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You can play all 25 pinball machines at Myrtle Beach's new museum

Biggest Pinball museum in South Carolina opening in Myrtle Beach

The biggest pinball museum in South Carolina is opening in Myrtle Beach on June 1. The museum will feature 25 games that you can play.
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The biggest pinball museum in South Carolina is opening in Myrtle Beach on June 1. The museum will feature 25 games that you can play.

Myrtle Beach residents will soon have a place to relive the 1980s and 90s.

The Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum on 27th Avenue North is scheduled to open on June 1.

At this museum, the exhibits are hands-on. For $12 per hour, people can play the pinball machines without paying per game.

"Pinball is a passion and I’m just ready to share it with the rest of the community," said owner and real estate broker Jerry Pinkas. The 54-year-old Pinball enthusiast said it will be the biggest pinball museum in South Carolina.

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Jerry Pinkas plays a pinball machine at the Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum off of 27th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The museum of more than two dozen games from the 1970s through present day grew out of owner Jerry Pinkas' personal collection. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

Games range from classics like Captain Fantastic, Bally Old Chicago, Top Speed and 8 Ball Deluxe to newer games like Ghostbusters and Star Wars.

It all started six years ago with one game in Pinkas' office. It was popular with the kids, he said, and soon he added another. The collection grew from there and eventually turned into a museum.

"The idea was my wife and I start at 501(c)(3) and after we cover our expenses, we’re donating money to kids' charities," said Pinkas, who added that the museum would run entirely by volunteers.

The museum will feature 25 games at any one time, and Pinkas, a self-described "80s geek," has more games in his personal collection that will be rotated in and out of the museum based on what's popular. Each game will have a card attached to it detailing the machine's production date, the number of them made and any relevant historical details.

The games range from the 1970s to present day. There's variance from Bally Old Chicago, produced in 1976 with half-mile of wiring and no computers, to the Dominoes game, produced in 2017 by Spooky Pinball, Pinkas said. The Dominoes game is the rarest in the collection with only 150 having been produced.

Many of the older games had to be refurbished by Pinkas, who said "the days of actually finding a pinball repair guy out there are gone."

"This is kind of the craziest thing if you think about it," he said. "Just think about an antique car that you spend years [and] passion putting it back together, painted and getting everything done. Now you say, 'Okay you can go out and take my car for a test drive.' So it's kind of the opposite of reality."

Upon the June 1 opening, hours will be Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m to 8 p.m, Saturday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Discounts will be available for locals, first responders, military and AAA members. People are allowed in on a first-come, first-served basis.

Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian

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