Flip Out Over Pinball!

With the movie Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game, opens a new window now out in theaters, you may find yourself wanting to try out some pinball games of your own. The movie is based on the true story of journalist, Roger Sharpe, who saved pinball from a city-wide ban in 1970's New York City, by proving that it was a game of skill and not just a gambling device.

Here in the Bay Area, we are fortunate to have the Pacific Pinball Museum, opens a new window, a hands-on museum located in Alameda, featuring over 100 vintage pinball machines from the 1940's to today. Most of the games are set to free-play, so you can play as many times as you like. There are also free jukeboxes featuring popular songs from different decades in each room.

You can use your San Mateo County Libraries card to print out a pass for free admission to the museum for one adult and one child under age 12 through our Discover & Go, opens a new window. (Please note: if you don't see the Pacific Pinball Museum in the list of available options for a particular date, you can click on "All Attractions", then scroll down to the museum's name and click on "Show First Available Offer" to see when the next Discover & Go passes will be available).

If you'd like to learn more about pinball, check out these two books:

Pinball by Jon Chad
Told in comic book format, this book traces the history of pinball from 19th century games of bagatelle to its recent revival.

Pinball Wizards by Adam Ruben
Follow humor writer Adam Ruben, whose own obsession with pinball once led him to be one of the top-ranked players in the world, as he journeys to museums and gaming competitions to try to understand what makes a great pinball player.