The Pinball Hall of Fame is a treasure trove of bright flashing lights, dinging bells, and furious button-pushing. Located not far off the Las Vegas strip in an unassuming building, the Pinball Hall of Fame is beloved by locals and traveling aficionados alike.
More than 200 games fill the warehouse; mostly pinball, but there are a few sports-themed games, some great get-the-ball-bearing-in-the-right-hole games, and one strange safe-breaking game, ranging from around the 1940s era to modern day. A few games cost ten cents per play, most cost 25¢, and the newest pinball games cost $1.
The seed for Pinball Hall of Fame was planted in 1972 in Michigan when a 16-year-old boy purchased a used pinball machine and charged the neighborhood kids to play it. Tim Arnold grew up to operate a number of arcades in Michigan, and did well enough that he was able to “retire” to Las Vegas in the early ’90s.
By the time he decided to make the move out to the desert, he had amassed around 1,000 pinball machines in various states of refurbishment, bringing every last machine came with him to Las Vegas. Tim spent the next 20 years working on his machines and holding “Fun Nights” for locals in the know. Folks would come to play the games, and Tim donated the money he made to charity.
The Pinball Hall of Fame opened in its current location in 2009, and after the cost to keep it running, Tim still donates the money earned to charity, 25¢ at a time.