Here are some more place to visit when sightseeing around the country. Always call first to make sure they are open when you plan to visit.
Bar Harbour, Maine
Walk into Freddie's 1950s Diner, you see collectibles everywhere, even in the bathroom. This neat little diner has two gas pumps and coca-cola signs decorating the outside entrance.
Inside there are drive-in speakers in each booth playing fifties music.
This fifties diner, unlike many of those appearing across the country has a distinct character, and even a couple of coin machines.
Favorite Amusement Parks
The National Amusement Park Historical Association completed a survey a few years ago of its members to identify the best amusement parks in the country. Here are some of the results.
The best old time traditional amusement parks were:
Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
Knoebel's in Elysburg, Pennsylvania
Lakeside in Denver, Colorado
Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
The favorite modern day theme park was not Disneyland or Disney World, as you would guess, but Kings Island in Ohio. The most beautiful park was Busch Gardens Old Country in Virginia. For roller coaster fans, the favorite wooden coaster was the Beast at Kings Island, Ohio, and the best steel coaster was the Magnum XL200 in Cedar Point, Ohio. If you don't like roller coasters, see me in the park's penny arcade.
Carousel Museums and Rides
Carousel animals have long been a favorite of gameroom collectors. Unfortunately, carousel animals are becoming harder to find than even coin machines. All is not lost, however, below is a list of places which have good collections that are open to the public.
Heritage Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts
Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont
And if you want to ride an old time carousel then visit the following locations.
Playland at Rye, in Rye, New York
State Fair Park in Dallas, Texas
Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California
Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan
Circus World in Orlando, Florida
Seaport Village in San Diego, California
Crescent Park in Riverside, Rhode Island
Jantzen Beach in Portland, Oregon
Elitch's Gardens in Denver, Colorado
Central Park in New York, New York
Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Maryland
To see the world's largest carousel which is 80 feet in diameter, 35 feet high and contains 18,000 lights, go to the House on the Rock Museum near Madison, Wisconsin. It also has over 100 other carousel figures on display.
In Tennessee the place to visit is the Museum of Beverage Containers and Advertising. So you say you don't have enough room for your collection.
Tom and Paul Bates started collecting beverage cans in 1973. They now have over 36,000 on display in their museum which is located 20 miles south of Nashville.
Also displayed are beverage related tin signs and other promotional memorabilia. One of the more collectible cans are the 1935 Krueger Cream Ale can, the first beer can made.
Others of interest are camouflaged beer cans used in WWII and the James Bond 007 malt liquor can.
Stone Mountain, Georgia
The Antique Car and Music Museum, just outside of Atlanta, cobines old cars, toys, band organs, player pianos, and jukeboxes.
Many of them can be played by dropping a coin into the slot.
The House on the Rock Museum, as the name implies sits on top of a 60 foot high chimney shaped rock that is 450 feet above the valley floor.
The fourteen room house is crammed packed with collectibles. It has the world's largest carousel. It is 80 feet in diameter, 35 feet high and contains 18,000 lights.
It also has over 100 other carousel figures on display. There is an entire street from yesteryear, lined with shops and homes furnished in authentic detail.
In addition to the world's largest carousel, it also features the world's largest organ console. Its antique music machines, doll and dollhouse collections are also highly regarded. There is also an arcade area.
Lincoln, New Hampshire
In the middle of New Hampshire's White Mountains is a mini-theme park/museum that coin machine and antique amusement enthusiasts will want to visit. It's called Clark's Trading Post.
The ads highlight the 30 minute train ride, the trained bear act and the haunted house tour, but it is the collection of old cameras, typewriters, toys, advertising, and, of course, coin machines and nickelodeons that attract us.
There are a number of clamshell mutoscopes, unique scales, and music machines which you can play. In display cases they're 20 - 25 trade stimulators, jacks machines, and early vending machines.
On your way out, don't forget to visit the old Hook and Ladder Firehouse and the 1930's automobile garage.
Wookey Hole, Great Britian
If you want to play antique english arcade machines, then on your next trip to Great Britian, you should visit The Old Penny Pier Arcade
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is fun place to visit, but did you know there is a great place for gameroom collectors as well.
It called the Mechanical Museum and it is located at Pier 45 in Fisherman's Wharf.
There are lots of antique arcade machines and mechanical music machines. Admission is free. You can even play the machines. It's open every day from 10 am to 8 pm.
Submitted by: EdBaron
For some reason auto museums and coin machines seem to go together. The Wells Auto Museum is located just a few miles from Kennybunkport, form President Bush's vaction home in Maine. It features several nickelodeons, mutoscopes, a Pollack football and golf game, and best of all a fully working Seeburg Bandbox.
It also features a strength tester that I have never seen before. It is a chest presser. You insert your coin, grab the handle bars and press your chest against the pad as hard as you can and read the score on the dial.
All of the machines can be played which makes this museum a must visit. Oh, by the way, there are 80 antique cars on desplay also.
North Tonawanda, New York
If you want to experience a part of the glory of Wurlitzer's history, you can still drive to the now defunct Wurlitzer factory in North Tonawanda, New York. The building even has the original Wurlitzer neon sign on its top. Even though they no longer make jukeboxes in the North Tonawanda factory, you can see and even buy one of the famous Wurlitizer jukeboxes from WURCO, one of the country's leading jukebox and gameroom showrooms, which is located in the Wurlitzer factory building. For directions, call 716-694-6247.
And don't forget the little tourist attraction down the road called Niagara Falls. For coin machine enthusiasts, the real attraction in Buffalo/Niagara Falls area is the Wurlitzer building
Virginia City, Nevada
There is an outstanding display of gaming memorabilia in the Nevada Gambling
Museum, located at 22 South Street in historic Virginia City, Nevada
approximately twenty miles distant from Reno. Included is a large display of
antique slot machines.
For further information and hours call
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Just outside Detroit, Marvin Yogoda operates a museum where the patrons can actually touch the exhibits and "yes" even play them. There are alomost 100 coin machines, some dating back to the arly 1900s. And what is even more amazing, they operate on pennies, nickels and dimes. It's called Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum
Manitou Springs, Colorado
Arcade Amusements A.K.A. "the Manitou Penny Arcade"
Located in historic downtown Manitou Springs, Colorado which is a few miles west of Colorado Springs, CO.
The address is 930 Manitou Ave, phone number is 685-9815
I consider Arcade Amusements a must-see for anyone interested in
antique games. Here you can play the same games your grandparents did
when they were dating!
In addition to some very old skeeball and
other large-scale goodies, this 65-year old arcade is a "working
museum" that features some great pins from the 30s and 40s as well as
other vintage skill games like Williams' Baseball and Chicago Coin's
Basketball and Hockey Machines (my personal favorites).
All are kept in operating condition and can be played for their original
game prices (a couple bucks last a LONG time). The collection spans
almost the entire 65 years of the arcade's existence and includes
modern-day pins and videos as well.
As a bonus, the arcade is
dramatically located at the foot of Pike's Peak in a unique area that
spans a number of historic buildings which will please historical
architecture buffs. Lots of unique shopping, refreshments, and
restaurants are also located nearby which keeps the non-arcade goers
happy while we spend our pennies and nickels.
Summer hours are 10am to 12 midnight daily. In Winter,
the hours are scaled back and the weekend is best as they are likely to
have more of the arcade open.
Submitted by Ted Oade (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Old Sled Works Antiques, Museum, Soda Fountain & Penny Arcade has a little of everything and, yes, you can play their games.