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The massive Museum of Pinball is closing its doors for good

In 2015, we took you on a photo tour of the Museum of Pinball, home to one of the world’s largest collections of pinball and arcade games under one roof. Since then, the number of games grew by hundreds; the last official count was “over 1,100.”

Sadly, the museum is closing for good (and being replaced by a cannabis-growing operation). An attempt to relocate the museum to Palm Springs, California, failed, and the entire collection of games will be going up for auction soon.

Lead tech for the museum Chuck Casey posted this update:

All deadlines have passed to relocate, obtain a sponsorship, sell to one collector, etc.
Therefore, all the games will be auctioned in the upcoming months.
The official announcement will be forthcoming.
You can bid online and/or in person.
The primary auction will take place in Banning at the Museum of Pinball.
Pins and vids are being sold via auction only. The collection is “locked” for the auction.

We’ll miss the museum and the amazing array of games. The auction will be one to watch.

Our original post about the museum’s opening event follows:

BANNING, Calif.—The weekend of January 16, 2015, was host to the inaugural Southern California Arcade Expo. Featuring over 750 pinball and arcade games, the show was the largest in Southern California’s history. Unlike most arcade shows, where the games are brought by volunteers and enthusiasts to share with the general public, the collection is primarily owned by one man, John Weeks, who has spent the last 40 years amassing his horde of games. Weeks also owns the 40,000-square-foot facility where the games are permanently housed and is hoping to make events there happen at least twice a year. The second one is currently scheduled for some time in October.

Despite some minor issues typical of a first-time show, it went off spectacularly, with 3,300 people all enjoying the vast collection of games. There was live music, various styles of tournament play, several seminars, and an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “most games of pinball being played simultaneously.” But most people just came for the games, and we’ve attempted to document them for you above.

Special thanks to the members of Pinside who donated their photos to help make this gallery possible.

Listing image by Steve Tsubota

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