On the top floor of the Georgetown Park Mall lies a wonderful secret – the home of the National Pinball Museum. A surprisingly informative tour yields all kinds of fascinating tidbits about the history of the game, including its origin – the French billiard game bagatelle. C’mon, hipsters — someone start an ironic bagatelle league already!
The vast space includes tons of machines, colorful, clever pinball decor — all of which combine to create a recipe for fun. The National Pinball Museum has the largest collection of pinball machines in the world (including unique unreleased ones from recent days), and there’s even a wonderful arcade where you can play til your fingers get tired.
Who knew pinball had such a sordid history? As of yesterday, me. Apparently it was used primarily for…well, I won’t spoil it, dear friends. You’ll just have to see for yourselves.
What interested me the most were the intricacies of the machines — all the sliders and lights and mechanical parts — these engineers have obviously poured their hearts and souls into creating these things. It’s a shame that in today’s Playstation world, the pinball machine has been left in the corner, discarded by youth culture and gathering dust. It also made me nostalgic for arcades — yes kids, back in my day you had to ride your bike to go play video games in a *gasp* public place.
Admission is cheap
– at only $3, it’s a steal – but come soon — apparently the maniacal villains who run the mall are threatening to kick the museum out (the lease is up by Labor Day)
. Open daily
Written by Joel Church.