EAST ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A new pinball arcade is now open in East Rochester at the Piano Works Mall. Rochester Pinball Collective has 45 different pinball machines from the 1950s to new releases. No need to dump quarter after quarter into the machines, it’s a pay-one-price admission. All of the games are on free play.
Bruce Nightingale has spent years finding and buying used pinball machines, restoring them, shining them up and of course playing them or in his case, conquering them. Nightingale is ranked 979th out of 77,000 world ranked pinball players.
“I have been doing pinball for over 36 or 37 years of my life,” he said. “It is just part of me. Anyone can just walk up to a pinball machine and hit a start button and play. That is a great thing about it. The oldest game we have is from 1955 and the newest one we have is from Stern, is The Mandalorian.”
Nightingale's pinball themed restaurant, the Silver Ball Saloon, closed during the pandemic. That's when he got together with four other pinball passionate people to open Rochester Pinball Collective.
“After the pandemic we didn’t have a place to play really,” said Nightingale. “Everyone was like, ‘hey what can we do to get everyone’s collection all together in one place.’ And wow! We got all of her games up and running and it has been a great experience again.”
Admission is $20 and all of the games are on free play. It doesn’t matter if you are 6 or 60, these games are universal.
Mark Jezioro is another Rochester Pinball Collective co-owner. He started collecting pinball games about five years ago. He’s hooked.
“When you play pinball, you have lights in your face and real world interaction with stuff,” said Jezioro. “It’s always a challenge to control it and it is like you are hyper-focused on the game. It’s you versus the machine and it is just engaging, addictive and fun.”
Rochester Pinball Collective has so many pinball machines that games are changed periodically. It's open Thursday, Saturday and for private parties. It's located on the second floor of the Piano Works building above Ferrari Pizza.
Annual memberships are available for $595 and include unlimited free entry and admission to members-only parties.
Rochester Pinball Collective is located at 349 W. Commercial St., Suite 2965 in East Rochester.