March 1 marked the grand opening of the new attraction “Olympia Pinball Museum” located in downtown Olympia at 509 Capitol Way.. The opening day welcomed the new museum with live music, a raffle and plenty of fun to be had. The space consists of a room filled with a plethora of playable pinball machines — including the world’s largest — multiple arcade games, two skee ball ramps as well as one retro “Pacman” console.

Depicting images and scenes from comics, movies, TV shows, places, and stories throughout the decades, each machine’s art was drastically different. Ranging from traditionally painted and light bulb-lit machines to neon painted, lit and animatronic ones, the museum houses 43 pinball machines — each one entirely unique than the next — on display for free play to the public. Aside from their appearance, the machines differ in playing styles as well. They provide options for a single-player game, two-player games, machines with the traditional two-arm model and others more intricate with three or more arms. 

Not only this, but the museum also contains the largest playable pinball game. The massive machine is adorned in shades of red, orange and yellow that depict Hercules with a sword and chain in hand fighting against a large cat while a storm brews in the distance. The game is set up like any other pinball machine except the ball is about the size of a pool ball and the arms are probably five times as big. The playing mechanisms are the same as well, you’re just bound to stretch your arms wider and will likely get worse hand cramps much quicker. ­­

If you’re not a fan of pinball, the museum offers other games visitors can play as well. They house twelve arcade games: “Caveman Ninja,” “Centipede,” “Crystal Castles,” “Dig Dug,” “Donkey Kong,” “Mini Baseball,” “Ms. Pacman,” ”Ringer,” “Seawolf,” and “Q Bert.” Not only this, but they also have two skee ball ramps and a traditional “Pacman” console to play as well. 

Access to gameplay is provided on a first come first serve basis to the machines of your choosing, but time played and the amount of rounds allowed is left up to the user’s wishes free of cost once the admittance fee is paid at the start of your visit — thankfully you won’t have to weigh your pockets down with quarters. 

If gaming all day makes you hungry the museum also sells water, soda, beer and chips to curb your hunger. Entry costs $15 for a single stay or you can pay a one time $25 dollar fee for a full day coming and going as you please. The museum operates between 10 a.m.–7 p.m. and requires all players to be seven years or older for admittance.

The “Olympia Pinball Museum” attracted large crowds on opening day.
PHOTO BY TALIA COLLETT
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