This Page Last Updated 6-20-2010
I singled this email out of my Bingo-Memory pile because it may help explain some of the story behind the Altered Bally Beauty below!
From: Gary Santos <garysantos@optonline>
Thank you, Danny, for your reply but it is soooo sad that you do not know of a group in NYC. I would have wanted to relive my teenage years.
Well, my story is quite typical. One is a teenager with lunch money and one day while playing hooky one sees these pinball machines at the
bowling alley near one's highschool. First, I would play only the regular pinball but I would notice this fellow in his 20s play what later on I
knew as bingo pinball. (All machines then were just called "pinball" by the gang.) It definitely needed more skill than the regular pinball and
that caught my attention. The experience was frustrating at first (of course) because one had to "know" the machine well -- how "bouncy" the
rubber was on each peg, how much one would have to pull the launcher so that the ball would enter the playing field to the left or the right, etc.
You know what I mean, I am sure. Eventually, a 3-in-line was easy and the 5-in-line was the real challenge. Of course, the owner of the machines
caught on to us and would tweak the machines so that we would have to relearn the machine from scratch. I think though I ended up ahead of the
fellow. 5-in-line payoffs were 50:1 convertible to cash. This was in the Philippines circa 1970. I recently moved to NYC and remembered the game.
I will continue to search but if you do hear of something in the tri-state area, please let me know.
Warm bingo regards,
Bally’s 1952 “Bally Beauty” was the only bingo to outwardly carry their name and with it’s palm tree detail, it lends it’s self quite
well to be renamed in honor of something else a little more tropical like this Miss Philippines spin. Until I reread this email from
Gary I didn’t realize what I missed - I didn’t know the bingos had made it as far as the P.I., so I wrote him again and luckily he
was still at the same email address and sent us this nice follow-up:
Here's your update: From: Gary Santos
I played mostly in the mall in Greenhills, Danny. That's in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. That amusement center, as it was called,
near a bowling alley closed many, many years ago. Video games took over what was considered amusing, I guess. :-) I also played
in a "beer garden" in Paranaque. That had a couple of machines. That place is gone, too. Sigh. Bingo machines were not uncommon
in Manila and elsewhere in the 1960s and early 1970s. They were in malls, bowling alleys, amusement centers and "beer gardens"
side by side with regular pinball machines, a dandy, "manual" baseball game, shooting galleries (electronic) with figures of squirels,
balls or bullseyes randomly poping up. All these were slowly replaced with the electronic video games. "Pong". "Asteroids". "Space
Invaders". Racing video game and so on. I tried those as they came and totally lost interest. To this day, I've never bought an
Nintendo or Xbox or what have you. Video games are a poor substitute for bingo pinball and this one poker pinball machine I also
liked, i.e. That Miss Philippines "Bally Beauty" certainly looks familiar. By that I mean the layout of the bingo cards on the front
panel. Common sense would say that such a design would have been sold in the Philippines. For sure. Why else? The machine I
found the hardest in the amusement center was the one with a circular bingo card that could be made to spin. It was a unique
design. I remember a lot of colors on the front glass panel. Maybe you know its name. Anyway, I do miss those days. And, as I
told you, God willing, I hope to be able to get a well maintained bingo sometime in the next couple of years.
Regards to all!
~ Thxs Gary – Awesome! ~
~ This bingo was on sale for $1600 (ouch) in the Los Angeles area in 2004 ~
~ check out that custom paint job ~
~ Bingo Pinballs ~