Greetings, programs. As you may remember, a few weeks ago I brought you a heartbreaking photograph of the saddest arcade in the world.
Tucked into a nook in the new Pacific Theatres at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, underneath an Art Deco sign that teased “Arcade,” sat a lonely Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga “Class of 1981” machine and an even lonelier try-your-luck “Movie Stop” DVD dispenser.
You couldn’t imagine a more tragic visual to illustrate the neglected state of the American video game arcade. Realizing that future generations would want to know exactly when and where arcades died, I pulled out my trusty camera and recorded the scene for posterity.
Three weeks later, I’m happy to report that the situation has, to paraphrase Delbert Grady from the Overlook Hotel, “been corrected.”
Yes, Pacific Theatres has finally given visitors to their multiplex an arcade befitting the A-class experience synonymous with the name Caruso Affiliated.
What exactly are we looking at? Why, it’s a vintage cabinet for 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Super Bikes, a fast-paced motorcycle game by Raw Thrills/Universal. I wonder if there’s any connection between this game and the obscure 1955 Roger Corman-produced drag-racing film?
At this point I began feeling woozy. Before I could even register what was happening, I passed out.
That’s not all folks! More pics after the jump.
When I regained consciousness, this is what I saw:
I moved in for a closer look and found myself face-to-face with Stacker. The goal of the game? Line up the horizontally moving blocks. The higher you can stack, the bigger the potential prize.
Here’s one of the “major” prizes. According to this site, these digital binoculars have a whopping retail value of $33.00.
Here’s another “major” prize. Again, with a retail value of $33.00. Did I mention each game costs $1.00 to play? A worthy investment in these troubling financial times.
And finally, here’s the Sega UFO Catcher machine, filled to the brim with plush Disney characters atop various modes of transportation, all waiting to be abducted. I want to believe. Now more than ever.
As much as I’d love to revel in this victory, I realize this is merely one battle in a war that’s only just begun.
There are malls all across town in desperate need of a decent arcade. Very few people are paying attention.
That all ends tonight.
And, you know something? If you had told me three weeks ago that we were going to have a brand new arcade at the Americana, I would have given anything for that.
But I’m not stopping now. Correction. We’re not stopping now. Next, we’re going to the Grove.
Not only are we going to the Grove, we’re going to the Westside Pavilion, and the Sherman Oaks Fashion Square Mall, and the Glendale Galleria, and we’re going to Hollywood & Highland, and the Sherman Oaks Galleria, and the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center.
And we’re going to Santa Monica Place, and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, and Koreatown Plaza, and the Westfield Promenade. And then we’re going to West Los Angeles to take back the Bevelry Center!