Seattle Pinball Museum: Interactive Arts and Enormous Fun

Admit it, you’ve dreamed of being a pinball wizard. Someone who could play endlessly, constantly hitting the flippers, getting bonus ball after bonus ball…At the Seattle Pinball Museum, you too can be a pinball wizard.

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For one cost of entry (per person), you can spend the day playing game after game of pinball on machines ranging in age from the 1930s to current day.

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The Seattle Pinball Museum is not located where you would expect to find it – downtown or at the Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle and EMP Museum). No, it is located in a small storefront in Seattle’s International District. Frankly, this odd location is part of the museum’s charm. The location was picked, or I should say the Pinball Museum was chosen for this location, as part of a program called Storefronts Seattle Program. The neighborhood was looking to fill empty storefronts with artwork and creativity. Out of more than one hundred applicants, Seattle Pinball Museum was chosen as an interactive arts display. They opened their doors in August 2010.

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Whether you consider it art or just fun entertainment, Seattle Pinball Museum displays more than 50 pinball machines at any given time (they do rotate some games in and out on occasion). Their motto is “Dedicated to the preservation of pinball for future generations!” and it is great to see kids (and some adults) here who are newly introduced to the game.

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One of our favorite pinball machines is “The Addams Family” with Thing – a hand that reaches out of a box and grabs your pinball, which is then shot out of a “swamp” or re-introduced to the game by Thing itself. Another favorite is the Star Trek game, which features some video imaged pinballs.

Some of the fun older games include Power Play (with a nice tribute to the Chicago Blackhawks!),

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King Tilt,

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and Funland.

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Newer games that piqued our interest were Godzilla and Revenge from Mars (sounds scary doesn’t it?).

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On one recent visit to the museum, I went with my sister, niece and nephew. They all enjoyed the games – especially The Addams Family!

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And, of course, wherever there is a PacMan game to be found, Chad will find it…and dominate!

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The Seattle Pinball Museum is fun for all ages and is a great destination for a rainy day. Adults can pay $15 for one visit or $20 for “multi-entry” which means you can come and go from the museum over the course of one day. Children’s admissions are $12 per visit or $17 for multi-entry. And, for those over 21, the museum serves beer! They also sell food/snacks for people of all ages to enjoy. Or, you can save your appetite and venture a block in any direction for excellent Chinese food in the International District.

Put your inhibitions aside and become the pinball wizard you know you can be at the Seattle Pinball Museum!

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