Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts, USA.
Report by Doug Mahar
It has been a few years since I visited the arcades at Salisbury Beach, and I'm afraid to say it is has gone downhill to say the least. Not only is the town more rundown than ever, the arcades have gone to the dogs as well.
I visited the beach on the first warm day of the year, and to put it kindly, let me just say the local police had their hands full and I made to sure to park my motorcycle in a spot where I could keep an eye on it at all times. I ride a BMW and unless you're on the back of a Harley Davidson with a few pints of beer in your belly, you don't quite "fit in" anymore out on old Salisbury Beach. Shame really.
Now down to business. The number of pinball machines is a good thing, their condition however, not so great.
I started at Joe's Playland (www.joesplayland.com). They have a total of twelve pins downstairs and one very interesting artifact upstairs.
Downstairs their line up looks like this... Stern's Playboy, Lord of the Rings, Austin Powers, The Simpsons Pinball Party, Monopoly, Medieval Madness, Addams Family, Nascar, Theatre of Magic, The Sopranos, World Poker Tour and Pirates of the Caribbean.
The older Bally and Williams games aren't even worth a look, let a lone a couple of quarters. If you're going to play, the newer the Stern the better. Now for the upstairs, something that you'd never expect to see on location, in all it's giant glory, an Atari Hercules!
Yes, it exists, and you can play it for a quarter at Joe's. Don't expect big thrills, it is more of a novelty than anything else, and this one is in pretty sad shape, but none the less, it is a site to see.
Update: Joe's Playland has added a Family Guy to their line up. That's the good news. The bad news is it isn't serving a ball in the mini playfield.
Across the street is Joe's Playland II, and that is exactly what they have for pins, two. A Revenge From Mars and a South Park.
Both in pretty bad shape considering it is the start to the season.
What an appropriate name, because it seems this is how the owner feels about repairing and maintaining pinball machines.
Carefree Arcade has one machine worth playing, a Lord of the Rings. The rest are barely functional.
The rest of the lineup goes like this... Theatre of Magic, Addams Family, Star Wars Episode I, Monster Bash, Monopoly, Attack From Mars and a pretty good playing Simpsons Pinball Party.
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