California Pinball Museum Auctioning 1,700 Games After Closing Its Doors, Collection Could Fetch $7M

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You might need more than a fistful of quarters to win these machines.

The Museum of Pinball is closing because of financial difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and is auctioning off its collection of 1,700 games that could be worth as much as $7 million, according to The New York Times.

The Banning, California, institution will host live and online bids this weekend on the floor of its 40,000-square-foot facility, NBC News reported.

The museum was struggling prior to the pandemic according to NPR, but it turned out that their game was over following 18 months of struggle brought on by the global situation.

Due to the lengthy coronavirus lockdown, the museum suffered and did its best to stay afloat. It even tried to relocate its operations to nearby Palm Springs but nothing panned out, according to NBC News.

“It’s just sadness,” founder John Weeks told The New York Times. “People would come from all over the world to go to this place.”

“I didn’t have enough money to save it myself," he added. 

Some of the pinball games include "Addams Family Gold Special,'' "Big Bang Bar,'' and "Magic Girl,” as well as “Star Wars” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” themed machines.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” machine is a collector’s edition from the beloved Disney franchise and is what the Times describes as “the holy grail” of items at auction. It could fetch $35,000 on its own.

They also have arcade games like "Paperboy,'' Exidy's "Death Race'' and the "Bally Midway Discs of Tron.''

The museum was only open about nine days a year and mainly hosted events, averaging about 9,000 visitors annually, according to the Times. Most visitors paid $80 for an all-day pass or $150 for a weekend pass. The passes didn’t require coins and would allow for unlimited playing.

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