In downtown Roanoke inside the “Center in the Square” complex alongside the Science Museum of Western Virginia, the History Museum of Western Virginia and the Harrison Museum of African American Culture is another museum that touches on technology, history, and culture, albeit in a more lighthearted fashion.
Located on the second floor, the Roanoke Pinball museum opened its doors in 2015 and is home to more than 50 pinball machines, ranging in date from 1948 to the late 1990s. A “hands on” museum, every exhibit is also playable, free of charge with your entry fee. One of the oldest pinball machines in the collection is the “Screwball” which dates to 1948 when the flippers were made to point outwards. One of the early machines with flippers they were added as part of the movement of pinball machines from pure gambling devices to games of skill.
Started with a small collection of 10 pinball machines donated by board member Steve Bowrey, the museum has grown extensively over the years. A labor of love, much of the work done on the machines as well as building out the handcrafted bar was done by volunteers who contributed $2,500 in time and labor rather than cash.
Know Before You Go
There is ample parking in downtown Roanoke, very close the Center in the Square, but it is all pay parking.
Located on the second floor of the Center In The Square building, in the historic City Market of downtown Roanoke. All-Day passes are just $12.50 for Ages 11+, $9.00 for Ages 10 & Under, and FREE for Ages 2 & Under. Military and other discounts are available; ID is required.
The Roanoke Pinball Museum can be reserved for private parties, corporate events, team-building activities, or any event of your choosing. All rentals include admission for all guests and unlimited free play. Pinball-oriented curricula are available to teachers looking to make an educational day out of a visit to the museum.