“It’s like a funeral,” Weeks instructed NCS of the museum’s closure. “There’s no place like this place. There probably never will be.”
The museum had an enviable assortment of pinball and arcade games
Weeks’ obsession with pinball has gone by way of phases, however it first peaked when he was in center college, he mentioned.
“When I saw my first pinball machine, I was just 13 or 14 years old, at a motel my dad stayed at in San Diego,” he mentioned.
At the time, he mentioned, he imagined it was the one machine of its type on this planet. So when he returned residence and came upon what number of extra pinball machines there have been, he regarded for methods to make his passion right into a enterprise.
He approached a buddy about opening a “barcade,” however by the point these plans fell by way of, Weeks had already began amassing a large assortment of pinball machines. They’d want a facility giant sufficient to retailer all of them — and Weeks discovered the warehouse in Banning, a small metropolis around 80 miles east of Los Angeles.
The Museum of Pinball additionally had an enviable assortment of old-school arcade games, which can be auctioned off. Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP through Getty Images
The museum, housed in a 44,000-square-foot warehouse flanked by mountains, had housed around 800 pinball machines and slightly below 1,000 arcade games, Weeks mentioned. They had been all playable, and “people used to visit this place from all over the world” to spend all day enjoying retro arcade games.
The museum in the end wasn’t worthwhile, although, due to its very restricted schedule. Weeks tried to offset the price of working the place by renting area to marijuana growers, he mentioned, however it wasn’t sufficient to hold the pinball paradise open.
The neatly organized Museum of Pinball is closing, and its complete stock of pinball machines will be bought to particular person patrons. Credit: Lucas Esposito/The Desert Sun/USA TODAY NETWORK
There was hope, briefly, that Weeks may relocate the museum to a brand new location in Palm Springs. Ultimately, the method of transferring 1,700 outsized gaming consoles would’ve been too costly, Weeks mentioned.
If you may identify a hyper-specific piece of popular culture, likelihood is that Weeks’ museum had it in pinball type. From Dolly Parton, to “Lethal Weapon 3” and “Star Wars” to the the Pinball Wizard of The Who’s “Tommy,” there was a branded pinball machine (or, within the case of “Star Wars,” at the very least seven) for that.
The Museum of Pinball had an eclectic assortment of machines, all of which can be bought at public sale. Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP through Getty Images
“Each one’s kind of a work or art,” he mentioned.
There are comparable shrines to the arcade centerpiece on the West Coast, together with the Pacific Pinball Museum, Weeks famous. But their collections usually should not as giant or expansive because the Museum of Pinball’s as soon as was.
“There’s other pinball museums popping up — just nothing like this,” he mentioned. “This is like the Disneyland of pinball museums.”
The ultimate auctions of the Museum of Pinball’s assortment will happen nearly from September 24 to 26 by way of Captain’s Auction Warehouse.