Storing Vintage Pinball Machines

Close up of a vintage pinball machine and text "Storing vintage pinball machines"

There are many people all across the country who are rediscovering the wonder of vintage pinball machines. While the machines weren’t “vintage” when these people were growing up, they’ve now reached an age where they can purchase a few machines, restore them, and set them up in their basement. Another trend that is growing in popularity is the “barcade,” where owners restore and set up pinball machines for paying customers to play and enjoy, while enjoying a beer or their favorite cocktail. If you have a machine or two that you need to store, EZ Storage® in St. Louis is here to help.

The Arcade Generation

pinball_1Before there were home video game consoles and online multiplayer mega-games, there were arcades. Young children and teenagers in the 1970s and 80s would flock to arcades and burger joints to play pinball and the first video game cabinets. As the years passed, these local institutions somewhat faded into oblivion, to be replaced by home game consoles and personal computers. However, there was always a niche that enjoyed these original games, and many kept machines in their basement or in storage units until they could be rebuilt or restored and played once again.

Now that “the arcade generation” has grown up, had kids of their own, and has some disposable income, more and more “barcades” are popping up around the country. There are several in the greater St. Louis area, and those who had forgotten about pinball and the original cabinet games are rediscovering a part of their childhood. Even the younger generations are having a blast playing these games for the first time and trying to beat their parent’s high score.

Restoring Pinball Machines

If you’re a tinkerer who loves to restore pinball machines, you may not have the room in your garage to keep a machine until you can work on it. You may have found a great deal on a couple of vintage games, and while you may not have plans to open a barcade, you do have dreamstime_xxl_2579088plans for a game room in your basement. Climate-controlled self-storage can be a great option for these machines, since you don’t want heat or cold to damage the sensitive electronics inside.

Another aspect to consider is finding original parts for your machines. While the companies who originally made the machines may no longer be in business, it is still possible to find parts for certain games. Once you do, you don’t want them to get lost in your garage or basement, and placing them in storage alongside your machines can help you keep track of everything. You’ll want to label the boxes with what’s inside and what machine they go to so that when you have time to work on a game, you don’t have to search for the right parts.

Setting a Timeline

If you’ve always wanted to restore a pinball machine, either for personal or commercial use, it’s good to set a timeline for when you want to have it completed. If your goal is to open a barcade in the next six months to year, then you know you have to have your machines ready to go in the next four to ten months. With our month-to-month storage leases, you can rent a space for as long as you need, and with our convenient access hours, you can pick up or drop off a machine whenever it works for you. You can take one out, work on it for a few weeks, then bring it back when it’s finished!

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If you’re a member of the arcade generation, or you simply love old pinball machines, find the proper storage solutions for your games with EZ Storage®. Our climate-controlled spaces are perfect for vintage electronics, and you can find the room you need to safely store multiple machines.

Call or visit us today!