Modern Pinball in New York City
- Modern Pinball is just a few weeks old, but some say it heralds the return of pinball to New York City. The store primarily sells pinball machines, but visitors can pay a flat rate to play as many games as they'd like.
- Co-owner Steve Epstein ran a legendary arcade in Times Square before it closed its doors in 1997, and he helped create a pinball ranking system still used in championships.
- A total of 32 machines line the walls of Modern Pinball. The decor is simple, but the owners say they chose the red paint to make the pinball machines pop from the walls.
- Al "Pinaholic" Cihak calls himself a pinball addict: over the years, he has amassed a collection of over a hundred machines. Most of the games in the store are his own, and he even services some of the machines himself.
- Many pinball machines, like "FunHouse" from 1990, have wonderfully detailed play surfaces.
- "Funhouse" features an animated talking doll named Rudy that taunts players. Shop co-owner Steve Epstein says the designer had nightmares about Rudy long after production was completed in 1990.
- Steve Zahler, who co-owns the store, plays in pinball championships around the world.
- Most of the pinball machines date from the early '90s, like the truly odd "Dr. Dude."
- The "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" machine is replete with references to the film, including no less than a full T-101 Terminator head.
- Marketing tie-ins like "Terminator" are just one way machines differentiate themselves. Each also has unique ways for getting the most points, and hardcore players at the shop knew exactly what to do at each machine.
- "The Simpsons Pinball Party" is a newer machine from Stern, dating to 2003.
- This colorful and intricate Wizard of Oz pinball machine is the first from Jersey Jack, a new manufacturer that joins Stern as the only two major producers of new games.