Pinball | SubCultures


-My name is Molly Atkinson,
and this is Pins and Needles. Pins is for the pinball. Needles is — I’m a tailor,
costume-designer person, so that’s how Pins and Needles
is still here. I get the talent on camera
looking snappy and beautiful and then come back
to my pinball games. -If you’re getting into it, you have these few,
very few choices out in, like, bowling alleys,
arcades here and there. But the really beautiful
machines, the history of this hobby, is kind of buried in people’s
garages and game rooms, and she’s trying
to bring that back. -I like when they would make up
a whole artwork package and a whole theme for a game
from someone’s imagination more than, like, some scans from
the movie put onto a Translite. When I first started
Pins and Needles, I was like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could
just get some interest and have some folks come in?” which, I guess, happened. People meet here. They hang out outside of here. They track down other pinball
games and go play them together, and that makes me really happy. -If you live
on the east side of L.A., sometimes it can feel like you only ever hang out
with the people that you know. But pinball is a great window
into everyone who lives here and a chance to, like, get to
know the community differently. -A place like this seems to be
a pretty improbable success, and that doesn’t happen
by accident, you know? She’s put in a lot of work. -If you’re not a millionaire and you want to have
a pinball collection, you need to start learning
some tech skills right away. I’ve heard that games
were designed to last between like 5 and 7 years, and so I’ve got
some 40-year-old guys in here who are pretty crotchety
at this point. Like, you need
to get your soldering iron out and a screwdriver
and a nut driver and just get in there
and start tackling the problems, because they won’t
fix themselves. I’d say the vast majority
of folks who come in, like, are pretty new
to the hobby itself. I just am really drawn
to the idea of people, anyone, even someone
who lives on the street, can come up
and have a few flips. It’s kind of, like,
a die-hard, crazy notion, but I — I don’t know. I wouldn’t trade it
for anything. I have two favorite things. One is first reactions
to the Future Spa, and the second is when
an old, old man comes in and like, tears up,
because, you know, “Whoa. I never thought
I’d see one of these. I met my third wife playing
one of these,” or something. There’s all kinds of good stuff
like that that happens. And I also really like
when people bring their kids in. Our league started where I just asked a couple
of my friends, like, “Please. Will you please come
to this thing? It’ll be so fun. And maybe bring someone
with you. Meh.” So, we were scrambling
with like a dozen people. And it was a great time,
but now the league — We’re in our 11th season,
and we’re 38 men deep, and I have to turn people away. And a lot of them are novices, never really played
too much before. They just thought
it was a neat thing or, you know, hadn’t seen one
in a while. -There’s a lot of people here, and it’s fun to hear all
the noise and everything going. Sometimes,
it’s, like, competitive, but it’s, like, really
kind of good competitive and everything like that,
so it’s like — It’s exciting ’cause everybody just wants
everybody to do good and stuff. -Overall, I was never like,
“This is my plan. This is what I’m going to do. And I will succeed
or I will fail, but this is where
my effort is going.” It’s never been that way. It’s always been like,
“Well, I don’t know. I’m gonna try this and then evolve it
and see what happens.” I don’t understand people who
can’t enjoy a game of pinball. I can see that you can have a
frustrating ball here or there, but it doesn’t make sense to me when someone can walk up
to a 40-year-old machine filled with lights
and bells and whistles and not think, “This is cool.” I just don’t — I don’t get it. It happens, but I don’t get it.

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61 thoughts on “Pinball | SubCultures

  1. This is amazing! PLEASE can you tell us how you find these sub cultures. I'd love to join some of these hobbyists featured in the various videos.

  2. Wow, I would never know that subculture like that existed. I guess people have all sorts of interests. For me I'm a gamer and amateur yoyo enthusiast (yoyoer? yoyoist?)

  3. As a regular and part time staffer at the Pins and Needles I have never once heard Pinball Wizard played there…

  4. There used to be an arcade in my town when I was a kid. I never got to go there, except for once. It was mind blowing, even though I had no money and couldn't play anything. Not too long after that, they closed down. If I just would've had a coin to play.

  5. San Francisco needs to get on this. How does LA have a pinball league and we don't? We must not allow a pinball gap.

  6. I have been to the pinball "Museum" in Las Vegas and it was awesome!!! I put museum in quotes because you could actually play every machine, like this place!

  7. Also not sure why she gets so much attention when there is so muc out there.
    She is in L.A.
    In California, there also exists the Pacific Pinball Museum and they have HUNDREDS of machines up and running.

  8. Anyone on the east coast- a place like this is in Asbury Park, NJ. Called the Silverball Museum, pretty cool

  9. Virtual Pinball Machines R US | The #1 Seller of Virtual Pinball …

    www.virtualpinballmachinesrus. com

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