Date: 3rd September, 2012
The Pacific Pinball Museum has launched a fundraising campaign in a bid to break into the mainstream with a transfer to prestigious new premises in San Francisco.
The impending move of the Exploratorium museum out of the Palace of Fine Arts in Golden Gate Park has provided an unprecedented opportunity for the Pacific Pinball Museum to relocate to the new home it has been seeking for many years.
Since it began as the Lucky Ju-Ju at the end of 2002, the Pacific Pinball Museum has expended both in space, ambition, and in the size of its collection. Several high profile donations have seen the number of machines it owns rise to around 500. By contrast, the current Pacific Pinball Museum location in Alameda has space to exhibit just 90.
At last year's Pacific Pinball Exposition, the Museum's founder and Executive Director Michael Schiess launched the proposal to relocate, citing the expected move of the Exploratorium as their dream home, but also investigating the former Naval Air Station Recreation Center in Alameda which, after further investigation, proved not to be suitable.
Now that the Exploratorium's move is confirmed and the City of San Francisco will soon be looking for new tenants for the building, the Pacific Pinball Museum's board has swung into action and launched a funding drive to convince the City they have a viable, adequately-funded long-term proposition.
The sum being sought is $1.5 million and they're hoping to raise as much of this as possible in just 30 days, through the IndieGoGo project financing website.
The $1.5m sum is seen as sufficient to show the City they are serious about their proposal and have the funds available to remodel the building, move in all the games, exhibits and equipment needed to support a museum with around 500 machines, pay staff to keep the operation running, and begin establishing the educational programmes they wish to provide.
There are multiple levels of reward for anyone making a pledge to the Museum's cause, ranging from posters, T-shirts and hats through to VIP Pacific Pinball Exposition entry and private tours of the Museum's warehouse facility.
Michael Schiess told Pinball News, "Our Indiegogo campaign is going to raise the money needed to find a larger space for our museum so that we may display more of the collection. We have an opportunity to make a pitch for the Exploratorium's space when they leave in 2013. This war chest will help us succeed. We will also develop a curriculum with the funds."
Unlike similar crowd-funding schemes such as Kickstarter, even if the full total is not raised by the end of September all donations will go to fund the Museum's proposal and help strengthen their hand in negotiations with the City's Recreations and Parks department.
The City will be inviting proposals as soon as the Exploratorium has vacated the building in the spring of 2013, so the clock is running to produce a convincing and realistic proposition for the PPM to take over the landmark site.
Anyone wishing to help support the Museum's aims should visit the IndieGoGo mini-site where further details and a video showing some of the Museum's work can be found.
© Pinball News 2012