The Mystic Machine

Photo credit: Norman Blake

Last week we shared the news that the Coney Island Museum is expanding with a new (playable) pinball exhibition. We’ve obtained more details about the pinball gallery, which had its soft opening yesterday.

“We had machines in the bar being played nonstop,” said Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA and “unofficial mayor” of Coney Island.

Not all the machines are installed yet; by this coming weekend everything should officially be in place.

There are going to be 10 pinball machines – six in the Coney Island Museum storefront and another three or four in the Freak Bar in the lobby of the nearby Arts Center.

“It is a ‘living’ museum exhibit,” said Zigun.

Photo credit: Norman Blake

The machines are all vintage – mainly from the ’70s and early ’80s – and chosen for their artistry as well as thematic appeal.

“One features Harry Houdini escaping from handcuffs, which is how he began his career at the Coney Island sideshow,” Zigun said. Others feature roller coasters and ferris wheels. One features Evel Knievel.

There is no entry fee, Zigun said. “Just bring a roll of quarters.”