How’s your eye-hand co-ordination?A great place to test your dexterity skills is on The Magnotron at the new Roanoke Pinball Museum. It’s one of 25 vintage pinball machines at this interactive museum dedicated to the science and history of pinball.
|The Pinball Museum in Roanoke, Virginia, has 25 machines to
test your skill.
Try a round on the prized machine, a wooden table dating from the 1930s, where patrons still try to outscore the previous player.
|This old wooden table was produced in the 1930s--and it still plays.
The colorful dinging machines have earned a special place in American culture; and if you don’t get too caught up in making the highest score, you might even learn a bit about the history of pinball and the science behind the game.Playing at your leisure, you’ll inevitably develop techniques (ask your parents or grandparents about this) that help you improve, even though it sometimes seems that the action is out of your control. The fast-paced games can become addictive, so young and old alike keep coming back to try again and again.
|You can spend all day in the Pinball Museum for just $10.
While you’re waiting to play or standing in front of the machines, take time to appreciate the various colors, designs, and compositions of the back glasses and playfields. Notice themes--such as western, superhero, and magic—and game names like Fireball, Captain Fantastic, Jokerz, Jubilee, Gotlieb’s Corral, Apollo, Skeet Shooting, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.Then see how quick your reactions are when the little ball comes speeding toward your end of the table. Can you stop it from disappearing and send it back to ring up hundreds of points--so you increase playing time for a given game?
|Rooftop garden and view of the city
The Roanoke Pinball Museum is the newest of seven nonprofit museums sponsored by the Western Virginia Foundation for the Arts and Sciences operating as the Center in the Square. Jim Sears, president and general manager of Center in the Square since 1993, says downtown is in the middle of a renaissance thanks to attractions like the Pinball Museum.People are drawn to the heart of the city as arts organizations preserve the history and heritage for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. If you need a break from zapping the ball, or just want to see a beautiful skyline, go to the top of the building for a bird’s-eye view of Roanoke, which is especially glowing at night. You’ll see a safe city loaded with plenty of activities and shops to keep you busy.
Photos by Beverly Burmeier