The Pinball Wizard Arcade, one of the largest arcades in the world, has closed.
Owner Sarah St. John posted a short message to the Pinball Wizard Arcade Facebook page on Saturday, April 29, that the arcade would be closing on Sunday, April 30.
“The staff at the Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, NH would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal customers for their patronage over the last 6+ years,” St. John posted.
“Unfortunately the time has come; The Pinball Wizard Arcade will be closing their doors on Sunday April 30, 2017 at 8pm.
“We’ve enjoyed bringing classic arcade gaming entertainment to all of our customers through birthday parties, pinball league nights, tournaments, date nights, and family visits.”
In a Lowell Sun news story, St. John cited the high cost of running an arcade – including employee costs, electricity, maintenance and rent – as the reasons why she closed the arcade.
From the Lowell Sun:
It was more than three decades ago when the owner of an arcade company told Sarah St. John that if she could fix a broken-down pinball machine – Xenon – within an hour, she had a job.
An electrical engineer by trade with a degree from Northeastern University, the repair task was as easy as level one in Pac-Man for the Pelham resident.
"I had it up and running in 10 minutes," St. John said.
From there, the passion for pinball grew and, shortly after, so did a collection of pinball machines and arcade games that she started.
Today she owns more than 750 such machines and a few hundred of them – 357, to be exact – have been inside the Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, which she has owned and operated for six and a half years.
Named after the nickname St. John earned years ago, the gamer's paradise is among the largest arcades in the world.
However, at 8pm Sunday [April 30] the final pinball plunger was pulled and the final high score was approached, as the arcade closed its doors for good.
"I've had a great run for six and a half years and it's a lot of work," St. John said from inside the packed arcade on its final night.
"It's very expensive to run an arcade between employee costs, electricity, maintenance and of course the rental."
Continue reading the Lowell Sun story here