A little Pins and Needles primer for new people

A few notes for those interested:

Pins and Needles is not a bar, an arcade, or even a business. It’s a private collection of games that I’ve been putting together for a decade in the repurposed loading dock of a warehouse building. A lot of people have been coming in expecting…I don’t know what…a big swinging bar, neons, a mirrored ceiling. Let me save you the trouble; you won’t find that here.

On games: I don’t have fancy games. I do not have a Medieval Madness, an Addams Family, a Monster Bash, a Kiss, an Attack from Mars, or an Indiana Jones. I have, essentially, all “D titles”, games that no one really wants because they’re either too junked-up or too offbeat. I mean, yeah, Whitewater, yeah, day one Mylar Embryon, yeah, a borrowed FunHouse…there’s good stuff. But so many people have come in all freshly drunk from a local dinner and just boohoo-ed about how they want to play the Star Trek the Next Generation that was in their college lobby decades ago and then left in a huff. To you, I’m sorry; I can’t and will never be able to afford those titles. You’ll need to find some wealthy home collector and go to their house in the valley for those games; I’m personally bored by the same-old same-old.

Pins and Needles is not an arcade, nor a bar, nor is it fancy, nor is it for everyone. It’s a tiny half-step up from playing at someone’s man-cave. After a few years in LA I was just so bummed about the pinball situation that I threw everything I had into putting pinball out there for those interested to enjoy. It’s a shit-ton of work, and all I do is lose money trying to keep the collection in order. Lots of people come in and just say “wtf is this, this chick is crazy, what a bitch, I’m taking my opinions to yelp!” and that’s okay. I am pretty crazy, though I like to use the term “awkward”. But let’s do us all a favor here — if you’re looking for a top-tier museum-quality pinstravaganza, you’ll need to pick a different spot (and, ahem, let me know where that is!). If you’re content to try something different and open your mind up to a cool experience among like-minded people, Pins and Needles is gonna be more your speed.

If a game isn’t set up to your liking, please just ask me to check it out. I’m there with my tools and a level full-time. If a machine “eats” a quarter, I’ll give you plenty back with zero attitude and an honest apology. If you want to wax nostalgic about an old game you love I’m all ears. Just be nice, please. For every jerko who bags on PNN, there are several straight up pinball fanatics who make even the worst of things seem worthwhile; that’s why I’m still in it. I’m not here to monopolize the hobby; I’m here to inspire interest in it. If someone wants to open a huge legit pinball heaven, I’d be thrilled, not angry.

If you want to come to Pins and Needles, please leave any crappy attitude you have at the door. The place doesn’t have many rules except “have fun” and “no drinks on the games”. When you come, remember, you’re basically entering my home; try and be respectful to the haggard looking lady. I’m tired, trying to keep this going. For you. Thanks LA pinballers for your understanding and continued support.

Posted in Blog
6 comments on “A little Pins and Needles primer for new people
  1. Trip says:

    I’m sorry to hear about anyone giving you attitude. PNN is an amazing resource for local pinball fans, and you do a hell of a job keeping it up, and we’re all really grateful for it.

  2. brandon says:

    You are a personal hero.

    Much love,
    Bales, Brandon

  3. Robstar says:

    D titles?! Bullocks! Mystic and Laser War are quite possibly the greatest machines ever made.

  4. Coop says:

    Even after all that I really can’t wait to make it over there one evening. Don’t let the haters get you down.

  5. Ashley says:

    Sorry to hear people have been giving you hell. I personally love the way you have the place set up and am always looking for a free weekend to play (which are too few and far between). I’m so grateful to have a place to pin here in L.A., so like Coop said, don’t let the haters get you down!

    • molly says:

      Haaaaaaa, you guys are really awesome supporters, can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! Thanks very much, hope to see you soon before I burn the rest of the way out!!

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