Geoffrey Danek has been an avid collector of pinball machines for years, but it wasn’t until 2015 that he went to his first-ever tournament at The Windup Space to play with fellow aficionados of the game.
Over the past year, Baltimore’s National Pinball Museum shut down, then announced plans to move, then got bumped from its new location. Since that latest closure, there’s been no word as to what will become of the museum’s treasure trove of arcade games– happily, though, a few other spots have taken up the mantle.
If you haven’t had the chance to check out the relocated National Pinball Museum — and we haven’t — this slideshow on the Huffington Post gives great glimpse into the Inner Harbor attraction.
Here’s what the HuffPo has to say:
The one-of-a-kind museum is a perfect fit for Baltimore, which already boasts quirky attractions like the American Visionary Art Museum, the Baltimore Tattoo Museumand a John Waters-endorsed thrift shop called Killer Trash. (Indeed.)
The two-floor pinball museum offers a history lesson on the ground level, with vintage machines and an exhaustively researched look at the game, which began as yet another way for saloon-goers to gamble. Upstairs, an arcade of playable machines give visitors the opportunity to tilt to their heart’s content, with restored vintage games alongside elaborate ’80s and ’90s contraptions, including one game with horizontaland vertical playing fields.
Open Friday through Sunday, you wouldn’t spend your whole day here, but it’s a pleasant diversion when the harbor-side heat gets to be a bit too much this summer.
Baltimore’s affordability may be attracting more than just twenty-something artists and scenemakers. David Silverman plans to move his National Pinball Museum here from DC this fall. In an interview with The Sun, Silverman said that after he lost his lease at his Georgetown location he couldn’t find anything in the DC area that fit his budget.
If lease negotiations work out, the National Pinball Museum will set up its interactive exhibits of hundreds of historical and modern pinball machines just north of the Inner Harbor. And we’ll be able to credit Baltimore’s affordability with one more little cultural coup.
Silverman’s quirky and mildly-obsessive museum (whose mission statement calls pinball “a looking glass of culture”) will fit perfectly in a city known for celebrating otherwise marginalized art (see American Visionary Art Museum) and even kitsch (see most of Hampden).