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Man wants to create arcade paradise

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 19 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 20 2013 06:15:10 PM CDT

Limber up those flipper fingers, pinball wizards!

Limber up those flipper fingers, pinball wizards! A new attraction coming to Allentown will be a feast for your senses.

"Well it becomes an illness, I can tell you that," laughed Joseph Shiller.

The Bethlehem man is not satisfied with just collecting arcade games.

"About five years ago I saw an advertisement on criagslist for a pinball machine," explained Shiller. "And it just took off from there."

His personal stash of vintage games now numbers close to four dozen, from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

"I have about 15 rifle games, I have about five ball bowlers, I have one skee ball machine, I've been waiting to get a skee ball I just got that recently."

But now he's setting his sights on something bigger. Shiller plans to open an arcade museum in Allentown.

"I'm not expecting to make money," he shared.

Shiller's passion will turn into a gamers' dream in the city's Pioneer Building on North 8th Street.

"There's two large rooms, so I have one room that will be the display room and it's like 25X50," he described. "And then there's a room upstairs that's the same size again, so I'll be able to work on the machines there."

Once the arcade museum is open, visitors will not only be allowed to look at the games, they'll actually be encouraged to play.

"The games need to be used because of being electromechanical. Some of them have literally 500-600 contact points in one game, so they need to be used otherwise they just stop working."

The arcade museum has the go-ahead from the zoning board. Shiller hopes to have it open to the public by October.

"It's not going to be a hang out place," Shiller added. "We want it to be more family place and I want to try to do like youth groups, and church groups and young married couples, that type of thing."

Right now he envisions the museum being open Friday through Sunday from noon until 10PM. For a $5 admission, guests get to look at the games. For $10, they can have unlimited play.