Arcade Raid! Louisiana, USA

Another arcade raid to share this week on the blog. We’ve met collector Jay before here on Arcade Blogger in a previous raid article here.

This time round, Jay was given a lead about a warehouse in Bastrop, Louisiana. Stored within, he was told, were around 30 classic arcade machines. After significant research, he drew a blank in trying to establish ownership. The only thing he could do was drop by the location whenever he could, to see if there were signs of life.

After a few months, he got lucky. The shutters were up, and he saw someone milling around inside the property. After introducing himself, Jay enquired about the machines.

Jay was led in and shown around:

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Well, that’s not a bad start. Hulk Pinball, Space Duel, Space Zap, Cosmic Chasm, Pac-Man and Space Invaders

The immediate thing that struck Jay was the variety of cabinets stored here. Not just popular titles like Pac-Man and Space Invaders, but more obscure titles like Space Zap.

The owner it turns out, used to be an operator. He had a small arcade that he ran as a side business to his main operation – a motorbike dealership, some 30 miles south of the warehouse in the city of Monroe.

After a few months of success with the arcade, a serious crime took place in the arcade (the details of which aren’t relevant here). Suffice to say, it was bad enough for the owner to decide to close the place down and put all his games into storage. What this meant, was that all the machines were stored in remarkable condition, having been played for only a short period of time.

Jay’s timing couldn’t have been better. The owner wanted the space back, and a deal was struck for all 30 cabinets. He started to document and itemize what was there. Lucky for us, he took pictures! Here’s some of the highlights:

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A very dusty Midway Tron. Underneath the dirt, that’s a complete machine.
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The wear is cool on the side art, where players lean with their hands there as they play or watch. You’ll tend to find similar wear on original heavily played Pac-Man cabinets
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Nice looking complete Atari Millipede
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More dusty relics here. Atari Tempest and Williams Robotron
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Atari Space Duel. One of the last great Atari colour vector games
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Nintendo Mario Bros. Probably a Donkey Kong once upon a time
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No Arcade Raid would be complete without a Centipede right?
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Not everything was immediately accessible. Note the junk that had to be moved to get stuff out
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One of the more rare titles found – a Bally Satan’s Hollow
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I’ve yet to see one of these in the flesh. A Sega Subroc-3D. This is a very rare find
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Let’s take a closer look at the two pinball machines found. First up was a Striker by Gottlieb. A rare one this. Only 900 were made, and most were shipped overseas from the Gottlieb factory – obviously with soccer being a more popular sport outside the USA. The game featured some innovative game mechanics, with a swathe of flippers allowing players to “pass” the ball from one side of the playfield to another. It is highly unusual to find one of these State-side
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The second was another Gottlieb – The Incredible Hulk. Great art on this one

Jay needed help to clear everything out, so returned with a collector friend and two trailers:

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Of everything pulled from the warehouse, this is the only thing Jay has kept for himself. A cool coin operated 70s Coca-Cola dispenser
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Here’s the Centipede and a Universal cabinet out in the open finally. All ready to load up
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Here’s another rarity. A Sega Tac/Scan. Highly desirable colour vector game
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On the left, a Gorf conversion of some sort, and on the right, the great side art of the Sega Subroc-3D
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Frogger, Ms Pac-Man, another Gorf and a brace of Space Invaders. Lovely stuff!
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This Joust was in remarkable condition, with just a small amount of damage at the bottom

So with everything dragged out, it was time to load up and head home.

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Loading up the trailers was like a giant game of Tetris
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Trailer one loaded and ready to go!
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Trailer two! I spy a jukebox at the back and a Q*Bert in the middle
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The other side of trailer two. A Pac-Man in there under a blanket

The guys bid farewell, and drove away with their incredible haul of over 30 machines:

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This must have been quite a sight on the streets of Louisiana. A classic arcade convoy…

But the work didn’t stop there. Jay decided to sell most of the cabinets. The Cosmic Chasm alone paid for the whole raid (and them some), and the rest of the cabinets were cleaned up and sold onto other collectors all over the country.

This was a very satisfying rescue. With over 30 classic arcade titles saved and passed on to the community, Jay can be proud of this great Arcade Raid.

Monroe Token
An arcade token Jay found in one of the machines. Proof of the cabinets’ original location in Monroe, Louisiana!

Although this raid happened 15 years ago, Jay is still collecting. He stopped for many years but kept a few cocktails and cabarets, and is back to collecting minis. He owns around 20 games in various states of working and non working condition. With all but two driving games, most are cabarets or cocktails. I asked Jay about his thoughts on “raids” today become fewer and fewer:

What has hurt the warehouse raids more than anything is the Internet and Ebay. I know an operator with two full warehouses with 100’s of games that have been sitting for many years. He prices things by going to eBay and doubling the price of anything he finds.

So there you go – what a great raid, with a great variety of cabinets too. A nice mix of popular and less-known titles. Many thanks to Jay for sharing these pictures and background info with me.

More arcade raids soon!

See you next time.

Tony

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. ringadingding says:

    wow, Space Duel… that’s on my list of dream cabinets to own. loved that game. i vaguely remember Satan’s Hollow. what a great haul!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BDD says:

    I had a Subroc in my pool hall/arcade back in 1999-2002. I couldn’t give that thing away back then. Now it’s “rare”. Funny how times change…

    Like

  3. joe stokes says:

    Wow! I live in Monroe, Louisiana! Is there any way that I could get this gentleman’s email address. I would love to connect with him, for I am looking into purchasing a cabinet this summer.

    Thanks, Joe Stokes

    >

    Like

  4. TomTom says:

    Those pictures of trailers are awesome!
    People on the road must have wondered what the heck was this convoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Omaha_Arcade_Collector says:

    Vaguely remember Satan’s Hollow?!? SACRILEGE!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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