Thought I’d share some details of this place I stumbled across late last year after visiting the Free Play Florida event in Orlando.
I’ve not seen Daytona Arcade Museum mentioned before on any collector forums, so after finding out about the place, figured a visit would be in order. Despite calling itself a museum, it is for all intents and purposes an arcade. Pay a fee at the door, and you are then free to play pretty much everything that’s on display. There’s no time limits either, so if you want to spend the whole day there, you are free to do so.
What is impressive on arrival is the building itself. A former theatre built in the late 40s, with quite a salubrious past (there is still evidence of cages that once housed erotic dancers!), the museum cuts an impressive sight when you walk through the door.
Machines are spread out across the main floor, with some higher up on a stage area. I was allowed to visit the VIP area high up on a balcony to get some of these shots.
Adding to the ambience of the place is a huge screen that shows 80s music videos on a loop, and evening visitors are treated to what is called “twilight gaming” after 6.00pm when the lights are lowered to give a true classic arcade experience. The atmosphere is great, and there’s a good range of cabinets to admire and of course play.
Owner Brian French, bought the building a couple of years back, after it was a nightclub for several years throughout the 90s and early 2,000s. French sought to improve the reputation of the building and create a business with broad appeal. I’d say he’s certainly achieved that. My visit was really enjoyable, and the atmosphere in the place was excellent.
Pinball is pretty well represented at Daytona Arcade Museum. There’s not a huge range of titles, but enough variety across all eras to get a good fix:
The music volume wasn’t too intrusive, so you are able to hear the machines as you play.
Plenty of common games were on display – the meat and veg of classic arcade gaming were all there as you’d expect. But I picked out a few cool titles to share here:
The area to the right was particularly cool. A selection of cockpit cabs occupied the space there:
I stumbled across a handful of older amusement machines out on display:
There was also various items on display in cabinets to view. Old consoles and video game collectables were a good distraction from the main arcade floor:
So, Daytona Arcade Museum. Worth a visit? For sure. If you’re in the area, there’s enough rare stuff on display to keep collectors happy, and a volume of titles to keep curious adults and kids occupied for a good few hours too.
So if you find yourself in the Daytona Beach area looking for an authentic 80s arcade experience, I’d say this place delivers in spades. It’s a real easy drive from Orlando too.
Daytona Arcade Museum gets a thumbs up here on Arcade Blogger. I’ll certainly be back when I’m in Florida again!
Thanks for reading this week.
6 Comments Add yours
Looks great, but I take issue with the display card for the O2. 1974?
Awesome!! I don’t know if this email will get to tony temple, but I have a question for him. How long did it take you to become as good as you are at missile command. How many hours would you recommend for someone to practice a day to become a world champion at an retro arcade game? Also, have you ever hit slumps in your gameplay and what did you do to get out of them?
Thanks, Joe Stokes
hey Joe – I’ve sent you an email.
Even though it is only one hour down the road from my house, I finally had the opportunity to visit the Daytona Arcade Museum yesterday. Wow – what a collection. I don’t need to go into the details, since Tony has done an amazing job of chronicling his visit to the museum, but I will just add that the owner, Brian, couldn’t have been more pleasant and accommodating. Even though he was clearly busy, he took time to talk classic games with me and my two friends and his passion for these old arcade machines really showed. What a treat! I can’t wait to get back and take down a few of those high scores!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sadly, this place is gone. 😥
LikeLiked by 1 person
Apparently it’s now closed. July 24, 2019