I’ve shared a good deal of vintage arcade footage that has surfaced over the years here on the blog. You can check out some of those videos by clicking here.
This week I have more finds for you to take a look at.
The first is some footage that several people have been requesting as it surfaced a while back but then disappeared. I’ve managed to track it down and uploaded it below. This b-roll film depicts life at the Omni International Complex in Atlanta sometime in 1981. Specifically an arcade called Electronic America.
Lots of interesting cabinets out on the floor, including a plethora of Atari titles. Basketball, Battlezone, Football and even the super-rare sit-down version of Missile Command. Great to see one of those actually out in the wild!
Other cabinets include Space Zap!, Asteroids and a Cinematronics Star Castle. Check it out here:
The next video is one that has come and gone from YouTube a few times. It is from a TV series called What’s Up America! Taken from the video description: A mini documentary on the state of the video game industry during the early 80s. It features Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Lyle Rains (Atari VP of Engineering, Coin-Operated Games Division), and Roger Hector (Atari Manager of Advanced Products).
Although the focus is primarily on Atari coin-op games, arcade games from other companies are shown, and Atari’s unreleased Cosmos holographic handheld game is even briefly shown and discussed by co-creator Roger Hector..
What’s Up America! was an early reality TV show that aired on Showtime from 1979-1981. This is well worth a watch!
Notice another sit-down Missile Command behind Lyle Rains too!
I might have featured this next video before, but can’t remember (and I’m too lazy to check), but its worth revisiting anyway. Titled “A visit to Aladdin’s Castle in 1981”, it is a video shot by an employee of the video game arcade chain and shows players wrestling with various classic arcade cabinets and pinball machines typical of the day. Note the awesome cacophony of arcade sounds too!
The shopping-mall arcade chain that became Aladdin’s Castle began as American Amusements, Incorporated, in the early 1970s. It was purchased and renamed Aladdin’s Castle by Bally Manufacturing Corporation in 1974. Over the next several years, the number of store locations grew from 20 in 1974, to 221 in 1980, to 360 when the chain was spun off in 1989.
It speaks for itself, so check it out here:
I’m sure I’ve featured this before (but what the heck). Some crystal clear footage from the Atari factory – power brick assembly and great shots of the huge screen printing facility that created the side art so prominent on Atari arcade games:
Finally the pick of the bunch (for me anyway). This promotional video from 1981 shows the assembly of various video game cabinets and pinball machines including their first video game, Defender by Eugene Jarvis. The footage was uploaded by the guys behind the “Insert Coin” documentary, which goes behind the scenes at Midway games. Presumably they uncovered it whilst making their film. Do check out Insert Coin – you can stream it on Amazon and a variety of other places.
The video is very clear and depicts scenes from Engineering, PCB development and the factory floor itself. Check out the rows of Defender uprights and there’s even a glimpse of Defender cocktail tables being assembled.
That’s all I’ve got for now – plenty there to keep you busy.
See you next week for an update on the Capcom Mini Cute restoration that I’ve been working on.
Thanks as always for visiting the blog – your ongoing support is appreciated!
5 Comments Add yours
You couldn’t smoke in aladdins castle ? That’s not an arcade then surely?
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Ha! Good spot. I guess they wanted to encourage families?
Thanks for posting these Tony. Great history snapshots of the glory / golden days of arcades and game manufactures! Brought back memories of the day.
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A Warner Communications Company
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The Hercules pinball was awesome,that kid was barely big enough to play!
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Tony, I definitely will watch all the these soon. I’m a Eugene Jarvis fan because of you! He’s very candid and had great energy.
Since English football started back up, I’ve been watching my tinpot Bournemouth club back in the Premier League, and my proper club Birmingham City in the Championship. 😆