Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Retro Arcade Museum (Closed?)

I've never even heard of the Retro Arcade Museum until I saw a thread about it on the forums at KLOV but it looks like a cool place in Beacon, New York (ouch - VERY far from me) where the owner has set up a huge collection of arcade games, handhelds, consoles, etc. The unique thing about the arcade games is that almost all of them are pre-1980s so there are a lot VERY early games you've probably never even heard of with some electro-mechanical games too. I remember playing a few of those games from the 70's when I was a kid and I still think they are cool. Check out his website HERE.

But the news on the forum was that a "rogue landlord" was having him shut down based on an old law still on the books banning pinball game parlors (the law was overturned in nearby New York back in the 70's but not in Beacon). So he closed down his business and was being evicted. Now the mayor of the small town is apparently helping to get a law enacted that protects "vintage arcade museums" but the timeline of its passage is unknown and in the meantime the museum is closed and this guy is is losing money bigtime, so he may not be able to reopen at this point. Yesterday he posted on the forum that CNN got wind of this story and is going to run a piece on it this Saturday August 7 on the 1:00PM show (close to the end of the show around 1:50) then again on Sunday on the 3:00PM show. (I'm assuming those are Eastern times). There are so few of these types of places around I hate to hear of one closing even when it's about 1700 miles away from me. If I'm ever in the New York area and it is open again I would definitely like to check it out.

[Updated 8/8/2010] I missed the piece on CNN but found this clip of it on their website.

[Updated 9/3/2010] One last update to this story brought to my attention by Arcade Heroes:

It looks like the city of Beacon finally voted to enact a law that would allow vintage arcade games to operate in the town - although they are still debating the highly controversial question that is sweeping the nation - "how do we define a vintage arcade game?".  Regardless of the answer this highly efficient bureacracy arrives at it will be too late for Fred Bobrow and the Retro Arcade Museum which is officially closed for good due to financial problems brought about by the city's enforcement of this archaic law while they debated the finer points of whether Space Invaders was truly vintage.

"It's a moot point whether this law passes or not. I will be closing the arcade and all the assets will be liquidated," said Bobrow, whose business was forced to shut down due to an existing law prohibiting arcades in Beacon. "I'm now totally bankrupt and have been sideswiped by the city, who has changed their story several times and obscured the truth."

The full article can be found in yesterday's Poughkeepsie Journal at:

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Fallguy40 said...

Too bad they are getting jerked around like that. I'll bet there's little places like this all over the country if you keep looking.

Even here is Oklahoma in the little town of Pauls Valley we've got the Toy and Action Figure Museum.

MadPlanet said...

Yeah I come across places like that every once in a while but they are usually in some tiny town far away from me - like Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. There is a pretty decent arcade community online but there are very few well-stocked arcades with games other than fighters and drivers from the 90's on up.

Fallguy40 said...

Ya got trouble folks. Right here in Beacon City. With a capital T, that rhymes with P and that stands for Pinball!

MadPlanet said...

Oh nicely played Fallguy. It always comes back to the Music Man!