732 11th Avenue South, Hopkins, Minnesota, USA.
Report by Todd Andersen
SS Billiards – Present
In a previous article we learned that SS Billiards in Hopkins, MN, USA is one of the oldest continuing operating arcades in the United States. And, from their website, that this arcade “has been serving the Twin Cities for over 30 years” and boasts “the Twin Cities largest collection of publicly playable pinball machines”.
But, besides having pinball machine available for the public to play on a daily basis, you may not know that Lloyd hosts holiday themed days with free treats for everyone. For example, this past Halloween he had orange frosted cookies and two kinds of orange pop available free for everyone.
SATURDAY NIGHT PINBALL
As its name implies, Saturday Night Pinball occurs every Saturday night that enough people show up to warrant having the event. The night's festivities include: free pizza at 6pm, a single elimination tournament at 7pm, and a “Goose Egg” Tournament that runs from 6pm through the end of the single elimination tournament. The amazing disappearing pizzas are always a hit. The pinball tournament is always intense.
And the Goose Egg is always fun. For the most recent Goose Egg, Lloyd had the players play “backwards”; that is, “Butt to Coin Door”. For the single elimination tournament, the winner of the loser's bracket gets $10 cash. And, the winner of the winner's bracket gets $20 cash and a trophy. The winner of the Goose Egg gets a trophy. The person who collects all of the Goose Egg trophies for the month also collects $100 cash at the end of that month.
You can visit the SNP site for details on past events and winners.
The Goose named/themed parties have turned into Pinball Circus parties. These parties are held twice-yearly; in the spring and in the fall. These parties include: free pizza, pop and popcorn. Recently, hot dogs have been added to the menu and a few people bring in additional treats. Lloyd's parties always include at least one pinball tournament the winner of which receives $100 cash and a trophy. There are also free door prizes of mugs and T-shirts which are made and given out just for these specific parties. The mugs are especially coveted in the pinball community. Not even Lloyd has one of every single mug.
Reviews of some past Pinball Circus parties can be read on the Pinball News site.
MAY DAY PINBALL TOURNAMENT
The May Day Pinball Tournament started in 2005 and is held yearly on the weekend of May 1st. Pre-registration for this pinball tournament includes: a full meal and a limited edition T-shirt. Those who qualify can compete for: a trophy, $1,000 cash and WPPR points.
Reviews of all past May Day tournaments can be read on the Pinball News site.
Lloyd has added “Pirates of the Caribbean” to his already extensive lineup of well maintained pinball machines.
A few of the new counters are necessary for the daily operation of the arcade. But the display counter only houses pinball parts, which are for sale. Every single pinball part is OEM NOS; they are not reproduction parts. Because Lloyd has been in business and acquiring pinball parts for over thirty years, he could not easily decide how to stock the parts counter. The eclectic parts counter got filled, one at a time, with parts that he either needed for his arcade or for which customers came in hoping to find. Now customers can officially buy pinball parts right at the arcade. Because of Lloyd's expertise and that fact that he has the parts in plain sight, there is no confusion as to whether the correct part is being sold. There is also the advantage for walk-in customers of not having to wait for shipping.
Lloyd has both common and game specific pinball parts from several different pinball manufacturers such as: Bally, Gottlieb, and Williams. Parts are available from different game generations of these manufacturers.
He sells both electronic parts and many common mechanical parts such as: brackets, coils (flipper and other assemblies), and hardware. Lloyd also has game specific parts such as: pop bumper caps, playfield toys, and stickers, and he has many common electronic components for sale such as: capacitors, diodes, and transistors.
Besides regular pinball parts, Lloyd also sells a limited supply of specialty parts for pinball machines. Just two of the specialty parts are World Renowned Executive PinFooties and remote battery holders.
In addition, Lloyd sells several different controllers for use when add-ons, modifications or toppers are added to pinball machines. The controllers are either powered by the game's service outlet or by a normal household outlet. Depending on the specific controller, they are either triggered by a pinball machine's general illumination lighting, the machine's mode lighting, or by almost any audio or video Ir remote control. The first two trigger methods make the associated mod or topper seem as an original part of the pinball machine. This last trigger method is useful for easily switching on and off game room decorations.
The list of parts that Lloyd has for sale is far too varied and lengthy to reproduce here. You must contact him directly for details on parts availability, or purchase price(s), or shipping.
Lloyd's email is: [email protected].
© Pinball News 2005