April 27, 2004

Last weekend saw the annual Copthorne Jukebox Show held at the Effingham Park Hotel, near Gatwick Airport in England.

The show took place in the round building shown above, spilling out to a few exterior stalls and tents at the back.

This is predominantly a jukebox show and as usual had a large amount of Americana, slot machines and signs.  The show usually has quite a few pinball machines provided by Paradise Amusements (formerly Pinball Paradise) but this year things were different.  Two weeks before the show, show organiser and Paradise Amusements owner Bob Thompson passed away after a long battle against cancer.  Accordingly, at midday on Saturday there was a break in proceedings and a minute's silence to mark his passing.

So it was up to Justin Williams ably assisted by Lee Buck to provide the pinball games for the show and it was an impressive line-up.

Twenty-one games were set up on Saturday for the crowds to enjoy and they were all for sale. 

The games were: Star Wars Episode One (Williams £2100), South Park (Sega £1600), Theatre of Magic (Bally £1400), The Addams Family (Bally £1400), The Getaway (Williams £850), Fish Tales (Williams £850), Maverick (Sega £750), Jurassic Park (Data East £900), The Simpsons (Data East £950), Diner (Williams £950), Earthshaker (Williams £800), Space Station (Williams £700), Cyclone (Williams £600), Road Kings (Bally £550), Tiger Rag (Bell Games £500), Playboy (Bally £800), High Hand (Gottlieb £700), Apollo (Williams £700), Grand Tour (Bally £800), Nip It (Bally £700), Soccer (Gottlieb £600).

For me, the most interesting games were the one you don't often see - in this case Tiger Rag and Space Station. Both games made me want to just keep playing to get further and further.

Fortunately, there were seldom people waiting to get on a game so it was quite OK to keep playing without annoying anyone else. There were a number of breakdowns during the day and during the afternoon the Diner disappeared to a buyer so there may have been a smaller number of games on Sunday.

Coin Action had a game at the show - this Sega Star Wars Trilogy - on sale at £1250.

There was also a Twilight Zone for sale in the show lobby for £1500 from Dave's Jukeboxes.

But apart from these 23 games, there were also a couple of games with references to The Addams Family.  First, this fruit (slot) machine from Barcrest could have been your for a mere £225.

Alternatively, this game from IGT had a built-in colour LCD screen and cost £595.

In all, the Copthorne Show provided some excellent pinball entertainment despite Bob Thompson's death and hopefully demonstrates that the show can continue and perhaps even flourish.


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© Pinball News 2004