Guinness Book Video Game & Pinball Masters Tournament
A new Arcade/Museum comes to Las Vegas
Tim Arnold has collected one of every Pinball Game ever manufactured for you
The pinball craze was at its peak from the 1950s through the ’70s, when manufacturers
produced 2,000 games a year and even outgrossed Hollywood at the cashier’s cage. But
now this genre has all but disapeared.
Tim Arnold doesn't want the legacy of pinball history to end. And he has a plan to
make sure it doesn't: building a pinball museum, called the Pinball Hall of Fame (PHoF)
or the Las Vegas Pinball Collector's Club.
Welcome to Las Vegas
Tim was a successful arcade owner in East Lansing, Mich., during the video game boom
of the late '70s and into the '80s ("when we used to haul money around with shovels"),
Arnold retired at 35 and left his home state with his wife, Charlotte, for Las Vegas
to pursue his dream of opening a pinball museum. Tim owns one of the largest collections
of pinball machines in the world, with over 1000 in his warehouse. In many instances,
the classic pins are the only examples or nearly the only examples of this piece of
Americana for those eras.
Las Vegas had several factors going for it: the dry climate, making it suitable
for storage; and its reputation as a popular vacation destination.
Tim Arnold, Las Vegas Pinball Collector
Tim Arnold has just about every pinball game ever made and now the general public can
play them. During the March Fun Nights, however, Arnold said there were 600 pinball
fans in attendance. All the legal work is set up to run this arcade as a nonprofit
organization for the pinball museum. There were about 400 games set for free play
including a nice selection of video games.
Tim Arnold Raises money for his dream
He needed to raise money for his giant arcade museum which is the size of a large
Tim Arnold - And the Pinball Hall of Fame
This money came from donations at the event he would hold twice a year called
"Fun Night" in which the public can play all of his games.
Arnold owns one of the largest pinball collections in the world more than 1,000 by his
estimation. Of course, that's counting large, single pieces of machines older than he
"Casinos are everywhere else. Vegas needs that weird oddball (stuff) that sits in
the corner -- the Elvis Museum, the Liberace Museum -- offering unique things that
aren't available anywhere else in the world," he said.
Pinball Hall Of Fame Update Now Open 7 Days/week Link
January 22, 2006
Tim Arnold - Pinball Hall of Fame
Tim Arnold, trusty Pin Monkey side-kick Hippie with lots of behind the scene help
from Charlotte have now opened the largest public pinball arcade in the world! It
is open from 11am to 11pm 7 days a week. Games are 25 to 50 cents per game with room
for 200 pristine machines in fully working condition as only the God of Pinball can
pull off. The address is 3330 East Tropicana, Las Vegas, NV; next to the Discount
Theatre, Comic Book shop, 24 hr. Restraint/Bar/Cop hangout and the AA fellowship.
Talk about one stop shopping! The arcade has seven rows of pinball machines,
video games and novelty machines. The vintage pinball machines are from the 1930s
to the 1990s will be displayed & operated.
Tim Arnold's Pinball Palace - A visit to Tim Arnold's warehouse in Las Vegas:
Tim has every Gottlieb EM pinball except for one, and all but fifteen Gottliebs
until they closed in 1997. The entrance to Tim's backyard "barn". It's a steel
building with a steel roof and skylights (natural UV light, which he regrets using).
It is NOT a pole barn. There are no beams in the middle of the building to navigate
around (much more expensive than a pole barn). The building is "L" shaped, and huge.
It uses a heat pump for air cooling and circulation.
There is a row of Gottlieb wedgeheads form the 1960's.
There is a relay then pulses the token dispenser and two knockers. The token is
spit out onto the top glass. The top glasses are covered with cardboard to prevent
color fading from the natural UV light.
Then there is the row of woodrails. The back glasses have been taken out and are
stored inside out of reach of any damage.
There are many of his 1960's metal rail pinball's that haven't yet been restored.
Pinball's Left: More bodies and heads, stacked to the ceiling.
Pinball's Right: Legs legs legs legs.
For more information contact Tim Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone: (702) 434-9746
LAS VEGAS SUN Link
May 05, 2003
Bumper Crop: Arnold flips for vintage pinball machines
By Kirk Baird email@example.com>
LAS VEGAS SUN
Perhaps it's a backhanded compliment, but Tim Arnold is master of The Land That
And that's the problem.
Arnold doesn't want people to forget.
A lifetime pinball junkie, the 46-year-old has lived to see the near-extinction of
his beloved machines.
Where the pinball industry once flourished, even out grossing Hollywood in the '50s,
the business is now scarcely relevant.
Williams, Bally, Gottlieb ... instantly recognizable names to pinball fanatics
(aka pinheads), none of these companies manufacture the games anymore.
Only Stern is the sole survivor of the pinball wars. The Illinois-based company
releases three to four machines annually a pittance when compared to the 2,000 or
more games released every year in pinball's heyday in the '60s and early '70s.
"And they don't have a parent company backing them up," Arnold said. "One hiccup
and they're gone ... it could all end."
And those places that do carry pinball machines are becoming fewer and fewer.
Dave Palmer, division manager of Mountain Coin, a Las Vegas video game and pinball
distributor, estimates he places one pinball machine for every 100 video games.
"Pinball was primarily set up for the bar market. But as space becomes less available
in bars, we've started placing more games that take up less space, such as Golf,'"
"There are fewer and fewer places to play them where they'd make the operator more
money. Nowadays, we're placing more in homes than in locations."
But Arnold doesn't want it to end. And he has a plan to make sure it doesn't:
building a pinball museum.
Arnold owns one of the largest pinball collections in the world more than 1,000
by his estimation. Of course, that's counting large, single pieces of machines
older than he is.
Pinball's at Tim Arnold's new Facility on the Las Vegas Strip
But 400 of his games are ready to play, after Arnold painstakingly rebuilt them
from existing parts by cannibalizing other machines and from junk heaps he has
combed through for the last decade.
The pinball's and the assorted pieces are all housed in a large, industrial-style
warehouse behind his home. Those games that are playable are aligned neatly and
chronologically side by side in several long rows.
And underneath those games, in an ingenious space-saving ploy, are the wooden
playing fields of hundreds of other games, while still other pieces line the
walls almost to the ceiling.
"You don't know how much it breaks my heart to see them (the games) this close
together and with stuff on top of them," he said.
Is it any wonder he's looking for a new home for his games?
Detractors have called the notion of a pinball museum a far-fetched idea, and even
a financial disaster in the making.
Arnold doesn't dispute their position.
"I kind of have to agree with them," he said. "If there was a need for 500 to
600 pinball games in a room, it would already exist.
"But I look at this thing as being unique in the entire world. So why isn't it open
to the public?"
To house the bulk of his collection, Arnold said he would need about 25 square
feet per game, or about 25,000 square feet -- basically, a building the size of
Then there's the electric and ventilation issues necessary to run the machines and
keep both the games -- and those playing them -- from overheating.
Arnold estimates the total cost at $1 million.
So far he's raised $130,000 in only a year and a half.
Some of that money has come from "Fun Night," a twice-annual event in which he opens
his warehouse to the public.
While admission is free, donations are accepted.
But it's not the building fund that takes priority on those nights. The bulk of the
fund-raising is for the Salvation Army. At the two Fun Nights in March, $20,000 was
rose for the charity.
But Fun Night is also meaningful in another way: It proves that there is a market
for a museum.
When Arnold began the event in 1992, there were about a dozen in attendance and
even fewer machines.
"I had to call people to remind them about it," he said.
During the March Fun Nights, however, Arnold said there were 600 pinball fans in
"Fun Night validates that I'm doing something right -- that I've got something here,"
But that's not good enough for lending institutions, Arnold said.
"We're an unproven idea and the banks will not lend money to an unproven idea,"
So Arnold is struggling to come up with more ways to get the money.
He already sells repair videotapes to collectors. And he's gone through all the
legal work to set up a nonprofit organization for the museum.
In the meantime Arnold would like for a generous benefactor to come along.
"I keep hoping someone will give me the $1 million," he said. "But I know that's
not going to happen."
For more information, contact Tim Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still, Arnold said he believes he's in the right city for the museum.
A successful arcade owner in East Lansing, Mich., during the video game boom of the
late '70s and into the '80s ("when we used to haul money around with shovels"),
Arnold retired at 35 and left his home state with his wife, Charlotte, for Las Vegas
to pursue his dream of opening a pinball museum.
Las Vegas had several factors going for it: the dry climate, making it suitable for
storage; and its reputation as a popular vacation destination.
While he has yet to find a location for the museum, he's considering renting a
building -- such as an abandoned grocery or department store -- or even buying
some land and starting from scratch.
The museum won't be posh, he said, since a tight budget won't allow for it.
While the focus of the museum will be pinball, Arnold acknowledges the machines
themselves won't generate enough revenue to keep it operational at a quarter a game
or less -- depending on how old and how popular the game is.
Instead, he will rely on his collection of classic arcade games -- "Pong,"
"Donkey Kong," "Turbo," "Wizard of Wor" -- and mechanical novelties -- BB gun target
practice, crane machines, Gypsy fortune tellers -- to fund much of the financial
"The midway brings them in and the sideshows make the money," he said.
The museum will also feature notes on each game -- many provided by the designers themselves.
The museum will be one of a kind, which is what Las Vegas is all about, Arnold said.
"Casinos are everywhere else. Vegas needs that weird oddball (stuff) that sits in the
corner -- the Elvis museum, the Liberace Museum -- offering unique things that aren't
available anywhere else in the world," he said.
"It takes more than slot machines to keep tourists happy."
And for $1 million, someone could make Arnold very happy as well."
On September 17th, 2003 - There was a Las Vegas, Tim Arnold Family Fun Night. Link
Tim Arnold with Vintage Pinball's
Tim Arnold plans on single-handedly saving the nostalgia of the last pinball games
and reminding people of the art, history and just plain fun of the pinball era and
its people and time in our American History.
Pinball Instructions Link
Tim Arnold in his warehouse
2/7/2006 Twin Galaxies Link
Tim Arnold Opens World's First Museum for Pinball Coin-op and Twin Galaxies hopes to
schedule many annual events at the Museum to identify world champions on hundreds of
"This is an important breakthrough for the entire electronic gaming hobby," exclaims
Twin Galaxies' Chief Editor Walter Day. "The Museum will accomodate contests on rare
titles that seldomly enjoy high-score championships."
Las Vegas is known for the unusual and offbeat. Places like the Liberace Museum, the
Neon Museum, the Clown Factory, The Elvis Museum, the Barry Manilow Store, the Pinball
Hall of Fame... Wait a second. The Pinball Hall of Fame? What exactly is that? Or more
importantly, why exactly is there a Pinball Hall of Fame?
Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:14 pm Post subject: Pinball Museum Link
When should we go to the Museum and hold a big event?? I have this vision of all the
referees and players going as a group to the Museum and playing for 5-7 days straight,
logging scores, verifying scores for the public and having Mini-tournaments.
Who's interested?? How about July 2006??
Tim Arnold's Pinballs in his classics Pinball Arcade Museum in Las Vegas
Tim Arnold, Owner: Pinball Hall of Fame, 3330 E. Tropicana Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada
Opening times are 11am to 9pm every day. Located at the northwest corner of
Tropicana and Pecos, right next to the Tropicana Cinema. Most games are set on
quarter play. Newer games are 2 quarters. Link
Paul Dean, Spy Hunter Champion June 28, 1985
[Coin-Op World Records]
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Biography Commentary Questions
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