for the older 'Baggers...remember classic arcades from the '80s?

jnoble

Lingering longer for a longering linger
#1
I grew up during the "golden age" of video game arcades and sadly, all of the places I used to haunt are long gone...most recently, 'Fun N Games' in Willowbrook Mall (Wayne NJ) that lost it's lease after 30 years in business! :( Frankly, I was stunned that it stayed open that long considering how consoles have long taken the piss out of the stand-alone arcades.

A list of the ones I fondly remember from my youth, maybe some of you are familiar with:
Fun N Games, Willowbrook Mall
The Purple Room, Willowbrook Mall (closed in the late '80s)
The one that used to be in the Pathmark mall in Butler NJ
The arcade that used to be in the Shop Rite mall in Oakland NJ
The arcade that used to be in Ledgewood Mall, Roxbury NJ
Playtime, Rockaway Mall (recently closed and is now a girls clothing store)

At least when I go to the Seaside Heights boardwalk in summer, there's a nice one that has a section devoted to just the older games.
 

JoeyDVDZ

Well-Known Member
Donator
#2
SilverBall arcade on Tonnele Ave in North Bergen NJ, and Big Mouth Hoagie & Pizza/Video Magic Arcade on Bergenline Ave, also in North Bergen. I worked at Big Mouth as a kid, loved the games, used to hang after hours & drink my ass off & play free games all night. Sweet times.
 

Blue Heeler

Uber Listener / Asshole
#3
I loved the arcades in the 80's and early 90's. I spent more than I should have on Gauntlet..."Wizard is about to die" "Find keys to open doors".

Now the only arcade fix I can get is by going to either Dave & Buster's in Springdale, Ohio or Gameworks in Newport, KY.
 

jnoble

Lingering longer for a longering linger
#4
When I was a kid...

...the only way I could play the games was if I found some quarters on the ground or ones that were left in the coin returns or if my Grandfather was with me, he'd always give me a couple. My mom was always of the mindset that "arcades are a waste of money", so she was always a no-go for a handout.

My favorites from 'back in the day' were Star Wars (with the vector graphics), Paperboy, Spy Hunter (I fuckin L-O-V-E-D that game!), Power Drive, Empire City 1931, Daytona USA, Turbo Outrun, and Race Drivin'.

I remember when Hard Drivin' came out in 1988 and was, at the time, the most realistic racing game out there. The first time I saw it was at Willowbrook Mall and there was a crowd of people just waiting to play. They had a TV monitor on top so others could watch what was going on.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
#5
My favorites from 'back in the day' were Star Wars (with the vector graphics), Paperboy, Spy Hunter (I fuckin L-O-V-E-D that game!), Power Drive, Empire City 1931, Daytona USA, Turbo Outrun, and Race Drivin'.
I loved that game too. The duh-duh-duh background music was the besssst.

I was also a big fan of Berzerk.
 

ruckstande

Posts mostly from the shitter.
Donator
#6
I was a huge fan of Spy Hunter but I was never good at. I could never turn into the fucking boat to save my life. The fool motion Afterburner was great too. Time-Out arcade in the Moorestown, NJ mall was my second home.
 

Owenay

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed...
#7
There was an arcade at the Woodbridge Mall back in the 80s that took many quarters from me. My games of choice were a Baseball game that tracked stats and utilized a little metal stick to pitch and hit... Also a robot football game.

Then when the Freehold Mall opened I played a lot of the X-Men game that had 4 person multiplayer.

In the mid 90s I worked a Jenkinson's in Pt.Pleasant Beach for 3 years. There I could mostly be found either playing Top Skater and Tekken whatever that had Eddie Gordo (when I wasn't fooling around with some barely legal goth/punk/metal teens in the stock room...) :D
 
#8
I was part of the craze during the tail end of the 80's and early 90's. I don't miss being a little kid and being afraid of being ***** because I wanted to play the video games though. Creepy fucking college guys that used to inhabit those places after the rush gamers were now on NES instead.
 

Warfarer

I can't think of anything funny.
#9
I used to kick around at a Diamond Jim's here local in Alabama and played the shit out of some Rygar, the big Tecmo Bowl, Street Fighters 1 and 2 and then Killer Instinct when it came out. That arcade is long gone now and some shitty arcade took its place that had a couple shitty dancing games and a couple other shitty games so I never went in there.
 

ruckstande

Posts mostly from the shitter.
Donator
#10
I think one of the major downfalls in the arcade were the time based games. Sports games were the fucking worst because it didn't have anything to do with how good you are. Each .25 paid for 2 minutes of game play or some shit. I remember when a place called Exhillerama opened up and they had these virtual reality games. The games were fun but cost you 8 dollars for 4 minutes. What kind of shit is that?
 

jnoble

Lingering longer for a longering linger
#12
I always felt really nostalgic there in the later years

plaza games in totowa nj

i miss fun and games.

since I spent part of so many Saturday afternoons in the '80s to early '90s there, going back once in awhile was good and kinda sad at the same time. I was much older, the games were all totally different, and the kids there looked mainly like a bunch of hispanic gang-bangers and high-school punks. Not that arcades ever hosted the salt of the earth. I could still see in my minds eye the one wall that had three or four Spy Hunters in a row, Paperboy was right in front as you walked in, the pinball machines were always towards the side....

My first memory of an arcade was that one with my grandfather holding my 5 year old self up to play a black and white Indy 500 game with the big steering wheel since I was too short to reach. :)
 

CousinDave

Registered User
#13
Various arcades along the boardwalk in Salisbury Beach Massachusetts - in one of them was the only Star Fire game I've ever seen - it was in the movie Midnight Madness.

Another arcade I fondly remember was the one at Rocky Glenn Park in Moosic PA.
 
#14
I spent more than I should have on Gauntlet..."Wizard is about to die" "Find keys to open doors".
"Warrior shot the food" Hey, don't rat me out, dick!

I've pretty much gathered every arcade game via MAME, but it is unfortunate to see some of these arcades go.
 
#15
For the Cleveland area guys, westsiders, Spaced Invaders in North Olmsted was my fav. They had video games and for some reason slutty stoner chicks. Real nice combo.
 

WhiteHonkyDevil

El hombre de los moleculos!
#16
Various arcades along the boardwalk in Salisbury Beach Massachusetts - in one of them was the only Star Fire game I've ever seen - it was in the movie Midnight Madness.

Another arcade I fondly remember was the one at Rocky Glenn Park in Moosic PA.
"The finish line....is somewhere.....in the Bonaventure Hooootel!"

Loved that movie.

I really fucking miss arcades. We had a great one out here. It was called Picadilly's Circus, and was basically a mall's basement. It was dark, dirty, smoky, and always packed. Pretty much a pedophile's dream hunting grounds. Placed closed and moved upstairs in 90 or 91, they banned smoking, and had cops walking through all the time. Fucking buzzkill.

And I miss the Chuck E. Cheese arcades of the early 80s. I used to play the aforementioned Star Wars until I ran out of tokens, then go hide in the cheese maze. Then the ball pits came, and it was the beginning of the end. Went for my nieces birthday party last year, and couldn't believe how much the place has changed. I mean, I know it's been 20 years but EVERYTHING that made the place "cool" when I was younger has totally been redone, and is now shit. Even the fucking mouse is gangsta. Who the fuck wants a hip-hop rat as a mascot?
 
#17
The closest thing to arcades now is those few bars which are packed with machines. There's a few around here. Also pool halls.
 

moegolden

Perv-switch toggler
#18
last winter, I was walking around Chinatown in nyc taking pictures and came upon an arcade....most of the games were old, but not even cool in a retro way. nevertheless, black guys and chinese guys were streaming in and out for a while during the time i was in the neighborhood. once i got near the place and tried to get a few pics, a chinese guy snapped on me and threatened me "no pictures! never come back!".

are there any known stories of arcades being fronts for something shady?
 

CousinDave

Registered User
#19
are there any known stories of arcades being fronts for something shady?

I guarantee you a lot were, along with comic book stores, tanning salons, sports cards shops, coin & stamp shops, etc...
 
#20
I spent a lot of time in that arcade in the Wayne Hills Mall in NJ by the Pathmark and K-Mart, near where Child World used to be. My dad knew the owner and he'd usually open up a machine I wanted to play and gave me free credits.
 
#21
last winter, I was walking around Chinatown in nyc taking pictures and came upon an arcade....most of the games were old, but not even cool in a retro way. nevertheless, black guys and chinese guys were streaming in and out for a while during the time i was in the neighborhood. once i got near the place and tried to get a few pics, a chinese guy snapped on me and threatened me "no pictures! never come back!".

are there any known stories of arcades being fronts for something shady?
Are you sure the machines weren't empty and there were asian whores inside servicing the "players"? Because you may have stumbled upon a yanky cranky shop.

What part of Chinatown was this again? Got an address?
 

Blue Heeler

Uber Listener / Asshole
#22
oh, for anyone that flies to the Puerto Rico airport, they have a lot of old arcade machines in the terminals....Donkey Kong, Ms Pac Man, Galaga, etc.
 
#23
what was it? the second challenge stage in galaga ...kill everything except the far left bottom bee for three rounds then the game wouldn't shoot at you ..I can't remember
 

Dopie Opie

Registered User
#24
Brooklyn people, what was the name of the arcade in Bensonhurst by Ceasars Bay Bazaar. We used to ride our bikes from Sunset park to Ceasars bay just to play those game. Must have been like 83-85. We would go down to the 69th pier all along Shore Rd. Would play for 2-3 hours and head back through the streets of Bensonhurst.

The good old days.

To be honest most of the time we would just go to the local pizzeria or borgeda and play whatever game they had. I remember they would switch them every month or two. Tempest, Galaga (Galaxians first) Space Invaders, Asteriods, Dig Dug, fuck those were fun.

There was also an arcade on 7th Ave and 50th St in Brooklyn that was an old bar.....Well it was also a casino in the back and got shut down in a few months..

So yes I think it was common for arcades to be fronts for other "activities"
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
Wackbag Staff
#25
I remember back in 1978, the wife and I had just gotten married and we were out by
Gettysburg and saw the 1st video game I had ever seen. Pong. It was one of those
tall arcade versions stuck in between a couple of pinball machines.
 
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