leisure 01.14.04


Some of the early pinball games gave out winnings which made it a form of gambling and was therefore said to be unhealthy for kids. Mayor LaGuardia was so anti-pinball that he liked to take a sledgehammer to the machines for the cameras and send others into the East River. In all, LaGuardia's campaign destroyed 11,000 machines. He even had the game banned in the city in 1941, law which stayed in effect until 1976. Even though the ban was lifted on playing, you're still not allowed to win free games in New York.

The NYC Pinball Association should be your first stop for all things pinball: you'll find info on where to play, history, repair, a search feature of the Internet Pinball Database, and anything else having to do with the silver ball.

Where to Play
Ace Bar, 531 E. 5th [A/B] 212.979.8476
Lazer Park, 1560 Bway [46th] 212.398.3060
Lucy's, 135 Ave. A [St. Mark's/9th] no phone
Nine C, 700 E. 9th [C] 212.358.0048
Otto's Shrunken Head, 538 E. 14th [A/B] 212.228.2240
Phoenix, 447 E. 13th [1st/A] 212.477.9979
The Raven, 194 Ave. A [12th] 212.529.4712
Vazac's (7B), 108 Ave. B [7th] 212.473.8840

Where to Buy
American Games, 297 10th [27th] 212.279.1095

Stern, maker of the Simpsons and Lord of the Rings games, is the only manufacturer still in business.

Steve Engel bought two pinball machines at auction for $300 while he was still in college in 1980. When he needed to get them serviced, the only person who was doing it was a 15-year-old kid. That gave Mr. Engel the idea for Mayfair Amusement, 718.417.5050, located in Queens. Mr. Engel sells pinball games but he is known as a vintage parts distributor. Whether you need flippers, plungers, coils, bumpers, balls, or leg levelers — he has them all, as well as the original schematics and manuals for many machines. What got him hooked, though, are the backglasses, and he now has over 8,000 in stock. It's the backglasses, he says, that give the machine its value to collectors. The most sought after backglass artist is Dave Christiansen.
The Who's Tommy has been remastered with the new SACD (Super Audio CD) sound format. Pete Townshend said: "To be able to listen to 'Tommy' in what is master quality audio, just as Roger, John, Keith and I did in the studio so many years ago, is a special experience — and completely new for fans of The Who and the album. This is what 'Tommy' was meant to sound like and I couldn't be happier that the public will finally hear it the way it was intended." Fans will also want it for the extra CD of bonus tracks, outtakes, and pinball sounds at the end of "Pinball Wizard." It's $29.98 from Geffen Records.

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