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FLASHBACK: The Closure of Manhattan's Last Big Pinball Arcade

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

Back in the summer of 2020, Manhattan, NYC's last major pinball location, Modern Pinball, closed its doors for the last time and liquidated its collection of games. There's a notable lack of places to pinball in Manhattan these days. By far the best remaining location in "The City" is Brooklyn's Jackbar. Jackbar's owner Jon Ehrlich does an amazing job maintaining a great pinball collection there.

I recently came across the write-up of my last trip to Modern Pinball in early 2019 and thought that it might be of interest. My hair was a lot shorter and my photography a lot worse back then, but it's still interesting to look at a piece of NYC pinball history.

"Driving into Manhattan to see a cardiologist...not fun. Playing Pinball afterwards...FUN! Since I was already in NYC this morning, I made the 20 or so minute drive across the island to the awesome arcade called Modern Pinball. Excuse the selfie, but I had to show off my sweet Gottlieb Alien Star shirt 🙂.

You know what’s even better than going to an arcade? Getting there two minutes after an arcade opens and having the whole place to yourself for a little while. When I walked in, I immediately walked over to the one game that I had never played before, Stern’s Munsters Premium. I’ve played the Pro model a few times, but the with its mini lower playfield the Premium model is very different. If I had to choose between the Premium and the Pro, I’d definitely go with the Premium. I love the black and white art with pops of color. The lower playfield is fun enough, though somehow it didn’t seem as fun as the Shrek / Family Guy mini playfield. That said, I’m not buying a Munsters anyhow. I like the game, just not enough to own.

Game of Thrones on the other hand IS a game that I’d like to own. Modern has a GOT Pro on the floor. I probably played it more than any other game today. I’m not sure exactly what it is about the game, but I reeeeally like it. Theme definitely plays a part. The HBO series is outstanding. I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a GOT for sale in my area. What’s the deal with all of the over-modded Game of Thrones for sale out there? I love the game, but I’m sorry I am NOT paying the same amount of money for one as a New-In-Box pin costs. I digress..

Another game that I was really into today was Bally’s Six Million Dollar Man. I ended up putting up a respectable 240,000 on it. And that almost all came on one ball (don’t ask about the disastrous other two balls, grumble, grumble).

Modern has a ton of newer games, including Jersey Jack Dialed in (very underrated IMHO), Stern Deadpool, the aforementioned Munsters Premium, why am I writing all of these out by hand? Here’s the lineup courtesy of Pinball Map:

The Addams Family (Bally, 1992)

Beatles (Stern, 2018)

Black Hole (Gottlieb, 1981)

Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy (Bally, 1975)

Deadpool (Pro) (Stern, 2018)

Dialed In! (Jersey Jack, 2017)

Fish Tales (Williams, 1992)

Funhouse (Williams, 1990)

Game of Thrones (Pro) (Stern, 2015)

Gorgar (Williams, 1979)

Guardians of the Galaxy (Pro) (Stern, 2017)

Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast (Pro) (Stern, 2018)

Jack-Bot (Williams, 1995)

Kiss (LE) (Stern, 2015)

Metallica (Pro) (Stern, 2013)

The Munsters (Premium) (Stern, 2019)

Revenge from Mars (Bally, 1999)

Scared Stiff (Bally, 1996)

Shrek (Stern, 2008)

The Six Million Dollar Man (Bally, 1978)

SlugFest (Williams, 1991)

Spider-Man (Stern, 2007)

Star Trek (Pro) (Stern, 2013)

Star Trek: The Next Generation (Williams, 1993)

Star Wars (Data East, 1992)

Star Wars Episode 1 (Williams, 1999)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Williams, 1991)

The Walking Dead (Pro) (Stern, 2014)

Wheel of Fortune (Stern, 2007)

White Water (Williams, 1993)

World Cup Soccer (Bally, 1994)

Xenon (Bally, 1979)"

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