Pinball Hall of Fame’s New Strip Location Takes Shape

The Pinball Hall of Fame is one of the most beloved attractions in Las Vegas, and fans of throwback arcade games will soon have a new place to plunge, flip and bump.

It sounds dirtier than it really is.

Here’s a look at the construction underway at the new Pinball Hall of Fame on the Las Vegas Strip.

New Pinball Hall of Fame

The new home of the Pinball Hall of Fame is not only spacious, it can withstand a zombie invasion.

The new Pinball Hall of Fame is expected to open in January 2021.

The Pinball Hall of Fame will be at 4915 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, next to the Harley-Davidson dealership, not far from the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign and Mandalay Bay.

New Pinball museum Las Vegas

Anticipate wall-to-wall gobble holes.

According to Pinball Hall of Fame owner Tim Arnold, “It’s within walking distance of 14 of the 15 largest hotels in the world.”

Here’s a little walk-through, courtesy of our feet.

It’s worth noting there’s a five-acre lot between Harley-Davidson and the new Pinball Hall of Fame, slated for a Dream resort.

Here’s today’s perfunctory photo of an empty lot that might be a thing someday.

Dream site Las Vegas

Let’s hope Dream isn’t just a fantasy. The Pinball Hall of Fame could use the foot traffic.

At 28,000-square-feet, the new venue will be three times larger than the current Pinball Hall of Fame, which boasts an eclectic collection of vintage and rare arcade games.

The existing Pinball Hall of Fame (at 1610 E Tropicana Ave.) is open and operating, and has about 250 games. The new Pinball Hall of Fame will have more than 700.

Pinball Hall of Fame Vegas

You can never have too many wall holder thingys.

Many of the games being dusted off for the new location have been in storage for 30 years, so even Pinball Hall of Fame regulars can expect lots of surprises when the new location makes its debut.

Tim Arnold says there will be a lot more games from the 1940s and 1950s. “Everybody in the artwork will be wearing hats and women will be wearing dresses.” Wait, that used to be a thing?

While classic machines are awesome to see and play, they’re a bear to maintain.

Arnold says, “We have a dedicated staff of volunteers that both live here, and some of them fly in for periods of time, that have been fixing this stuff for years.”

Arnold picked up truckloads of videogames “when the whole thing collapsed in the ’80s.”

“Right now, we’re running things like Centipede and Pac Man, but we’re going to get back into the earlier black and white games—Pong, Computer Space, Rip Off, Star Castle,” Arnold says. “You can get simulations of these games on the Internet, but it’s not the same as playing on a tube monitor. The flat screens do not give you the same visual experience as a tube.”

Pinball Vegas

We’ll just keep showing construction photos until you stop looking at them.

We’ve always touted the Pinball Hall of Fame as “family-friendly,” but Tim Arnold clarified.

“A lot of people think they can bring their kids, turn them loose, they can run around and have a good time and scream, we do not tolerate that at all,” says Arnold. “We’ve offended a lot of parents by speaking to their children in a loud, firm voice.”

Tim Arnold Pinball Hall of Fame

Tim Arnold is like the Willy Wonka of arcades, but with even less patience for poorly-behaved children.

Yeah, Tim Arnold is awesome.

We knew we’d like him when he told us, “We can do an interview, but there are two requirements. You must never refer to a ‘cacophony of sound’ or a ‘melange of color.'” Done and done.

Clearly, this isn’t Arnold’s first rodeo.

Arnold also came up with the de facto slogan for the Pinball Hall of Fame: “If you can’t find something to play in here you like, there’s something wrong with you.”

Pinball museum Vegas

With all this space, and all the games to come, we really need this coin shortage to be over.

Here’s a little insider scoop. As Arnold planned for a new location, he considered changing the name of the place. The proposed name: The Last Real Arcade in America.

The new venue will have free parking and be rideshare-friendly. It will also be non-smoking.

Interestingly, the Pinball Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization.

Pinball Hall of Fame Vegas

The new Pinball Hall of Fame will be this, times a metric buttload.

The parcel for the new location cost $4.5 million (the same lot once sold for $18 million), and the building cost about the same. All in, the project will cost about $10 million. That’s a lot of quarters!

Arnold says, “The building will be mostly paid-for when we open. Our debt to equity will be under 20 percent…so, we’re definitely penny-pinchers. We’re going to work on paying down the debt, then we’re going to get back to doing charitable work.”

If you shake a pinball machine too much, it “tilts.” This construction method is called “tilt-up.” Ah, the circularity of the universe.

Construction on the new Pinball Hall of Fame has progressed despite the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and a temporary shutdown of the Hall of Fame’s original location.

As Tim Arnold puts it, “Right now, Las Vegas is flat on its ass, but it will come back.”

Arnold adds, “The only reason we’ve been able to pull this off so far is we realize the fans of fun things count for something, and that’s what we’ve always worked on, rather than just throwing advertising at something and hoping somebody shows up. What we’re doing is being fanatical about games…we keep our prices low and our fans engaged.”

We’ll be watching the new Pinball Hall of Fame and expect to see our initials under “High Scores” on Asteroids when the place opens in January 2021. Hey, it’s not our first rodeo, either.

20 thoughts on “Pinball Hall of Fame’s New Strip Location Takes Shape

  1. Tom

    I really hope they put some kind of neon sign out front being that it is on the strip, not like at their old location that had just a small vinyl banner as their sign.

    Reply
  2. Bruce

    I love pinball. The lights, bells, chimes, action, etc. I also repair and refurbish them (up to mid 90’s stuff anyway), and it’s a great feeling when you get someone’s game up and running again. My personal favorite era is the 70’s and 80’s games. After that, the action became so fast and the play fields so busy, I sort of feel like I’m simply playing a self defense game. Lol.
    These pins truly are marvelous machines that were actually only expected to have about a five year life span, yet thousands of them are Still going strong all over the world. Congrats to Tim and his gang!

    Reply
    1. Mike Alexakis

      I agree, I am not a huge fan of multiple flippers. I will of course play games with them, but I like just having the two at the bottom. My favorite pinball game was called Playboy, it had Hugh Heffner and a few ladies painted on it. I have not seen it for decades, but there are several very similar games from the 1980’s that seem to have the same template…

      Reply
  3. Mike Alexakis

    I like how this gentleman boasts about “walking distance”, I can do it, I average six miles a day walking, the distances between resorts in Las Vegas can fool you. I love pinball, having non-gambling things to do in Las Vegas will make you a more successful gambler. The new location is certainly walking distance from Top Golf, another one of my favorite ways to spend some time. Of course when its 113 degrees outside, the walking distance to the parking lot can get you…

    Reply
  4. Phillip Johnson

    I might have to get my algarhythms figured on Asteroids again. Could play for 6 hrs on 1 qtr before getting kicked off w 4.4 million points and 60 spare ships……used to go 3+ hrs on Stargate on 1 qtr nefore my friends would cry let us plaaaaaaay 😉 with over 20 spare ships. It was fun to watch them try my level and die after 15 secs lol

    Reply
  5. Phillip Johnson

    ive got a working Twister and Pinbot plus on Sunday picked up a project pin 1980 Gottlieb Circus pin.

    Ive got a new speaker kit coming for Twister from pinballpro.com

    If it works half as well as the subwoofer upgrade in Gorgar this will be fun.

    Reply
  6. Susan Palyo

    This is great news!! My favorite place in the whole world. I’ll have to get to the old location soon so I can help finance the new one. Eight Ball Deluxe is my favorite pinball game of all time. But, I love them all from the old to the new. And the continued free parking is a super plus!

    Reply
  7. Tom

    Hope he has a mid-70’s era gem called (I think) “Flip Flop”. It was my first pinball addiction, which eventually steered me to too many hours on “Galaga,” which would also be nice to revisit in a proper working machine. If they add a cocktail bar to the place I may stay there instead of the nearby casinos.

    Reply
  8. Ricardo

    Awesome. I was there for a fun afternoon around 12′ or so. Yes, the current location was an issue-just too far away from the strip. The challenge for me going forward is that it is in Vegas-been twice-but frankly Vegas is a total shithole by any and all world traveler standards. In theory, you can only go there a few months out of the year-otherwise the temps. are absurd and getting worse.

    Reply
    1. Kevzilla

      I was there last weekend. It was hot, all right, but not hot enough to scare a Texan. And you’re flat wrong about the weather. It’s ten bad weeks, from mid-June through August.

      Reply
  9. Clive

    Wow man that’s a great project. Thanks for this and here’s to “the most fun you can have in the world at the Pinball HAll of Fame” 😉

    Reply
  10. Mark

    Oh, yeah. THIS will get me back to Vegas sooner. I love me some pinball. And great location.
    I grew up playing pinball, from being a kid, living near a bowling alley in north Seattle, that had several machines, to beer and pinball, in a Blimpies across the street from my college campus, during the 70’s, to their old location on Trop.
    Thanks for the story, Scott.

    Reply
  11. Ty Bear

    We ALWAYS Have A Great Time @ The Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas. It is one of the many reasons that we return to Vegas Year After Year. We are looking forward to the new location & The Expanded offering of machines.

    Reply

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