Date: 21st October, 2016 Location: S19 NE 3rd Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33483, USA We have paid several visits to the Silverball Museum in Asbury Park, New Jersey, dating back to the time before it moved to its current home on the boardwalk. So when we heard a second branch had opened in southern Florida on May 28th, we started planning our visit. It took until October before we could jump on the Florida’s Turnpike and drive around two hours south from Orlando to Delray Beach on the east coast. While the Asbury Park museum is highly visible with its seafront position, the Delray Beach location is in the city in an area with less footfall. Pinball fans will need to search out the Museum rather than simply stumbling across it. The Silverball Museum in Delray Beach The Museum’s entrance Walk through the entrance and the first thing you will encounter is the reception desk. It is here that entry to the Museum can be purchased, merchandise bought, and any questions you might have answered. The reception desk Entry to the museum is bought on a timed basis. At the time of writing, a 30-minute pass costs $7.50 (€6.73 / £6.00), while extending that to a full hour takes the price up to $10. $15 buys a half-day pass and $25 gets you all-day access. Kids aged four and under get in for free with a paying adult. For locals there are several monthly payment pass options for $30, $50 or $100 which are also valid at the Asbury Park location. Entry costs If you need time to consider the options or just want to enjoy some refreshments then opposite the reception desk is a bar area. The bar area The bar features stools reclaimed from the Howard Johnson cafe chain when they closed their locations. Behind the bar, the history of the chain is related on an illuminated sign. The bar stools The History of Howard Johnson The bar itself has a wider range of drinks, both on tap and in bottles in the two refrigerated display cases. They also have quite a wide range of food available in their menu. Bottled beverages Beers on tap Part of the food menu But back to the Museum, and assuming you have purchased entry, you enter the collection to be met immediately by the older machines in the building – four woodrail games from Gottlieb and Williams. The four pinballs at the front of the collection Knock Out and Flipper from Gottlieb As with most of the pinballs at the Museum, the woodrail games have information cards atop the backboxes as well as high score records in a number of categories. Information and high score cards for each pinball Information and high score cards for each pinball The games on the main floor are then divided into six long rows. There is a strong leaning towards electromechanicals and early solid-state machines amongst the collection. Gottlieb wedgehead games Electromechanical Bally four-players Gottlieb EM machines More Gottlieb EM machines Many of the games have LEDs fitted which makes them appear much brighter than originally intended, but the warm white effect is more sympathetic to the original look than we have seen at some other locations. It also greatly helps the Museum’s techs since they don’t need to keep replacing burned-out lamps. LED lighting in this Team One More electromechanical pinballs More wedgehead pinballs There are around a dozen dot-matrix games at the museum. At the time of our visit there was nothing there from the current decade, although since then two Jersey Jack Pinball titles – The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit – have been added. Three Stern/Data East DMD titles Terminator 2 gets a new flipper coil Early and modern flipper games It’s not all pinball though. On the far side of the hall from the modern pinballs is a row on mostly non-pinball arcade games, including bowlers, shooters, pitch-and-bats and video games. Bowling and pitch-and-bat games Shooters and pitch-and-bat games Meanwhile, at the back of the hall is a row of skee ball games. Eight skee ball games Eight skee ball games Behind the skee ball lanes is another small room with a couple more electronic pinballs and the bottom of a staircase which leads to the mezzanine level. This way to more games Harley Davidson and Monday Night Football Up the stairs to the mezzanine level At the back of the hall on the mezzanine level are four more pinballs and a bunch of video games. More pinball More video games From the mezzanine you also get a great view of the main floor. Looking down onto the main floor On the mezzanine level at the front of the building is a second bar and yet more games. The mezzanine level at the front of the building At the front, a large shuffleboard greets visitors to the bar area along with some exhibition games from pinball’s earliest days. A long shuffleboard game Look, but don’t touch these early games The upper bar area To the left of the bar is another row of pinballs with some interesting examples, such as both Bally Kiss backglasses and a New York pinball which is a version of Spirit of 76 designed just for the New York market. More pinballs next to the upstairs bar The regular and German Kiss backglasses New York, EM Evel Knievel and Nugent Here’s a complete list of the pinball machines set up to play at the Silverball Museum: Abra ca Dabra Addams Family, The Ali* Army Navy Atlantis Big Bang Bar Black Hole Capt. Fantastic Centigrade 37 Central Park Charlie’s Angels Corvette Diamond Jack Dimension Diner Dixieland El Dorado Elvis Evel Knievel Fire Queen Fireball Flipper Free Fall Gemini Getaway, The: High Speed 2 Gorgar* Gridiron Guns N’ Roses Harley Davidson Hearts and Spades Hit the Deck Hokus Pokus Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure Indianapolis 500 Joker Poker Jumping Jack King Pin King Pin Kiss Kiss Knock Out Lucky Hand Magic Town Majorettes Mata Hari Monday Night Football Monster Bash Neptune New York North Star Nugent Pinball Magic Playboy Pleasure Isle Pop-A-Card Pro Pool Roadshow: Red & Ted’s Rock Star Roto Pool Royal Flush Sing Along Slick Chick Space Mission Spacelab Star Trek: The Next Generation Strange World Subway Surfers Team One Terminator 2 Theatre of Magic TKO Tommy: The Who’s Wizard! World Cup Soccer World Fair World Poker Tour World Series Inside the Silverball Museum There’s no doubt the collection is skewed heavily towards what could be called the golden age of pinball – the ’60s and ’70s when Gottlieb alone were producing a new machine every month and selling around 40,000 pinballs a year. That’s quite understandable. Those machines still represent how pinball is remembered by a large majority of the population, and provide an easy introduction into the game for new players. Sing Along continues to entertain all ages after nearly fifty years The challenge is easily understood but difficult to achieve, and in an environment where your stay is timed and restricted, playing a 30-minute game of The Lord of the Rings is liable not to give great value-for-money. In addition, these classic games continue to inspire features and mechanisms in games designed today. The Silverball Museum’s slogan is ‘Play the Classics’ The Silverball Museum in Delray Beach is a must-visit location for any pinball fan either visiting or living in Florida, and it’s well worth the trip for out-of-state and international visitors too. The next time we’re in Florida we’ll be back, and making plans to stay locally so we can enjoy everything the Silverball Museum has to offer over several days. You can find out more about the Silverball Museum at Delray Beach, opening hours, and upcoming events and promotions on their website at silverballmuseum.com.