Featured Articles: PPM Partners with Other Museums
Check out the following links to some great articles about the Pacific Pinball Museum (or in conjunction with us).
In 2012 we worked hard to spread the love of Pinball Machines to other venues besides our own.
In partnering with other museums and art galleries we have branched out to groups of people who may have never been introduced to Pinball on their own.
Visible Pinball Machine at the Exploratorium
August 20, 2012, San Francisco, CA - http://tippnews.com/national-news/visible-pinball-exhibit-opens-at-exploratorium/
What's New in Arts and Entertainment - New Show at the Pacific Pinball Museum
August 12, 2012, Alameda, CA - http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/What-s-new-in-arts-and-entertainment-Aug-5-3758111.php
Pacific Pinball Museum working hard to preserve their collection:
July 26, 2012, Alameda, CA - http://www.insidebayarea.com/timesstar/localnews/ci_21165479/pinball-wizards-at-work-at-alameda-point
Enthusiasm over pinball at full tilt in Bay Area
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle
Michael Schiess' nonprofit Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, formerly known as Lucky JuJu Pinball, has helped lead a pinball resurgence in the Bay Area.
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The Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda started less than a decade ago as an underground arcade - a speakeasy-style location with no promotion and just a few tables. Donations were taken in an old coffee jar near the door.
"It was intentionally under the radar," says founder Michael Schiess. "It was just like a private club. You could bring beer."
The beverages are less exciting now, but everything else about the place is tilting in a bigger, brighter, louder and more artistic direction. There are 100 tables in four rooms, separated by era, with three jukeboxes filled with music to match the mood. Schiess and the museum board will host their fifth Pacific Pinball Exposition in San Rafael this September, and that has grown as well - now the largest pinball event of its kind in the world, spread over three days with tournaments, seminars and movie screenings.
The strength of the museum both reflects and fuels the rise of pinball in the Bay Area. A second pinball-heavy show, the Santa Clara-based California Extreme arcade celebration, returns in July. There are thriving pinball leagues in the East Bay and South Bay. It's no coincidence that the No. 5- and No. 6-ranked pinball players in the world, Andrei Massenkoff and Neil Shatz, both live in San Francisco.
Worldwide pinball manufacturing is tepid at best. Only one company, Stern Pinball, is currently mass-producing tables. But the activity is primed for a resurgence. Bay Area Pinball Association President Eugene Gershtein reports that 2010 was the busiest year for the club since he became president a few years ago. Tournament play across the world is more popular than ever. And pinball has been showing up in unexpected places, including hipster bars in Oakland and San Francisco.
"There's a new bar in the Mission District. ... They actually have a sign in their window that says 'We Have Pinball,' " says Shatz, who plays up to 10 hours per week on tables throughout the Bay Area. "I don't see them at every 7-Eleven, like the 1990s. But after losing so many over the years, we're seeing them come back."
Part of the fun is finding the machines, which are scattered throughout the Bay Area - and not always where a player would expect. The Pacific Pinball Museum and Playland-Not-at-the-Beach in El Cerrito have the largest collections. (Playland has 30 tables. Both museums charge a flat rate for entry and set machines on free play.) Pizza Depot in Sunnyvale and Phoenix Games in Concord both have eight tables.
From there, finding pinball becomes an adventure. An auto battery supplier in San Jose has 12 tables on premises, which are kindly shared on Thursday nights for customers and other invitees. Pinball fanatics know that BrainWash cafe and coin laundry on Folsom Street in San Francisco has three well-maintained tables. The Metreon in San Francisco has four newer machines.
The good news for newcomers: If you know one person in local pinball circles, pretty soon you'll know everyone. While playing at the Metreon, Shatz runs into the distributor who collects tokens from the machines. They both know T.J. Beyer, a local pinball fan who services the machine Shatz is playing. A long list of noted collectors and other big names in pinball are local, including legendary pinball designer Steve Ritchie, who lives in Hollister.
Pinball still has an underground vibe. But Schiess and his board of directors - including his wife, Melissa Harmon, and board President Larry Zartarian - say culture trends run in their favor. The game is very kid friendly, and the social advantages of pinball make it a perfect date-night activity. Instead of the one-person experience of a video game or movie, Schiess calls it "an open-faced sandwich where everyone can get involved."