DESCRIBE YOUR LOCAL ARCADE ~ CIRCA 1983 !!!!

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Ra...@postoffice.swbell.net

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Nov 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/22/00
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Detour Fun Center in El Paso TX. You would walk in and catch the aroma of heated
silicon chips........ahhh.....games I remember were Pac Man, Targ, Alpine Ski,
Centipede, Zap, Defender (I remember when this one FIRST hit the
arcade....."whoa.....look at all the controls!!!"), Star Castle, Football (X's and
O's), Night Driver, Carnival, Star Fire, Tempest, Boot Hill, Lunar Lander, Donkey
Kong, Galaxian, and there were a bunch of pinball games in the back with a couple
pool tables.....We usd to play Gorgar (I think that was how you spelled it...) It
was the frst talking pinball.........great place....

>


DRSMITH666

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Nov 23, 2000, 12:04:54 AM11/23/00
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We all had that one FAVORITE arcade that sticks in our minds. This arcade may
have closed it's doors for good years and years ago - but will always exist in
your heart FOREVER!!!!

I realize that this may be really hard to do, but try your very best to
RE-CONSTRUCT and describe this arcade (CIRCA 1981 - 1985, whenever it was most
meaningful to you).

1) THE NAME of the Arcade, location, etc

2) Approx how many games did it have?

3) WHAT WERE THE GAMES EXACTLY (do your best!)

4) Any other info or outstanding features you can use to bring "YOUR" arcade
back to life - describe it!

Now I know there are going to be a lot of people who will do this a HELL of a
lot better than I can, but here goes:

The name of MY arcade was ROSCOES - Located in a city surrounding Detroit in
MI. I'm guessing, but I think it may have had 20-25 games. It was in a small
shopping center, When you walked into the place, it was somewhat dark. There
was a divider in the center of the room, and this divider had games around it.
There was a line of games along the right wall, and along the left wall, there
was the "Counter/desk" - the place where you got your quarters, reported any
problems, and the guy who ran the place sat and watched.

The games that I can remember were DONKEY KONG, CARNIVAL, BERZERK, PAC MAN,
GALAXIAN, CENTIPEDE, DEFENDER, -- I know this is pathetic, but I cannot seem to
remember any more specific games.

You had to be 16 to play the games unless accompanied by an adult. And you had
to prove this.

I sure hope some of you can do better than I just did!!!!

RoBearBellie

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Nov 23, 2000, 1:41:30 AM11/23/00
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DRSMITH666 <drsmi...@aol.com> wrote:

> 1) THE NAME of the Arcade, location, etc

At one time Meijers had arcade shop. They never had one arcade machine
for over 15 years now.

> 2) Approx how many games did it have?

Typically 10 machines at one time.

> 3) WHAT WERE THE GAMES EXACTLY (do your best!)

Defender, Zaxxon, Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, Pac Man Jr. Dragon Lair (with
extra TV mounted on top!) and Tron are those I can remember.

> 4) Any other info or outstanding features you can use to bring "YOUR" arcade
> back to life - describe it!

I wouldn't be able to bring Arcade back to Meijer stores if they
depended on arcade. Seems they took it out because they had major
problem with kids ditching schools and vandals.

Putt-Puut Golf and Games on Washtenaw Ave. OTOH had close to 30 or so
machines of various flavors and they are still operating there many
years later.

J.W. Krych

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Nov 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/23/00
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Circa 1983:

Up To Par Arcade, Lorain Road, just before Stearns Road going west. North
Olmsted Ohio.

Pretty big place-and all of the classics-even some of the more rare ones.
Space Furry, Make Trax, Gyruss, Defender, Stargate, Xevious. Especially
Gyruss!

It's been since divided up into three businesses-a pizza place, a printing
place(Joe D's), and a tan place(I think)

Also, for the Ohio area-the old Collesium had a large collection of circa
1977 arcade games-Starship I, and many others. DOES anyone know what
happened to those old games, before they destroyed the old Collesium?

Centurion030

O_v

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Nov 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/23/00
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Whilst reliving childhood traumas, O_v spied DRSMITH666's 23 Nov 2000
message...

>1) THE NAME of the Arcade, location, etc

"Fun Arcade," Metairie, Louisiana. (A suburb of New Orleans.) The place is
still there, still an arcade, and still very busy.

>2) Approx how many games did it have?

Gosh. I'd have to say nearly 50 or even more. They also had some older
table top games like air hockey and what not.

>3) WHAT WERE THE GAMES EXACTLY (do your best!)

Pac Man, Donkey Kong, and what not. Battlezone was there, as was Asteroids,
and a bunch of others.

>4) Any other info or outstanding features you can use to bring "YOUR"
>arcade back to life - describe it!

Hmmmm... I've always wondered what the place was _before_ it became an
arcade. It's looks like a circa-50s burger joint. Trapezoidal light
fixtures hang from the ceiling -- white throughout, but speckled with small
triangles of all different colors. Outside, "FUN ARCADE" adorns the sides
in friendly red letters. Two large metal frames -- painted red and blue --
travel up from the ground and over the roof. I hear that it was actually
some sort of laundromat.

--
O_v
Remember Otakuboy!
See the abridged history: http://otakuboy.com

Cooliu...@webtv.net

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Nov 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/23/00
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KING ARTHUR'S ROYAL GAME ROOM...within walking distance of my home,
about 4 city blocks. This arcade is located in Goshen, INDIANA. A small
town (about 30,000 pop.) about 20 miles from South Bend, IN.

It is right in the middle of a large middle class housing area, near
schools and such. The Arcade is still in business to this day, but in
'84 it was THA SHIT. Let me describe:

The Building itself is made up like a castle. Gray paint on a brick
exterior, with the top of the building having a space inbetween each
concrete brick, to give the appearance of the top of a castle wall. Once
inside you are treated to the sweet sound of 80 arcade machines at peak
volume. Oh, how I miss this.

Then you'll notice how dark it is inside, with the only light coming
from the games themselves. Man, you don't see this anymore. There is
nothing like playing an eardrum blasting game in the darkness of an
arcade.

Games, Games and more Games. I've played the majority of my arcade games
at this place. Scott, the owner, had a real heavy rotation of machines
through this place. Something new every week. The very first game I
played there was Baby Pac-man, I played it every day because I could
just keep getting free games. 10 year olds don't have much money.

Other games during the time period that impacted me enough to remember
having a good time were: Dragon's Lair, Joust 2, Mystic Marathon, Boot
Camp, Jail Break, Robotron, Sit-Down Star Trek, Tron, Tron Deadly Discs,
Galaga, Super Basketball, Timber!, Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Donkey
Kong 3, sit-down Turbo, sit-down Spy Hunter, and Qbert's Qubes. There
are a ton more I am forgetting, but these stick out during this time
period.

King Arthur's Royal Game Room is still open today, and yes, I still
visit it on a random basis. I live in the next town over now, Elkhart,
IN, inbetween Goshen and South Bend. However there have been major
changes to the arcade.
Sometime during the early '90's the town comittee or something decided
to change policy towards entertainment businesses or something. They
made certain rules and regulations for a business like an arcade to
adhere to. What happened to King Arthur's was they could no longer have
the gameroom be pitch black, it has to be well lighted at all times.
They can no longer fill the place up with arcade machines, I think the
owner has a limit of 20 uprights he can have in the place. I guess the
place was too loud for the neighbors. Now, there are 4 pool tables and
some redemption games to fill the place with.

What a bummer.
Russ

vairxpert

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Nov 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/23/00
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drsmi...@aol.com (DRSMITH666) wrote:

>We all had that one FAVORITE arcade that sticks in our minds. This arcade may
>have closed it's doors for good years and years ago - but will always exist in
>your heart FOREVER!!!!
>
>I realize that this may be really hard to do, but try your very best to
>RE-CONSTRUCT and describe this arcade (CIRCA 1981 - 1985, whenever it was most
>meaningful to you).
>
>1) THE NAME of the Arcade, location, etc

Even though I live in a small city we had several arcades. Wally's
Game room in Hobart IN. was the biggest.

>
>2) Approx how many games did it have?

+/- 100 vids, dozens of pins and probably 12 pool tables.

Today it's a few low rent stores in one half and the other half stands
empty.

>
>3) WHAT WERE THE GAMES EXACTLY (do your best!)

Name it and he probably had it.

>
>4) Any other info or outstanding features you can use to bring "YOUR" arcade
>back to life - describe it!

My personal favorite arcade was at the local bowling alley. They just
had the good hardcore games always in perfect working order.
Over the past few years I bought up most those games I used to play
and set up a game room in the lower level rec room of my house.
So far I have:
Moon Patrol
PacMan
Asteroids Deluxe
Defender
Renegade
Crystal Castles
Missile Command

Still searching for the perfect Berzerk and Mad Planets to round
things off.

George

SPAMBLOCK: change itari.net to atari.net

http://ww2.netnitco.net/users/vairxprt/index.htm


Clark Griswold

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Nov 24, 2000, 12:29:01 AM11/24/00
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Mine was at a place called Future Games, located in the back of a building. They
painted the ghosts from Pac Man all around the building. I remember that was the
first place that I played the pinball Haunted House. I was so amazed by the ball
going into the cellar.

Chris Lord

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Nov 24, 2000, 2:32:09 PM11/24/00
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We have this great Arcade here in Torquay on the South Coast of England!
It's been here since 1981 and is still going strong. This place has had
everything in it's time, the first time I went there they had Sub Scan, The
game like Outlaw on VCS(Boothill?), Asteroids, Pacman & this neat game where
you had this great big machine gun and shot at airplanes on this projector
screen , looked like WW2 gun camera footage(any one else seen this, i'd love
to know what it was called, it was very old in '81!). Well as I said the
arcade is still open & they still have a Sega Turbo and a PAC & Space
Invaders & Sitdown Starwars & a couple of Pole position's that have been
there all that time. That place is like a home from home. If your ever
nearby come visit.
"DRSMITH666" <drsmi...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20001123000454...@ng-mk1.aol.com...

Rob

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Nov 24, 2000, 3:38:41 PM11/24/00
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drsmi...@aol.com (DRSMITH666) wrote:
>I realize that this may be really hard to do, but try your very best to
>RE-CONSTRUCT and describe this arcade (CIRCA 1981 - 1985, whenever it was most
>meaningful to you).

Well, I went to a lot of arcades between 1979 and 1984, though I
had most of my fun at the little pizza places and whatnot with
one or two games. Anyway, in your subject line you mentioned
1983, and I have a pretty specific arcade that I think of when I
remember 1983. It was right before the crash, not to mention
right before I got a Commodore 64 which negated most of my
interest in going to arcades thanks to software piracy and
programming. (I had a Colecovision already, but the price of
cartridges meant that my collection was pretty limited. Ditto
the Vectrex, though that fall my brother and I stocked up on
closeout Vectrex stuff.)

Anyway.... There's a strip mall in Springfield, Massachusetts
about half a mile from our house at the time, where my parents
still live. It has a K-Mart and Stop'n'Shop that were there in
those days, but almost everything else has changed.

In that strip mall was a Papa Gino's pizza place that went out of
business around 1981. It reopened in the spring of 1983 as a
video arcade with about 40 games. Papa Gino's at the time were
split in half by a brickfaced wall, and this arcade kept that
layout. Lighting was dim, just a few sets of track lights. I
think the ceilings were black for some reason.

As you walked in, there was a cigarette machine and change
machine on the left, followed by a Reactor game, two steps up to
the other half of the arcade, and more games including Galaga,
Mario Bros., Tempest and Ms. Pac Man. On the right was the
counter, then a mirror. I don't remember what was after the
mirror on the right, which leads me to believe it was a couple of
skee-ball lanes which I had no interest in.

In the upper half of the arcade, off to the left, was an air
hockey game we played from time to time, Star Trek (the one with
the Tempest style controller), and Bagman, which like Reactor I'd
never seen before. I think they had a Nintendo Vs. game, but I
was never impressed by those, nor Karateka (I think it was
called) and Xevious which were also there.

In the six months or so before it closed for "renovations" (to
reopen as a Chinese takeout that lasted about the same amount of
time) I logged a lot of hours playing Bagman and Reactor, to the
point that I counted them among my favorite games. But the
arcade was never packed like the more established places had
been, and the bowling alley nearby had a better selection of
games (Space Duel, Asteroids Deluxe, Missile Command, bootleg
Pacman and Donkey Kong that gave you all four levels the first
time through, Berzerk and others) so between that and the crash,
this place was never meant to be.

Still, they had great deals on tokens while they were around (I
also remember that they used smaller tokens than other arcades
like the Just Fun chain), and it was easy to slip away for half
an hour while collecting money on my paper route. That part of
the strip mall has been refinished so I can't tell which space it
was anymore. The funny thing is, I don't think the place ever
had a name. They took down the Papa Gino's sign and I think they
just put up one that said "ARCADE" in red letters. I suppose
that couldn't have helped much.

It was a little depressing to find, last time I went shopping out
there, that the last of the arcades I'd frequented as a kid was
finally gone. All the arcades I'd visit where I live now have
closed as well, though I suppose the student union at my old
college probably still has a few games. I actually spent a lot
of time in there playing Tempest, Ataxx and Rampart when I got
tired of playing Marble Madness and Menace on my Amiga back then.
(They had a very well used Tetris game as well, but I could never
stand it.)

But it doesn't really matter, because I'm not interested in
playing 3D Virtua Kick The Shit Out Of Somebody, and I can play
all the 3D racing games I want at home. Those two genres seem to
be all there is in arcades nowadays anyway, and at home I can
play FPS type games too and even play people over the net. All
the games I loved back in the day are readily available via MAME,
but nowhere else (except for the real common stuff. Hey Hasbro,
bring on Mappy 3D already!) And unless you're some kind of rich
or freakish collector of 6-foot-tall cases, you have to break the
law to play them.

It was a fun period, though, one I imagine I remember as fondly
as my parents remember 10 cent movies from when they were kids.
In a way, they were the only solace I had back then.

Rob

ku...@ties.org - http://kudla.org/raindog

jt august

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Nov 24, 2000, 6:32:09 PM11/24/00
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In article <20001123000454...@ng-mk1.aol.com>,
drsmi...@aol.com (DRSMITH666) wrote:

> We all had that one FAVORITE arcade that sticks in our minds. This arcade may
> have closed it's doors for good years and years ago - but will always exist in
> your heart FOREVER!!!!

No. 1: Games R Fun - downtown Columbia MO, 1981.

Plain, no interior music. It had just been bought out by Bally and the
new owners were fuming that they could not buy the top arcade in town, so
they poured in a lot of great games for the day. This arcade was amoung
the very first in the country to get this new game out of Japan featuring
a giant monkey kidnapping a girl. And I got to play it for free severla
times before Donkey Kong was put out on the floor. It also got for a time
Atari's largest pinball ever, so big it used a pool cueball for the main
ball. Turned out to be rather dull because it was so slow, but it was
memorable. Problem is, I now cannot remember the name. It was bid and
spacious, about 160 ft. x 85 ft, over 140 games including a row of 25
pac-man's. And they needed more security than they had, but Bally would
not allow them to hire more people, so the manager struck a deal with
three of us to help with security on Fridays and Saturdays. Then after
close, we each got a clipboard and set of keys, and got about an hour to
two hours of free game play each night. Man, I got good at Crazy Climber.

About two years later, Bally finally bought out Pin-Pan Ally and closed
GRF, since PPA was still the better of the arcades. But I liked GRF
better myself.

No. 2: Atari Adventure - Northwest Plaza, St. Ann, MO, 1983.

It had an area at the front that had a bunch of Atari 8-bits (1200XLs) set
up for open use. Rental was $4 per hour, but I managed to get in good
with the manager and attendents, such that I got a lot of free time. Just
outside this enclosed area was Space Ace. One attendent called it Space
Case - a name I still use. This arcade had roughly 40 machines. But it
had sufficient security problems that the Shopping Center management
decided to evict them after major fights broke out three weekends in a
row. It had some great games like Wacko, several Atari uprights I never
saw elsewhere, and an original cabinet Major Havok.

No. 3: Gunther's Games, downtown Columbia, MO, 1987 to recent times.

Some time after Bally bought out Pin Pan Alley, they started closing
arcades, and PPA was amoung them. One of the original owners of PPA
bought the lease from Bally and reopened it as Gunther's Games. The owner
is a regional distributor of games, and he still puts the latest, greatest
and most popular in this arcade. Still has the old Chicago alley
atmosphere it had in 1980, when it opened. Loud music selected to play
games by. And adequate security to keep it family friendly in a town that
once was regarded as a top party school town (playboy top 5 contender from
1974 to 1985, getting top nod at least twice). I used to hit this on a
lunch break on a delivery route out of St. Louis, and whenever I pass
through Columbia, I still try to stop in.

No. 4: Tilt NW Plaza - Northwest Plaza, St. Ann, MO, 1989 to present.

I was the first new hire to this store. The crew already in place or
selected to come in soon were from other, smaller, nearby stores. My
first day going down the steps from the food court into this place was the
first day they were bringing in games. The 40,000 square feet were almost
empty. Unassembled Skee-Balls and air cannon games were along one wall
and a mound of unassembled Hot Shots lay near a far corner from the
steps. The Power Tower and Carousel were in place but dark. The Frog Bog
pool was erected but empty and had now counters around it. There was one
legless pin sitting on the floor near the miniature golf which had no
artificial plantlife around it yet, only the major decorative pieces; the
Cardinal Tree, the Mark Twain Gazebo, the scale Union Station and a couple
other pieces. There were 3 or 4 arcade games.

After filling out tax papers, I was involved with bringing in upright and
sit-down vids, pins and ticket games. I helped assemble some skee-balls,
a light gun game called Laser Tron, and three brand new pins. I also
helped bring in a fully assembled Galaxy Force motion base sit-down that
was to big to fit in any of the doors. We ended up turing it on its side
and removing some of the "roll-cage". In that process, we damaged 16
wire harnesses that caused the maching to be down for the first two weeks
the arcade was open.

The day before the scheduled grand opening, I was assigned by one of the
"Ram Rods" (the district managers that had converged to help open the
store) to help count and bag tokens. Then a shift coordinator got huffy
and said only management could handle tokens. I was made to stand in the
hall just outside the room while she made sure everyone knew what was
supposed to be going on. Then, just as she was about to leave, the
Manager and the company owner walked in. The manager asked why so many
Ram Rods were in there counting tokens, and proceded to chew her a new
asshole right there in front of Mr. Singer. Mr. Singer, Eric (the
manager) and this lady went in the other room, and Eric stuck his head
out, pointed to me, told me to resume counting and sent all but one Ram
Rod out on the floor to oversee other projects. The lady came out of the
office, stormed out, and disappeared until grand opening, three days later
(they flunk two fire marshal's inspections). That night, I handled over
$250,000 worth of tokens at 4 for $1. 1,247,136 to be exact. One bag of
3000 tokens was missing and later found to have missed the shipment from
the minting facility in Texas, and over all the bags, an extra 136 tokens
were counted.

Two days before Christmas, I was the first new hire within the store to be
offered a promotion to assistant manager. I turned it down, as I was
going to school at the time, and felt I had a better career path that
way. This has proven to be a very good decision, as Nickels and Dimes,
Inc. has a track record for chewing through management personnel, and with
arcades on a down trend, this company has closed so many stores and laid
off so many people that I doubt I would have had much of a career with
them.

In March, 1990, I met a girl on her second day that has changed my life.
When I get done posting this message, I will gather up our two kids and go
pick her up from her present job. Yes, I met my wife in a video game
arcade.

Needless to say, no. 4 is the most significant arcade in my life.

--
The Starsabre is a British blade. Please reverse the r and e
to reply to me directly.

DRSMITH666

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Nov 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/25/00
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>That night, I handled over
>$250,000 worth of tokens at 4 for $1. 1,247,136 to be exact.

Say, I've been wanting to get an 'insider's' point of view, and now that you
have mentioned it - what is your best guess at how long it would take an arcade
to generate $250,000 worth of token sales??????

jt august

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Nov 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/25/00
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In article <20001125034346...@ng-mf1.aol.com>,
drsmi...@aol.com (DRSMITH666) wrote:

> >That night, I handled over
> >$250,000 worth of tokens at 4 for $1. 1,247,136 to be exact.
>

> Say, I've been wanting to get an 'insider's' point of view, and now that you
> have mentioned it - what is your best guess at how long it would take an
arcade
> to generate $250,000 worth of token sales??????

Well, Tilt NW Plaza is 40,000 square feet, and everything except the golf
course was token set. The simulation theatre (a Doron SR2 with a 16mm
projector on board) was 10 tokens, the Carousel and Power Tower (an
electronic High Striker) were 2 tokens per guest, the Frog Bog carnival
game was one token, and all games were 1 to 4 tokens per play. Tokens
then were 3 for $1 or 20 for $5. The arcade area had at opening 187 vids,
12 pins, 64 ticket games and 23 kiddie attractions (games and rides).
From opening a week and a half before Thanksgiving 1989 through the
Christmas break of that year, the place was outside school hours and
almost every game was in continuous play unless it was down. With average
play lasting rouhgly three minutes (ticket games less, a good pin run
longer, all averages out), that comes to roughly $1450 per hour. Monday
through Thursday had roughly 5 hours peak (4:30 to 10:10, closed at 11),
Fridays had 6 hours (closed at midnight), Saturday hours were 10 to
midnight, and the first hour was slow, and it finally calmed about 11:30.
Sunday was noon to 9, and was busiest from 12:30 to close (people had to
be herded out at close on Sunday). So to do some basic math, we come up
with roughly 68,100 per week. Probably more because there was some volume
during the day before the teens got out of school. Then Thanksgiving
weekend was massive and I won't even try to estimate sales during
Christmas break. The arcade was opened from 4 to 8 on Christmas day
itself, and did pathetic, but the rest of the time, sheesh. I was a part
timer and got overtime that week. One thing was that after close, the
whole store had to be carpet shampooed due to heavy foot traffic and all
the muck coming in from outside on that snowy year. Twice that week, the
head tech who arrived daily at 6 a.m. got there before I was done with the
shapooer.

Now this is not typical because this arcade is not typical. And today,
volume is so low that they no longer open on holidays along with the movie
theatre upstairs, and they no longer stay open past mall hours. And on a
busy Friday night, there are many games open. I predict that after the 20
year lease expires, this store will close. The mini golf does about 10
customers a week, there hasn't been a birthday party in any party rooms in
over two years, the carousel, SR2 Simulator, Power Tower and Frog Bog are
all gone. The total game count is down to about 110 machines, of which
only 2 are pins, and a whole wall of 28 games is MK3s, MK4s, KIs and KI2s
that I never see anyone play. The only games still there from grand
opening are 6 of the original 12 skeeballs, 4 of the original 10 hot shots
(basketball skill game), and six of the original 18 air gun games, and the
Galaxy Force motion base sitdown that is down three to five weeks at a
time and then up for less than two weeks before going down. The current
selling price is $3999, which no one will pay for a 14 year old machine
that doesn't work and is difficult to get parts for.

So anyway, back then, they did over a quarter million before that
Christmas (counting mini-golf and popcorn truck sales which I did not
recount earlier), but today they do well under a quarter of that dollar
volume in the same period.

The Goods

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Nov 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/25/00
to
In Hutchinson Kansas, population 40,00 we had a Lamans (Basically
Alladins Castle) and directly across the street from that we had a
poolhall-arcade called J. RIGGS with at least 30 games, then 10 blocks
from all that we had Showbiz pizza. This is all before there was a mall
in the area and it just makes me wonder why the hell Im addicted to
frickin video games.


Robert Morgan

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Nov 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/26/00
to
Hmm...

1) Funway Freeway, Greenwood Park Mall, Greenwood IN late 1970s

My first arcade. Walls were painted black and had gigantic street signs all
over the walls- the really big ones "wrapped" onto the ceiling... about 80-100
games, lots of pinballs. L-shaped store; games along each wall, with games
back-to-back down the middle, effectively making a "race track" thru the store-
start by going in on the right or left side of the entrance, grab some tokens,
play your way around, and when you emerge, it's on the opposite side of the
entrance from where you came in.

Most of the games- of course- were black and white... lots of
electromechanical games; the Midway sub games, Space Invaders and rip offs,
lots of pinballs. Space Invaders pinball always fascinated me, with the wide
cabinet and infinite lights/mirrors design on the backglass.

2) Bally's Aladdin's Castle- in the former Funway Freeway above...
Ohhh.... the zenith of the 80s arcade era. Bally kept the old Funway Freeway
decorations up- the only design changes were the removal of portions of the
"street signs" that touched the ceiling- probably a fire hazard- and a new sign
out front. Originally had the same amount of games as FF, but it expanded- at
the height of the arcade explosion, the arcade also rented out space in the
middle of the mall's hallway out front, so there were about 100 games in the
room, 50 more out front... wow.

All the games were cranked... there was a Crossbow in the back at the end of
the L that jogged back; you could sit in the back of the pizzeria across the
hall in the mall, and hear Crossbow being played. low lights...

Memorable games- oh man, there were so many over the years. Environmental
Discs of Tron, Freedom Fighter (laserdisc game using Galaxy Express 999
footage). Even had cool games into the early 90s, like Strider.

I used to buy whole rolls of tokens there and play play play. My mom
eventually got a 2nd job there- i didn't get free games or tokens, either, but
I didn't care.

3) Great Escape, same mall...
...and while Bally had the AC and hallway space, they *also* ran another arcade
in the same mall, that used the same tokens. Oh, my God... another 80 or so
games... so during the 80s, I could go to my local mall and have access to
over 200 games. Wow.

The Aladdin's Castle and Great Escape closed, and the arcade in the mall now is
a Time Out that has about 20 games, about 20 redemption pieces... they don't
even have as many Skee-Balls as they used to have in just the Great Escape.
It's quite sad... oh, and they removed the Ms. Pac, Galaga, and Pole Position
about a year ago. Bastards.

3 arcades at Washington Square Mall...
2 of the arcades, at opposite ends, used the same tokens as each other a la the
two Bally owned places at Greenwood Park. The 3rd was a hallway-space place
that used quarters...

Don't recall the names of the arcades... but where the Greenwood Park arcades
had the cool all-time classics, Washington Square had the sleepers, crazy
games, and rare titles. 2 I, Robots, a TX-1, a sit-down Interstellar, sit-down
Star Trek, round Blaster cabinet, 2 Bubbles, the laser Cobra Command, Super
Dodge Ball... they had Atari/Namco's electro F1 til the late 80s, Shoot Away,
Hyperball.

All of these are closed, too...

--
SIG alert... looking for a cheap Pioneer LaserActive, and a working RDI
Halcyon.
Maintainer of View-Master InteractiveVision FAQ; e-mail for latest version
(2.0.1)
.

Kirk Is

unread,
Nov 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/26/00
to

Not the most interesting thread to me, but still, here I go:

Aviation Mall in Glens Falls New York.
Can't even quite remember the name-- Fun&Games or the Goldmine. Most of
my memories are a little later than 1983. Kind of a dark place. Every
year for Christmas they'd put pricetags on all the machines... i remember
Gauntlet for $10,000.

Sorry, that was kind of lame...

--
Kirk Israel - kis...@cs.tufts.edu - http://www.alienbill.com
DEALING WITH MORTALITY: A Skeptic's Guide - http://kisrael.com/mortal/

Rob

unread,
Nov 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/26/00
to
Kirk Is <kis...@andante.eecs.tufts.edu> wrote:
>Aviation Mall in Glens Falls New York.
>Can't even quite remember the name-- Fun&Games or the Goldmine. Most of
>my memories are a little later than 1983. Kind of a dark place. Every

I think it was the Goldmine - I was making a lot of trips to
Queensbury in 1989 and I'm sure I stopped in there then. I assume
it's closed now, since the Goldmine in Clifton Park closed about 5
years ago.

Rob

unread,
Nov 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/26/00
to
OK, I guess I'm gonna try to do the whole memory lane thing here.

Just Fun - Fairfield Mall, Chicopee, MA
1978-1999 (at least - may still be open)

The first arcade I was aware of, thanks to my mom (a school
teacher) taking us to the Friendly's next door once a week. I
assume it was 1978 because the noises that drew us in were Space
Invaders, Depth Charge and Sea Wolf. On the other side was a
Karmelkorn, so between Friendly's and that it had a real carnival
atmosphere, dark with a lot of mirrors and a bit of neon or
something.

Over the next few years we discovered a lot of different games
there, some common, some odd: Asteroids, Atari Football, Sprint,
Stratovox, Astro Invader, Astro Blaster, Galaxian, Vanguard and
Venture. Oddly enough, by the time I was old enough to walk to
the mall, I don't remember going in there to play games. I do
remember going there when I was about 16 or 17 to meet someone
who never showed up. At some point they brightened up the place,
and like most other arcades with that policy, it lost a lot of
business. For all I know, though, this one may still be open, I
have to admit I haven't been to that mall in a few years.

Dream Machine - Eastfield Mall, Springfield, MA
1978-1989?

I think this was the first place I played Pac-Man. I didn't get
here too often, but it was still open the first time I went back
after leaving the area, around Xmas 1987. It was laid out not
unlike that 3D video clip that was going around with that
horrible Styx song playing in the background, but smaller, with a
flat area as you walked in and a raised platform behind the
change machine with ramps or stairs down on either side. I think
I played Gauntlet a lot here too, but I might be thinking of the
RPI student union.

Rodeway Lanes - Springfield, MA
1978-????

My brother and I joined a kids' bowling league sometime before my
mom remarried. I've always been very funny about bowling - the
more I do it, the worse my average gets. So, my memories of this
league: Going to a place called Joe's Pizza (who ended up
sponsoring us) after tourneys, who served pizza with about an
inch of cheese on it. Hearing our coach, a man named Charlie,
chant his litany of "Shoulda had 'em all!" every time we'd throw
a blatantly bad ball. 'Winning' the last place trophy, which I'm
sure my mom still has somewhere. The taste of the dogs and fries
from the kitchen - I've had as good since then, but rarely. And
most prominently, my habit of bowling as fast as I could so I'd
have more time to run up to their little dozen-game arcade and
drop some quarters.

This was another one that was mostly pinballs when I first
encountered it, but quickly got Space Invaders and Depth Charge
(which I didn't care for all that much but keep mentioning it for
the noise it made, something arcades really lack now), then
Scramble (soon replaced by Super Cobra), Galaxian, Moon Cresta
(or was it Eagle?), and I think eventually Pac-Man and Donkey
Kong Jr. My strongest memories of that one are Space Invaders
and Super Cobra. Towards the end, Frogger and Mr. Do were big as
well. My stepbrother worked there for years after high school,
but I never went back after I was done with bowling.

Brunswick Lanes - Springfield, MA
1980-1984

My brother and I had a friend who lived about 50 yards from this
bowling alley, situated in the same strip mall I mentioned in my
previous post. They had a huge (for a bowling alley)
glass-enclosed game room with about 25 games in it. I have
strong memories of a lot of games at this place, including
bootleg Pac-Man, Congorilla (a bootleg Donkey Kong), Missile
Command, Asteroids Deluxe, Lunar Lander, Galaxian, Gorf, Wizard
of Wor, Space Invaders, Tempest, Space Duel (especially), Dig Dug,
Defender, and Berzerk.

One day, in the middle of the crash, we went over to play some
games only to find that the game room was closed. There was a
row of about 10 games tucked away in a corner, but the only good
ones left were a Donkey Kong (brand new but with the changer
broken so we could get free games) and Serpentine or whatever
that game is where you're a snake in a Pac-Man-like maze trying
to whatever that game is where you're a snake in a Pac-Man-like
maze trying to avoid your own tail. Oh, they had Sinistar too,
and I sucked bad at it. And I think the place closed not long
after that, but it's still there today so it may still be open
and maybe even have some games.

Family Fun Center - Falmouth, MA
1980-1986

Each year, my family would vacation for a few weeks on Cape Cod.
The place we eventually settled on was near the shore, about a
mile from downtown. This bowling alley arcade was about the size
of the Brunswick but had more skee-ball machines. Its selection
was always interesting, though. Each year they'd have a game I'd
never seen anywhere else. I don't remember most of them, but in
1983 it was Mappy (probably still my favorite to date) and in
1985 it was Super Sprint. In 1987 I had the car a lot and I was
looking for other things in my vacation, but I've always felt
fond about this arcade. It's changed names a few times and my
family vacations on the other side of the Cape (and my partner
and I go all the way out to the end) but as far as I know it was
still there when we stopped in Falmouth this summer.

Just Fun, Fun Too and Space Time - Holyoke Mall, Holyoke, MA
1981-1999, 1981-1984, 1981-1985

Yes, this mall had THREE arcades, each at least as big as the one
in Fairfield, when it opened in 1981. The only thing I remember
ever playing in Fun Too was Ms. Pac Man. Space Time was nothing
but space combat games from Star Fire to Space Invaders, and I
remember playing Bosconian there for some reason. Just Fun at
Holyoke was like the king of arcades around Springfield, with
probably 120 games. They were the first to do the multiple game
thing (with Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, as well as Galaga.) They
were the first to get new games and the first to go for the
"installation" games like sitdown Star Wars and Tron Deadly
Discs. Since it was a 15 minute drive from my house and I had no
car, I only got there a few times a year. The game I remember
playing there most vividly was Crazy Climber. This is the arcade
I mentioned being depressed about when I visited there earlier
this year to find it had closed, replaced with only a blank wall.

RPI Student Union - Troy, NY
1987-1989

During my brief stint at RPI, I spent a lot more time in the lab
full of Sun workstations than the arcade, but I did play here a
lot. Probably about 16 games, with the ones I played most being
Tempest, Rampart, Ataxx and Gain Ground. (Not sure at the last
one - it might have been at Pocket Change, which I guess I'll now
mention later.) There were also heavily played Xenophobe and
Tetris games, neither of which I was interested in. Between the
Amiga and having a Defender console in our living room at the
first place I lived after the dorms, I didn't get down here all
that much.

Just Fun - Guilderland, NY
1987-????

A nondescript, brightly lit late 80's arcade in a nondescript,
brightly lit late 80's mall named Crossgates. I can't even
remember what games they had except that they had Tron (which I
did well at but never as well as I did at Busy B's Corner, below)
and a Galaga, which they later replaced with Galaga 88 which I
sucked at. Nevertheless, I spent a lot of time there because it
was Xgates, which was mall rat heaven in the day when even
hipster doofi could be mall rats. Maybe this is where I played
Gain Ground. Anyway, it closed in the mid-90's, to be replaced
by a Namco something-or-other in a new section of the mall which
is mostly those games I whine about (racing, rifles and 3D Virtua
Kick The Shit Out Of Someone.)

Pocket Change - Colonie, NY
1992-????

Maybe not 1992, but whatever year Street Fighter II was big,
anyway. A friend dragged me there once a week for about a month
to try to teach me SF2. I could never pick it up and always
ended up playing Galaga. Again, though, I spent a lot of time
there during that period. This place hung on until earlier this
year, when it closed to be replaced recently by a small Kay-Bee
overstock outlet.


As I mentioned before, though, I did most of my playing at little
places with one or two games.

Pizza Hut - Fairview, MA - 1980

The first place I ever played Asteroids, just once. I liked it a
lot better than Space Invaders, though. ot better than Space
Invaders, though. I remember that Pizza Hut being huge and dark,
but I guess I was 10 years old. Still open as far as I know,
though I'm sure the game has changed if they still have one (some
PH's do, most often Ms. Pac-Man.)

Tony's Pizza - Chicopee, MA - 1981-1982

Tony's just had a beat-up Galaxian, and the best (and cheapest)
pizza within biking distance. It was dingy and smoky, but
brightly lit and smelled great. It was actually my first
encounter with Galaxian, and I probably spent more time with the
other kids in the neighborhood during that year before they
closed than at any other time. I think they had another game
before or after Galaxian, but that's the one I remember. It's
now a very small dance studio.

Falls Pizza - Chicopee, MA - 1982

Located about a mile and a half from my house, this dark little
pizzeria was where I went to get away. They had the first
Centipede game I remember seeing, and I got pretty good at it.
Unfortunately, after a few months someone ratted me out, and one
day the ol' Crown Vic showed up outside the front door and I was
busted. Place is still open, though.

Busy B's Corner - Chicopee, MA - 1980-1983

This was a convenience store right where I waited for my bus for
junior high. It started out just like any other variety store,
kind of dark with some bread and milk of indeterminate age, but
then someone bought it and decided to make something of it. They
started making subs and (microwave) pizzas, and made a lot of
money off of kids waiting for buses and park workers coming in
before work. They put better lighting in, and some cheap carpet.
They also got, in succession, Asteroids (tabletop), Tron, Galaga,
Ms. Pac Man, and Congo Bongo. Except for the last two, I got
really good at all those games because I'd spend about an hour a
day playing them. Then, over the course of a weekend, the
convenience store closed and they refurbed it as an apartment.

Falls Convenience - Chicopee, MA - 1981

Not an arcade experience, but videogame related for sure. This
place has had a lot of different names, so this is probably the
wrong one. It's on a narrow plot wedged between the "new
highway" as my parents call it and the street my elementary
school is on. It's the kind of place that posts the daily
numbers outside in letters big enough that you can see them about
a mile away. It was in the dank basement of an apartment
building, and had the look of most other variety stores of that
day that specialized in lottery tickets and smokes. We would go
down there after school to get Twinkies or whatever, and then one
day the guy asked if we wanted to play Atari (a 6-switch
woodgrain VCS) for a quarter. He would give us 15 minutes, and
he had a bunch of what I'd now call commons but one of them was
Asteroids, which I hadn't played. So for about a month, a couple
times a week I would play Atari Asteroids for 15 minutes. I
think he got Missile Command too, after a while. Eventually it
got to the point where 15 minutes wasn't even a game for me. So
I stopped playing, saying my mom was waiting for me, and after a
few weeks he took the Atari back upstairs. I never saw anyone
else playing it, though, so maybe it was just me.

Of all of these, my fondest memories are of Just Fun (Fairfield),
Brunswick Lanes, and Busy B's. There were some other places I
remember fondly (the huge arcade at Disneyland in 1981 comes to
mind, and a couple of those little arcades-in-a-trailer that
appear at parking lot carnies) but not enough to wax nostalgic
about.

So this is what midlife crisis feels like, eh? Great.

DRSMITH666

unread,
Nov 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/27/00
to
WOW. Well, as long as we are also discussing non-arcade memories:

About a mile up the road from my house, there was a Pizza Hut that had a
cocktail Space Invaders game, so I would go up there with a few dollars, get
change for a dollar, play 4 games, go up and get 4 more quarters, etc. Finally,
the guy came up to me and said "Hey, this is a PIZZA HUT, NOT AN ARCADE !!!"

Then, not too far from the Pizza Hut, there was a 7-11 with Star Castle. Now I
LOVED STAR CASTLE, and would ride my bike up just to play it! Never really got
very good, maybe destroy 1 or 2 ships, but OH what a feeling!

About a mile away in a different direction, there was a 2 screen walk in
theatre that had a Space Invaders in the lobby. This was the first place I saw
this game, and fell in love with it.

Not too far from this, there was a "Book Nook" near a K-Mart that had a few
video games. One was Defender (which till this day is too complicated for me),
and a Space Invaders knock-off which I hadn't seen before called SEGA SPACE
ATTACK - I kicked ass on this game!!!!

Then, there was a Liquor store about 2 MIN walking distance from my house which
had a DONKEY KONG machine. Many happy times there.

I could go on and on and on. There were video games
EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

O_v

unread,
Nov 27, 2000, 8:04:40 PM11/27/00
to
Whilst reliving childhood traumas, O_v spied DRSMITH666's 27 Nov 2000
message...

>I could go on and on and on. There were video games
>EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You ain't kiddin'. I played most of my arcade games in the grocery stores
while waiting for my Mom to finish shopping. Donkey Kong and Crystal
Castles were on the menu most of the time.

Then there was Showbiz Pizza Place, Chuck E. Cheese, Dorignac's Food Mart,
etc. etc.

<ASIDE>Showbiz put in some computers running speech synthesizer apps. Type
in a sentece and "Billy Bob," the company's mascot would repeat it. (Funny
how Billy Bob sounded exactly like S.A.M., "the Software Automated Mouth
for the Commodore 64 Compuuuuuutor.) Anyway, Billy would say most
everything, except for curse words. "Eat Shit" produced: "Eat Billy Bob
will not say that word." I was too young and stupid to think about trying
to fool it phonetically.)</ASIDE>

nymechanicalbr08

unread,
Nov 30, 2000, 11:16:14 PM11/30/00
to
ok i am going to give this a shot although i dont remember much from
1983 ( i was 2 years old!)

i remember a time out arcade in The Rainbow Centre Mall (niagara falls,
ny, downtown) (this mall just recently closed and all my memories went
down with it! waaaaaaaaaaaaa)

this arcade had 2 rooms
when you first walked in there was a huge mirror that says time out for
fun (this thing was like wall sized, always scared me)
and in front of the mirror was a white space ship kiddie ride that was
big enough for me and my mom to ride in
then when you first walked into the first room there would be this
little yellow and red car kiddie ride which was one of my personal
favorites at the time
i also used to play a lot of skeeball in this arcade, they only had 2
skeeball machines and sometimes the display on these would be messed
up, unlike the other arcade which i am about to describe which had like
6 skee ball machines, (i spent a lot of time at the skee ball machines)
the prize redemption center was a glass case up against the wall
then there was both a pole position cockpit and a pole position
upright, i dont know if both of these were in the arcade at the same
time but i do recall both of them being there at some point or another
there were some crane redemption games lining the side walls of the
arcade there was this car racing game in the middle which looked like a
giant cocktail with a bar over the top (looked like exidy's car polo)(
i always thought this one was strange)
then later on an after burner cockpit was put right in the middle of
the front of the first room (thats probably the most recent thing i
remember from that arcade)

then you would walk to the side and there was a smaller room, i
remember there being a star wars cockpit game buried in the corner, i
remember its exact location, and i dont know what else was in that
room, probably some other uprights, and a couple pinballs...

arcade #2 Summit Park mall

ok this mall had a lot more stores then than it does now, there is
still an arcade there but it is VERY poorly maintained and the games
look like they could stop working anyday...(its a REALLY small arcade)
(this arcade was really big in the heyday)

i remember at least 4 skeeball machines (possibly 6 at one point) in
the back next to them was the prize redemption center, then there were
some animals hanging above the machines and the redemption center)

(the games were lined against the walls i dont remember there being
much in the middle of this arcade)

there was an out run upright that i was totally fasinated with at the
time i thought the shaking motion on the wheel was too cool...

that same star wars cockpit i believe fluctuated its location between
this arcade and arcade #1 ( i used to love that game)

then there was a thunder blade cockpit right in the front of the arcade
near the huge window..

that is all i can remember from that arcade..


Arcade #3 Outlet mall, Niagara falls, ny

this mall has recently been expanded to be called the prime outlets
mall, it currently doesnt have any arcade..

this mall never really had much of an arcade, it wasnt a really big one
they used to have all the cockpit machines against a wall right outside
the arcade, they werent motion though, more like the monaco gp type and
the turbo type..

and when you went in there would be a crane machine that would be super
easy to win on..

in the middle there was a little black car kiddie ride

and there was a pac man upright in there ( i remember me and my aunt
used to play pac man in there)

and in the front there was this double vs system cab which had vs
slalom on one side and i used to love to play this game it had the ski
attachment and everything..

and in the back corner was a cockpit game of some sort (not motion) it
was really crammed in there..

there were others that were too numerous to mention but another notable
was the major magic arcade (like chuck e cheese) we used to go there
for my moms christmas partys from her work.. they did not close that
long ago, i was probably like 12-13 when they closed... (the memories
dang!)

well i think thats enough for now sorry everything here is not 1983 but
this is all i remember from my childhood!


Sara
SaraAB on IRC
Proud winner of the scary game awards "Worst original Video"
"Conversions make baby jesus cry"


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

jt august

unread,
Dec 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/3/00
to
In article <Cs0hOmkUiJ=nu04BtXE...@4ax.com>, ku...@ties.org wrote:

> I think it was the Goldmine - I was making a lot of trips to
> Queensbury in 1989 and I'm sure I stopped in there then. I assume
> it's closed now, since the Goldmine in Clifton Park closed about 5
> years ago.

All Goldmines are now gone - per se. Nickels and Dime Inc. either closed
them or changed them over to Tilts about 4-7 years ago. Since that time,
about 80% of all former Goldmines changed to Tilts have since closed. (It
helps that I am still good friends with one of N&D's higher ranked execs.)

phil...@gmail.com

unread,
Jun 4, 2016, 4:42:56 PM6/4/16
to
Not sure which location you are speaking about, but I ran Detour with my twin brother and Ken from 1979 to the time it closed in 82.. this was,a great place to have worked. It was not only an arcade but Coronado High school hang out.. I still keep in touch with the friends I made,there going thru high school..
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