Pinballs in Cafes

·         Thread starter izzy eckerslike

·         Start date

izzy eckerslike

izzy eckerslike

Yaw've med my day yaw ave

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·         #1

Any pinball fans ? Pinball was hugely popular in the 60's, every cafe & lots of pubs had at least one machine. As well as pinball flipper machines I used to play the Bally bingo machines because you could win money , remember them? You had to carefully steer the balls into sockets in order to try & get three, four or five in a line, the tilt was set so delicate that you had to almost hold your breath as you tried to steer the balls with delicate little taps & knudges & then if you managed to get all five you stood back proudly as the machine began to clock up your score with a loud clicking noise, It was illegal to pay out your winnings in cash but most did as they knew you wouldn't play otherwise. There was a cafe in Hurst street which had a long row of these machines & I we used to go in there every lunchtime.
Altho pinball machines have all but disappeared along with their manufacturers .
There is still a very thriving interest in owning & playing these machines & I had three machines myself until recently, there are Pinball owners clubs & also shows where you pay an entrance fee & hundreds of machines are set on freeplay, I should think during my time working with shopfitters in the 60's & 70's I must have visited every cafe in Brum & surrounding areas & played on the machines, I couldn't imagine any are still around now altho they still seem popular on the continent.

 

Graham

Graham

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

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·         #2

Yes Izzy, here in Belgium they are still very much in use. Most of those that play are addicted and end up in a lot of debt; bankrupted!

 

jennyann

jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.

Staff member

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·         #3

Hi Izzy. You are right they have all but disappeared both here in Canada and in Britain. They were everywhere years ago and they were very fascinating.
The machines are highly collectible now and become more valuable all the time. I can remember seeing signs above the machines that warned about tipping and banging on the top of them!

 

Mayfield

Mayfield

Burbury Brummie

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·         #4

Izzy, I remember spending many a tanner in these machines in the 60's.

I remember getting a 5-in-a-line which payed 96 credits, only to be informed that the late night cafe, I think it was called the Surf Side Stop just below the Cedar Club on Constitution Hill, would only pay on 100 or 50?

The thought of running down the credits to 50 really didn't appeal to me... Fortunately, several games afterwards I got a 4-in-a-line which payed 20 credits which gave me in excess of the 100 credits required to cash out so I got paid-out - 50s or £2 10s 0d to you guys....

The reason why I remember this win was because the winning amount was fantastic in those days as I only took home £3 17s 6d a week as an apprentice...

Mayfield

 

izzy eckerslike

izzy eckerslike

Yaw've med my day yaw ave

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·         #5

Izzy, I remember spending many a tanner in these machines in the 60's.

I remember getting a 5-in-a-line which payed 96 credits, only to be informed that the late night cafe, I think it was called the Surf Side Stop just below the Cedar Club on Constitution Hill, would only pay on 100 or 50?



Mayfield

Click to expand...


remember how you could use up credits or add more tanners to try & up the odds,? I can't remember how far you could get it but I am sure I remember there was a huge crowd round a bloke in the cafe in Hurst street who had got the odds up to 600 but failed to get the fifth ball in but clocked 300 for a four in a line altho he had used up around 80 to get the odds up as when you pressed the button to try & up the odds it was totally random & each press lost you a credit.

here's a link to the website for the pinball show, just missed this years main one, also type in pinball on youtube to see lots of stuff in action!

UK Pinball Show

 

malvern

Guest

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·         #6

Isn’t it more that the Cafes have disappeared that housed these machines. If you think of all the cafes that have gone in Birmingham. I keep meaning to do more research on Cafes as they were an important industry totally overlooked.

I managed to photograph the very large A boards that adorned Bob's Cafe on te Pershore Road just before they were removed (on the approach to Strichley near Pebble Mill). Bob's Cafe had been there since the 50s. Freds in Acocks Green was another well known cafe used by both Midland Red and Corporation bus drivers. Rosies in Witton was used by BSA and Norton testers to swap parts!

We have our American friends to thank in some way for the change in our casual eating during the day, one of the reasons that I do not support US culture by wearing baseball caps etc in fact I would love to open a Cafe and would call it a NON AMERICAN DINER!

 

 

 

izzy eckerslike

izzy eckerslike

Yaw've med my day yaw ave

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·         #7

It's not just the disappearing cafes that led to the demise of pinball machines as they were in pubs clubs airports -everywhere in fact.
It's more to do with the loss of interest from the younger generation & the advent of PC games & amusement arcades putting in the latest shootemup machines.
When I had three full size machines in my garage my then 12 year old son & his mates were interested at first but lost it after a few days & went back to their playstations.
As pointed out above the machines are popular on the continent & whilst on holiday a couple of years ago there was a machine at the airport & I had a play on it & before long a crowd of French kids surrounded me & watched as a veteran 62 year old player showed them how it should be done ! needless to say I couldn't go wrong & kept one ball in play seemingly for ever & clocked eight replays & when the call came for my flight I handed it over to them & they gave me around of applause.
when I turned up to my wife who had been sitting reading she said 'what the hell have you been doing? your face is all red !

 

M

malvern

Guest

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·         #8

Yes but cafe culture hasn't changed on the continent.

 

 

izzy eckerslike

izzy eckerslike

Yaw've med my day yaw ave

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·         #9

Another problem is that the big machine manufacturers have gone bust one by one, in 1933 there were 150 pinball makers worldwide, amazingly pinball was banned inthe USA for decades, Chicago from 1941 to 1976 even tho Chicago was where most of the makers were.
Williams ,perhaps the most famous of all is gone, however there is a rellevantly new makers on the scene 'STERN 'who are curretly producing machines following the usual blockbuster movies trend, Batman the dark knight & Indiana Jones are recent releases & cost around £4000.

They need a lot of maintenance to keep them in good order & Having owned three machines myself I learned quite a bit but the general condition of 'sited' machines is poor with weak flippers etc simply because it's expensive to keep calling for repairs.

Quote from Tim Arnold who owns the'Pinball hall of fame'

“The thing that’s killing pinball,” Mr. Arnold added, “is not that people don’t like it. It’s that there’s nowhere to play it.”

 

M

malvern

Guest

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·         #10

Bring back the Cafes, I say and the pinball machines--You cant beat a sausage or bacon sandwich--or toast or a full English--why oh why do we all get suckered into American culture which produces politicians like George Bush and Mac Donalds?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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