get the number of an operator off a sited pinball machine, like the one at Wolff's. Oh, and check this out: flash gordon modded to a Ghostbusters theme! http://tristatechapter.com/arcade/ghostbusters/ghostbusters.html

Does Lake George still have one?

Pinball and whiskey party at dasmb's house! [I'm mentally putting quarters up on The Simpsons as I type this...]

ok...so my machine is a Williams Flash (not sure if Gordon), anyone know the worth? My friend thinks he can fix the wiring...just wondering....

A little late BUT Cohoes Bowl has a decent quality Spiderman table

We need an update of games and locations since April 14.

Is there a pinball league in the Capital District?

Time to start one. I played in Pittsburgh years ago. We'd have to have a venue with at least four reliably working machines, though. Looks like we may be out of luck? Anybody?

Zombie post, but in response to pinballeric, a local pinball league would be a GREAT idea. I just don't know of any locations that have more than one machine.

Foggy Notions in Cambridge NY serves up the great Bog Burger and has a fully working 6 player 1999 Harley-Davidson Pinball by Sega. Live to Play, Play to live: http://bit.ly/1phcpiu

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