An interactive pinball museum opening Aug. 1 will add 2,000 square feet of playable pinball machines and arcade cabinets to the growing slate of entertainment options in St. Petersburg's Grand Central District.
The Pinball Arcade Museum is located at 2313 Central Ave., across the street from the Dog Bar and next door to the recently opened Mouse Trap escape room. On the other side of the museum is the soon-to-open Calabash Jamaican restaurant.
The museum will charge a flat fee of $15 for unlimited play on the nearly 60 machines, mostly arcade hits from the 1980s and '90s. Those who purchase a one-day bracelet can leave and re-enter throughout the day. The museum also plans to eventually offer monthly memberships with unlimited play.
The nonprofit museum is owned by Andy Kline, founder and operator of the Odessa Wildlife Rescue and Sanctuary, which is home to more than 300 rescued animals. Proceeds from the arcade will go to support the sanctuary and other local charities, general manager Karen Ann Holland said.
The arcade machines come from Kline's private collection amassed over the last four decades, Holland said, but were going primarily unused. She estimated that what's on site at the museum represents about a quarter of the owner's entire collection.
"They were just sitting in a warehouse, and it was like, 'It's time to do something with them'," Holland said. "People are really excited, and we're excited to contribute to the development of the Grand Central community and to give something back."
Among the playable video games are Ms. Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and NFL Blitz. The pinball machines include The Addams Family, World Cup Soccer, South Park and Dirty Harry.
The Pinball Arcade Museum aims to host tournaments with prizes and other special events, and will be available to rent for private parties.
Contact Christopher Spata at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @SpataTimes.