THAT’S A LOT – PINBALL PERFECTION


[pinball machine]
“Come on in!”
– You can feel it,
you control it.
– I’m not real good
with my thumbs.
– There it is,
that’s the sound, my brother!
DAN HOSEK:
You doing any good here?
In the whole building,
there’s well over
500 pinball machines,

maybe six or seven hundred
in parts and stuff.

My name’s Dan Hosek,
I run Pinball Perfection,
which is a museum
and a place where we restore

old pinball machines
arcade games.

We’re located just five miles
north of downtown Pittsburgh,

it’s located in Westview, PA.
My dream was to
always build a museum

and it took a while
to find this building.

Our building’s in the Guinness
World Book of Records

because it’s the only building
you can drive in

all three floors
from the same major highway.

Okay, here we have
a 1951 Gottlieb Knock Out.

It truly is a museum,
and it took 35 years
to collect it all.
We have the history of pinball
from the ’20s up to present.

You know,
including old wood rails

and then you move
into ’60s wedge games

which are back here.
When they went
from the wood rails,
they went to
metal sides, metal legs
and they switched the shape
from a box to a wedge
and this was
a Gottlieb wedge.
Well, William said,
“Let’s build a wedge,
but we’ll flip it over”
so they made what they call
inverted wedge,
and that’s a Williams
inverted wedge,
which if you put one
next to another,
they fit together
kind of cool.
Then from there,
you get into early digital

and then modern games.
Plus, arcade games and bowlers,
all kinds of really cool
old antique coin-operated games.

– The middle of the room,
you will find
a lot of arcade pieces.
DAN: They just come in
through the main door,

and you know,
they pay the entry fee,

and then all the games
are free play.

– Aw, this is my new home.
This is what I grew up on,
you know what I mean.
This is a bigger part
of my youth
than going to high school.
I spent more hours doing this
than I did doing homework.
DAN: What actually
keeps the museum going

is what happens downstairs
as far as game sales,
restoration, parts, service.

This should be the display
for the RoboCop
I believe upstairs–
– Really!
DAN: That’s what really
keeps things mainly moving.

Let’s see, oh, we wanted
to do the haunted house,
that’s a good one.
Here we have
a Gottlieb Haunted House,
which was one of the first games
that had three levels.
Your ball can come up here
and play in the top level,
it can drop down
into the lower level,
and then it shoots it back up
through here
back to the middle level.
– ♪ Ooo oooo
I can’t believe it ♪

DAN: Now we have our house band
“Gone South”

which I’m the keyboard player,
and we’ve played the opener
every year and all around town.

We try to encourage bands
that have original music
and things like that.

We have some
really interesting bands

that come in through the season,
so it’s fun.

There’s mechanics,
there’s physics.

– It’s more tackle,
you get a feel,
you get the sound.
DAN:
The gravity of the ball.

– You can jerk it
all over the place.
If it don’t go the way you want,
you just move it around.
DAN: The unpredictability
of the ball, the ball’s wild,

you can send it in a direction,
but you don’t know
where it’s gonna go every time,

it’s unpredictable.
And here,
you get to experience it,
relive your youth,
learn about stop show,
you know, kids, we do tours
with the schools and things

to show mechanics
of these old games.

[pinball machine goes “Ohhhh”]
It’s as American
as apple pie and baseball,

it’s something that has
always been in our history

from the turn of the,
you know, 1900s.
They started coming up
with full table top games

with pins and the ball
that rolls through it,

and it evolved into
kind of like games of chance

and then the flippers came
and that created skill,

and then there were
skill games,

and that’s where it split from
gambling device to skill games.

It’s all, the rest is history,
and here we are.

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