Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Match Made in Pinball Heaven

When I recently learned that there was a National Pinball Museum in Silver Spring, it was one of those "Wait, what?" moments. Turns out, David Silverman has been collecting pinball machines for 25 years and has amassed 800 (!) machines, 50 of which he keeps in a building behind his house on Cannon Road. He bills this space as the Pinball Museum, but as of now one can only visit it with an appointment.


Photo from The Baltimore Sun

He wants to expand to a proper (presumably, less claustrophobic) space with more machines, and frankly I think it's high time he get that space. I of course advocate that this new museum be located in downtown Silver Spring.

I'm not exactly a big pinball fan myself, but I like the idea of pinball and particularly of a pinball museum. I'd definitely hit that place up plenty were it to be conveniently located downtown. There's already something akin to this in the Pinball Hall of Fame, located in a Vegas strip mall. They've got 152 pinball machines that you can play starting at a quarter a game.

So where would one locate a pinball museum in downtown Silver Spring? Surely there isn't a large, dark space lying unused and unwanted that could serve as a home for a pinball museum, is there? Oh wait, there is! The Capri Theatre, which has lain dormant since pinball was popular, would make a perfect location. Clearly the present incline of the of the theater floor doesn't lend itself to pinball, but it could be terraced easily enough, thereby creating enough floor space to accommodate quite a few machines.



Yes, this would force me to abandon my pipe dream of opening an underground theater, but let's be honest, that was never going to happen anyway. Presumably whoever owns this theater hasn't made a quarter off it in 30 years, so why not lease it out to the Pinball Museum for dirt cheap? For the love of God, somebody please get these parties together and make this happen!

And, well, just because...



UPDATE:

Here's a feature on the museum recently done by Fox 5:





21 comments:

Scott said...

Have you told the owner(s) about this?

Dan Reed said...

Are you sure you don't mean Cannon Road?

Sligo said...

Thank you, grammar police. Ironically, I am an alumnus of Cannon Rd. Elementary.

Anonymous said...

Elton John? What a great disservice to Pinball Wizard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GE8nR-5kL4.

Sligo said...

Yes, but I decided to go with the one with actual pinball visuals... and instrument destruction.

socoblogboy said...

I need to get a pic of my machine up on your site - 1978 Bally Playboy. Bally sold just over 18,000 of them - and I got one of 'em. Played this machine all throughout high school. I guess it's one of the reasons I've always been so suave with the ladies!

The Werle said...

I've visited the museum twice now, and its absolutely phenominal. Dave is the nicest, most interesting guy you could ever meet, and his home and property where the museum is currently located is a fantastic japanese garden built in a forest of 20 foot bamboo. Everyone should check this place out.

Nina said...

Great idea to bring some culture to SS. My friend Pete & his wife used to run the Squished Penny museum from his house (similar to Dave) in D.C.
I think we could combine both the pinball museum and the squished penny museum into one large museum. Also, Pete says the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas is set up like an arcade where you can actually play the games. Let's form a committee.

Sligo said...

Where do I sign up? Hell, I'll work at the place.

david said...

Maybe the county can strike a deal with one of the developments yet to be built in DTSS: locate the pinball museum on the first (and second?) floors of the building in exchange for a density bonus on the development. How about incorporating first-floor pinball in Studio Plaza, Midtown Silver Spring, the Adele, or another one of the projects that are in the development pipeline?

david said...

Maybe the county can strike a deal with one of the developments yet to be built in DTSS: locate the pinball museum on the first (and second?) floors of the building in exchange for a density bonus on the development. How about incorporating first-floor pinball in Studio Plaza, Midtown Silver Spring, the Adele, or another one of the projects that are in the development pipeline?

The Silver Spring Penguin said...

The Penguin's Twitter feed held a pledge drive to relocate the museum a few weeks back (before the KGB cracked the system). We managed to pull together about $103.75, all in quarters, of course.

But I think I'd rather see an actual museum -- something with curated exhibits -- than just this guy's massive collection.

Even pinball machines need context.

Anonymous said...

Nice mid-century logo!

Sligo said...

Thanks! I'm glad someone recognized that, since I was definitely going for the Googie look.

lilkunta said...

I really dont like this new header. Is the old pic on the right?

What a coincidence!: I just finished watching ch5 10pmnews & Beth Parker just profiled/interviewed Dave Silverman:
http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/offbeat/082809_maryland_man_creates_pinball_heaven
Apparently his house is near a Japanese podoga garden or somthing.

SarahW said...

nice article. . There are some really interesting articles featured by our experts on the bizymoms Silver-springcommunity experts page.

Anonymous said...

how do i get there does anyone know how to cantact this men.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know how to cantact the pinball guy that have more than 800 pinball machines in silver spring M.D.

helmer said...

how do i get in contact with this guy i want to visit his pinball machines help me please.

Eviction Notice said...

I am really excited to learn about this pinball museum in silver spring. It would be nice if it gets suitable space to display the collection and people can have free access to the center.

used auto parts said...

It is his great habit of collecting pinball machines spanning so many years that has made it possible to have a pinball museum. It is really a great feat which deserves accolades.