Route 66 News

Route 66 Arcade Museum opens Thursday

If you’re old enough to remember pinball machines, coin-operated video games and brightly colored and noisy arcades, downtown Atlanta, Ill., has just the place for you.

The Route 66 Arcade Museum in Atlanta, Ill., is slated to open Thursday, according to a news release from Bill Thomas, the chief mover-and-shaker of the revitalization of Atlanta’s Route 66 corridor.

It’s at 114 SW Arch St. (map here), with its entrance around the corner on Race Street. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It’s free and open to the public, but donations to keep it running are appreciated.

The Route 66 Arcade Museum houses over 40 vintage pinball and video games, including a rare, circa 1936, flipperless, wooden-cased, pinball game, an original PacMan video game and many others. Nearly all the machines are operable and can be played for only a quarter. The Museum is decorated with several dozen framed, vintage pinball “back-glasses” that are colorful representations of this graphic art form.

The Route 66 Arcade Museum is available by reservation for birthday parties, family reunions, and other gatherings at no cost. Arrangements can also be made for dinner at the Palms Grill Café combined with a visit to the museum. Please call 217-648-5077 to make arrangements.

More photos from the museum, including that rare pinball machine:

The arcade machines are part of a collection by John Yates, who owns another museum of pre-1983 arcade machines in the Route 66 town of McLean, Ill.

(Photos courtesy of Bill Thomas)

3 thoughts on “Route 66 Arcade Museum opens Thursday

  1. DynoDave

    Very cool. We’ll definitely have to stop and check this out with the kids the next time we are through Atlanta (this summer). Show ‘em what video games were like way back when Mom and Dad were kids! LOL

  2. Gary Alexander

    The blue fiberglass, oddly shaped machine shown in your first picture, is Computer Space. That was the first commercially produced video game, ever. Before Pong, before Space Wars, there was Computer Space. (so many quarters spent at my local Shakey’s Pizza Parlor.)
    -sigh-

  3. Cornelis

    Cool coverage but we’ve been to this museum in september 2013, and it’s extremely cool! So i guess it’s been open sporadically the last year or so. I even filmed a small tour inside, if your interested!

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