Helping Chris Move Two Newly Acquired Pinball Machines

Over the weekend, I ended up catching a ride with Chris and Leslie to the suburbs, where we went to go pick up not one… but two pinball machines that Chris had purchased, out in Hoffman Estates.

We got some coffee, a rental van, and headed off to some random guy’s basement.

On arriving, we had to pull the machines out a bit from the corner where they were located. There wasn’t a ton of ceiling clearance, but just enough to where we could maneuver them out of their spots.

One of two machines Chris got – the original “Nightmare on Elm Street” game.

Detail shot of the game – not sure what happens here, but perhaps you’re shooting the ball into Freddy’s mouth a la Funhouse? But with more fedoras and burned skin?

In order to transport the machines, Chris had to take apart the back board (I think that’s the right term – the display that usually shows the lights and scores, situated perpendicular to the actual playing area).

Usually, there’s a small lock that locks in the glass and also prevents the back board from moving. We got the Freddy game dismantled, but the Gorgar game was a different story. The small key had broken off inside the lock, making it impossible to open up the back board.

Despite a few attempts to lockpick the thing with drill bits and paper clips, Leslie pulled up her sleeves and figured out a way to pop the lock. Which was really a great thing, because I’m not sure how we would have gotten that thing out of the basement, otherwise.

The hyper-demonic and hyper-sexual overtones of the Gorgar pinball game. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it looks like the guy in front is going to have sex with the girl. And then the demon guy is going to have sex with them both? And the snake in the corner is kind of just content watching, because that’s his thing?

The whole time we were moving this game, I found myself very aroused and confused.

I should have taken some photos of the stairs, as it was a tight fit. There was a guy at the house (not the game’s owner, but a friend who was helping supervise). I forget his name, but he was super nice and helped us with moving the machines as well.

It took a little longer than we had planned, getting all the legs off, separating the back boards, moving each machine up bit by bit… I think we were out there for a little over two hours. But we got things stored away, and the majority of the work was done.

Really wish I could remember the guy’s name at the house – he was super helpful. By the end of our time there, Chris gave the guy some cash for all his effort (despite the man, gentleman that he was, attempting to refuse).

After slowly making our way back to the city (and avoiding bumps as much as we could), we parked in an alley close to the old Emmis Interactive offices.

One of the last hurdles – shifting the machines from the van bed to the dolly. In the suburbs, the driveway to the house had a sharp rise near the garage, that actually made it pretty perfect for us in terms of loading. We barely had to lift “up” at all, to get the machines into the van.

Downtown though, it was good we had three people – Leslie to steady the dolly, and me and Chris slowly angling and resting the machine in place.

Everything all wrapped up and marked for travel.

Chris, with the start of his arcade pinball empire He’s now the proud owner of four pinball games, tucked away in the annex room of the old Emmis Interactive offices.

I look forward to the day when he prints out his own custom tokens (with his face on them), and starts charging people to play his games. I can already see him in a faded blue Aladdin’s Castle-esque vest, yelling at teenagers telling them “they can’t bring drinks inside.”

Headquarters Beercade with Chris
Chris Buys a Comet Pinball Machine
Chicago Pinball Expo, 2010
Pinball Expo 2009
Pinball Expo: Free Play Heaven (2007)

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Great shots of the (unbearably arduous) action! Yours is the first name that will go up on the Employee of the Month wall at the newly founded arcade. Thank you again for putting some sweat equity into those machines with me this weekend – you have earned SO many tokens with my face on them!

    Chris Reply

    • Should also note (and you captured it here in the photos) that Freddy is missing his lower jaw! Never even took that detail in until I’d gotten a good look yesterday, but now begins The Hunt for Freddy’s Lower Jaw.

      Chris Reply

  2. “The whole time we were moving this game, I found myself very aroused and confused.”

    I love it! Wish i could have been around to help. I have begun to look for freddy’s jaw already and it’s a real tough challenge!

    Ben Reply

  3. I remember Gorgar Pinball when it was here in our Mac flipper hall in Gothenburg city sound was fun and it have also 5 balls in action after Free locked …..

    papicat99 Reply

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