Modern Pinball NYC - Not Just Entertainment!
Friday, July 28, 2017
If you’re looking for more than just entertainment, for about $15 you can get an hour of free play and also learn something at the Museum of Modern Pinball NYC at 362 3rd Ave (27th Street). This is much more than a pinball place. Filled with vintage and modern machines and staffed by pinball wizards, this is a place to learn the history, art and science of the games while playing alongside people of all ages and skill levels.
Modern Pinball is designated as a museum because it serves an educational purpose. Pinball, long a popular pastime, has become modernized, and at the Pinball Museum you can play games from the ‘70s to the present while exploring the cultural and technical changes to the games over the years. An interactive pinball exhibit consisting of a deconstructed yet working pinball machine shows what makes them tick.
Approved by the Board of Regents and granted a charter by The State Education Dept / University of the State of New York as an approved DOE vendor, teachers can now take their students to this museum on an educational trip. Modern Pinball offers a pathway to teaching the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Highly qualified instructors explain to students how creating a pinball machine utilizes knowledge from engineering, magnetism, gravity and electricity. Visitors can delve deep into pinball science and art with informational placards atop the machines.
The staff loves explaining the history and mechanics of pinball and will open up the machines to show what they look like inside. Steve Zahler, Modern Pinball's owner, is gratified to see kids getting excited about science through pinball and encourages family time at the museum. Steve is himself an expert player and strives to keep the complex machines in good repair. This is a labor of love for him since servicing is very costly. However, to Steve, each machine is worth preserving.
Steve also gives back to the community. In May, his 12-year-old son Jason, an honor student and winner of two consecutive New Jersey State Pinball Championships, organized a Kids Charity Pinball Tournament for children age 15 and under. The event raised money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Modern Pinball also raises money for the Food Bank for NYC and donates to hundreds of charities and auctions at schools and organizations in the community and nearby.
Modern Pinball is a business member of the MHNA and has been featured on television (CNN, NY1, NBC and others), in print and is ranked #1 on Yelp’s “Best Arts & Entertainment in NYC."