Step into Young Avenue Deli and you won’t just find pool tables in the room across the bar, you’ll notice, against the far wall, a formation of old arcade machines. I hope most will agree, whether played or not, these machines generate nostalgic hospitality. Pac-man (or girl), Mega-man, Mortal Combat, Donkey Kong, and the list goes on…
These are games that competed for our quarters and hooked us like flies to fluorescent lighting. But there’s no denying the pinball machine was most luring with its attractive lights and sounds. And while pinball machines have been around for ages (since the early 30’s), they became quite the hit in Memphis during the mid 70’s. Not the kind you may recall as a kid growing up in the 80’s but according to a 1975 Press-Scimitar article,
“It differs from the usual pinball machine, having no bells, electric bumpers or flippers.
But the attraction is that they offer the patron the chance to make as much as $20 by winning free games and selling unused games back to the management.”
The games were considered gambling and thought to be illegal, but a state appeals court ruled it as not gambling and thus the merriment of the game could proceed forth.And while today you may likely not discover one of these pinball machines at your local bar, there is hope many may remain in good condition as the article also states,
“With money on the line, players may verbally abuse the machine but most are careful not to shake it for fear of tilting the game.”