Pinball hall’s move will put it closer to where the tourists are

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/jun/21/pinball-halls-move-will-put-it-closer-where-touris/

Pinball hall’s move will put it closer to where the tourists are

ImageLas Vegas Sun

Tim Arnold, a man amid the machines.

New location

Luv-It Frozen Custard is moving to the Strip?

No. The Pinball Hall of Fame is moving west on Tropicana Avenue. Instead of being near Pecos Road, it will soon be closer to Maryland Parkway, UNLV and tourists from the Strip.

Owner Tim Arnold, who has spent a lifetime collecting pinball machines and owns about 1,200, is moving into a former tile warehouse across Tropicana from the Liberace Museum.

The Clark County Planning Commission approved a use permit for the relocated museum last week. After Arnold upgrades the 8,662-square-foot building at 1610. E. Tropicana to meet county code, he’s going to move in and nearly double the size of his museum. The Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club, of which Arnold is the president, purchased the building in November for $1.24 million.

He said the extra room at the new location will allow him to let the public enjoy more of his collection, more of his machines from the ’50s and ’60s. He hopes to open the new location within the next 30 to 90 days.

What’s this guy’s story?

Arnold, 53, bought his first machine for $200 in 1970 and made some money during the pinball heyday of the ’70s and ’80s. In 1991, he and his wife moved to the desert, where his machines could benefit from the dry climate. In 1993, Arnold started his twice-a-year pinball Fun Night, eventually drawing 1,000 people over two nights. In 2006, he opened the Pinball Hall of Fame.

He runs the 4,500-square-foot business with more than 200 machines as a nonprofit; excess quarters are donated to the Salvation Army. Part of a wall near a cracked-open “Dracula” machine is decorated with copies of checks for charities ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

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