National Pinball Museum

National Pinball Museum.
Early shoppers examine the games for sale at the National Pinball Museum. National Pinball Museum founder David Silverman discusses games with purchasers. A new owner carts Gottlieb's Pro Football out of the National Pinball Museum. Gottlieb's Big Hurt is a tight fit in this small car.

The National Pinball Museum in Baltimore closed on March 3, 2013 after failing to agree on new lease terms with its building owner. The Museum sold about 20 games on March 30 to offset moving and storage costs.

Players filled the Pinhead Gallery at the National Pinball Museum in Baltimore. National Pinball Museum founder David Silverman greets visitors on opening day.

Hundreds of visitors played pinball on opening day at the National Building Museum's new location in Baltimore. The new location offers a little more space to play pinball and a little less space for historical displays. The crowd was very enthusiastic, with many people staying all day.

Volunteers wrap a pinball game at the National Pinball Museum. Half the pinball games were ready to move at the National Pinball Museum. Volunteers remove legs from a pinball game at the National Pinball Museum.

Volunteers and staff worked feverishly at the National Pinball Museum to prepare hundreds of pinball games and rooms full of historic exhibits for a forced move out of their leased space in Washington, DC. More than half the games were ready to go just five days after the museum closed to the public.

Games in storage at the National Pinball Museum. Games await restoration at the National Pinball Museum.

WTOP news radio, the Washington Post, and other news outlets reported this week that the National Pinball Museum lost its lease and must vacate its Georgetown Mall space by mid-July. Museum founder and curator David Silverman stated that the museum would seek a new location.

Two weeks until opening: game bodies, heads and legs are scattered about. One week until opening: most games are assembled at the National Pinball Museum. One week until opening: yellow checklist cards show work remaining for each game Opening day: games are cleaned, re-rubbered, lit up, and labeled.

When curator David Silverman renewed his call for volunteers to help prepare games at the National Pinball Museum, I responded. Little did I know that most of my free time for the next two weeks would be devoted to his cause. With help from many hands, the museum was ready for its successful Grand Opening to the public on Saturday, December 4, 2010.

David Silverman opens the gates to the National Pinball Museum. Guests entered the National Pinball Museum between giant flippers. Wayne Neyens describe his first pinball machine design, College Daze. An exhibit of the art of Stan Fukuoka featured three playable Capcom games.

The National Pinball Museum opened to the public on December 4, 2010. Shortly after 10 AM, curator David Silverman unlocked the gates to allow a small crowd to enter. Soon visitors were exploring the history of pinball and playing dozens of games in the pay-to-play and exhibit areas.

An invitation to the National Pinball Museum Grand Opening Reception. National Pinball Museum curator David Silverman at the Grand Opening Reception. Guests explore the National Pinball Museum at the Grand Opening Reception. Guests try the "Pay to Play" games at the National Pinball Museum.

Supporters gathered tonight for their first look at the newly completed National Pinball Museum during a gala Grand Opening Reception. Museum founder and curator David Silverman explained his vision for the museum and led tours through the historical exhibits. The museum opens on Saturday, December 4, 2010.

The progress since Tuesday night, when I last volunteered, was amazing. The construction and painting was completed. All of the construction dust was gone. The games were gleaming. Most of the wood rail games were lit for display. The historical exhibit rooms had their games and props in place. The pay-to-play room contained about 40 games ready to go.

Poster for the National Pinball Museum Grand Opening on December 4, 2010. Games await cleaning, testing, and backglass installation. Artist Angela Annecchino paints a giant pop bumper cap.

Following a brief Thanksgiving break, a crew of volunteers, staff, and contractors resumed feverish preparations for the Grand Opening of the National Pinball Museum on December 4, 2010. I joined the volunteers for a second weekend and was impressed by the progress.

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