Classic game of pinball makes a comeback in NYC

KIPS BAY, Manhattan — You can call it the pinball mecca of the Big Apple with 34 machines for play or purchase.

The classic game is making a comeback in a big way and it starts at Modern Pinball NYC.

It’s the brainchild of Steve Zahler - a competitive pinball player.

Modern Pinball NYC opened in 2014.

Zahler wants to spread his love of the game to a new generation.

“We really wanted to have a pinball place in the city,” Zahler said. “We really wanted to bring pinball back to the people, not just to the collectors and the tournament players, but to the main stream.”

Pinball is making news today. Pinball, along with Uno and the Magic 8 Ball, are this year’s inductees into the 2018 National Toy Hall of Fame.

“I’m not surprised because pinball has endured since the 1700s it’s an all-American pastime.”

Pinball was once actually banned here in the city because critics said it encouraged gambling and crime. The ban was finally removed, but not till 1976.

“Over the years it kind of dwindled down and video games came out and blew it all away,” Zahler said. “Pinball is a very social game and that’s something you don’t have anymore, it’s kinda sad to see kids isolating themselves with their iPhones and iPads. There’s not much socialization with games anymore and pinball is extremely social and we have so many families come here, it’s just a great time where you can be with other people having a great social time.”

The lights, the sound of balls hitting bumpers – it gets addictive. Modern Pinball NYC is getting its most prized item soon -- a Beatles-themed machine.

“We’re getting a Beatles pinball machine in a few weeks,” Zahler said. “It plays several songs from the Beatles such a beautiful play field.”

Modern Pinball NYC also offers classes. “I can tell you tips to make you you 60 percent better at pinball. First, use one flipper at a time!”

As for price it’s one admission fee starting at $14.95 an hour, $16.95 for two hours and more for an all-day pass. They also do parties.

It's open during the week from 11 a.m. to midnight and later on weekends.