Hollywood’s Love Affair with Pinball

Consumers have limited disposable income, and for many people that money is spent on entertainment.

Ever since the first silent films graced the screens at small community movie houses, audiences have flocked to see Hollywood’s tales of good versus evil.

As the film industry continued to grow, the arcade gaming industry evolved out of rudimentary spring-launched games to create the modern pinball machines we know today. While it might seem as if both industries compete for the same dollars, they actually share a strong symbiotic relationship that dates back decades.

Here’s a look at how Hollywood and pinball manufacturers work together to provide hours of entertainment.

Gaming Tables at Movie TheatersIf you’ve ever spent time waiting for the doors to open for your movie’s showtime you might have noticed other entertainment options in the lobby. Video games are almost always present, but more often than not, it’s the pinball machines that gather a crowd. People of all ages enjoy the real mechanics and knowledge of physics it takes to dominate a table and earn a free play.

Pinball Machines in Movies ThemselvesThe machines in the lobby might not be the only pinball games you see when you visit the movie theater. Since this type of gaming has long been a part of popular culture, it’s only natural that film-makers have incorporated them into their work.

Paul Newman plays pinball in The Verdict

Here’s a glimpse at some of the most notable pinball appearances on the silver screen.

The Verdict – Sidney Lumet and Paul Newman were both Hollywood heavy-hitters, and they teamed together in The Verdict, a legal drama from 1982. Pinball gets a starring role in the very beginning of the film, as Newman’s character starts the movie playing Disco Fever, a 1978 machine made by Williams.Dazed and Confused – Richard Linklater’s 1993 coming-of-age tale follows a group of teenagers as they enjoy their newfound summer freedom. One of the group’s favorite haunts is an arcade with pool tables and a wide assortment of pinball machines, some of which are being played or leaned on by main characters.Whip It