Museum of the Game ®

International Arcade Museum® — Killer List of Videogames®

Arcadia® -- Celebrating Our 39th Anniversary!

Arcadia. We were working on a show in the Pacific Norhtwest this year, though dates are pending due to the Coronavirus.

Additionally, we are working with the USC Pacific Asia Museum on an exhibit focusing on Japan's influence on the gaming industries (Spring/Summer 2021). Arcadia is also working on an updated related book and an accompanying film.

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Can You Help Us Find New Treasures? We are always on the lookout for rare machines and related memorabilia from the earliest days of coin-op to recent console prototypes and rarities. Please contact us if you think you have or found something special. Additionally, please look at the International Arcade Museum Library, Inc. page. The library is actively working to build one of the leading amusement archives.

Arcadia® - Welcome!

Arcadia® brings all the magic of amusement machines, their art, and history into play centers, special events, and exhibitions. Play hundreds of different games – many that you can’t play elsewhere. Take part in a game competition. Enter a living museum or enjoy new releases. The best part is enjoying a special atmosphere and hanging out with other enthusiasts.

Arcadia® is also available in three additional flavors: Video Arcadia™, Pinball Arcadia™, and Penny Arcadia®. Although each are Arcadia®, and although each greatly overlap, each sees the World of Arcadia™ through slightly different lenses.

Arcadia® – covers the entire age of man-made intelligent amusement, and in particular, games from the origin of floor model coin-operated machines in the 1880s, up to the hottest video games of today.

-- Video Arcadia™ -- the most digital Arcadia, focuses on video game entertainment (coin-operated, computer, console, and mobile) from the launch of an industry in 1971 through present.

-- Pinball Arcadia™; -- the most retro Arcadia, focuses primarily on pinball and electo-mechanical games of an era-gone by, a time in which high technology meant steels balls, electrical relays, and amazing back-glass art.

-- Penny Arcadia® -- the classic Arcadia, focusing on all machines from the 1880s through present. Launched in 1981, it featured everything from the first arcade games ever made, as well as video games. Arcadia even launched with live theater and magic shows! Arcadia® and Penny Arcadia® are essentially synonymous—both offer the same goods and services and both brands have been used over the years. In addition to our permanent center in Los Angeles, Arcadia can provide exhibits and exhibitions nationwide (and to major institutions, globally).

Hall of Heroes™ is one of the most exciting new offerings from Arcadia® and Video Arcadia™. It offers game play, industry promotion, entertainment and education. It's magic comes from focusing on famous personalities in popular culture and video games, including those of video game characters, game designers, and our visitors and players! It's a great way to market and advertise a variety of goods and services, promote popular culture, host competitions and social and team building (commercial and non-commercial) events, and co-brand with businesses and charities. Please contact us for further information.

Museum of the Game® / Arcadia® - Special Services

Arcadia promotes and supports the interests of enthusiasts, businesses, educational institutions and charities via a variety of special services. Rentals of amusement machines or facilities can be arranged for large scale institution or corporate events.

Connected to a major museum, non-profit, or gallery? Contact us about colloraborative opportunities, exhibits, special events and charitable fundraising assistance.

Arcadia's advertising, business, marketing, and promotion services including advertising support, business news and consultations, public opinion and marketing polls and research, demographic analysis, onsite and online retail mechandise and gift sales and planning, special event planning and support (including art gallery shows, exhibitions, flea markets, and game-playing events and competitions), the rental of coin-operated machines and videogames for corporate events and filming, shoppers guide and other content creation, and custom video and film production and publishing services. We also provide audio, video broadcasting services over the Internet including content hosting, bandwidth, caching, and mirroring services.

We also make available a number of gift items both during and after our events including cards, calendars, journals, magnets, messenger bags, mousepads, mugs, note cards, shirts, and more. Additionally, we have produced and offer a few books, dvds, and videos.

Arcadia® and Penny Arcadia® - History

Arcadia® started out nearly 50 years ago. Jon Gresham's childhood interest in amusement games stood dormant while Jon earned his living as a fire-eater and magician on the music halls, in circuses and on fairs. Even after joining the family's timber business, he still maintained his show business links by presenting sideshows during the summer. In the Spring of 1970, he was given an old coin-operated amusement machine by a showman friend. For the next ten years most of his leisure time was devoted to following leads and scouring England and abroad for machines which became progressively harder to find. Having acquired the largest private collection of coin-operated machines in England (and possibly in the world), Jon and his wife Patricia were eager to display the pick of the collection to the public in order to share their pleasure in them and also to make some room in their crowded house!

This Gresham dream soon came to life. Penny Arcadia was incorporated on November 21, 1980. On March 1, 1981, they purchased the Ritz Cinema, in Pocklington, England, 12 miles east of York. Penny Arcadia had its grand opening on July 17, 1982. A unique combination of an expo, museum, theater, arcade, and magic show was created under a single roof. A Penny Arcadia sign (pictured at the top of this page) was lovingly placed at the entrance and tens of thousands of visitors from around the world walked through its doors (and the sign still hangs on the wall of our gallery at at each of our events to this day). The world's first floor model arcade machine was displayed. So was Space Invaders and countless other machines made in the hundred years in between.

High Street, carnies and everyone else shared a great time. Their creation won a 'Certificate of Merit' award by the British Tourist Authority in their 'Come to Britain Competition.'

According to our 1985 publication "Penny Arcadia - A Concise History," the collection on display was chosen on three criteria that we still follow today: (1) Machines that are historically important, (2) Machines that are particularly fine examples of ingenuity, craftsmanship, or type, and (3) Machines that were very popular which many visitors will remember.

Penny Arcadia became quickly known throughout the world, and it supported preservation of, and entertainment by, amusement machines on both sides of the Pacific. It was particularly supported by collectors and collector organizations in the U.S. and the U.K.

By 1991, Penny Arcadia was already well known on both sides of the Atlantic and was promoting the amusement industries not only in York, England but also in Illinois in the United States.

After Jon's unexpected death in 1994, the original Penny Arcadia entertainment complex eventually moved to a special exposition format -- machines were placed on location for special exhibits and at a few national tourist attractions in the coming years.

In 2003 The International Arcade Museum and collector and enthusiast Greg McLemore took over the operations of Penny Arcadia, and expanded Arcadia® to include Video Arcadia and Pinball Arcadia. Greg and Patricia Gresham shared the vision of keeping Penny Arcadia's brand and original collection largely intact, while adding it to Greg's already extensive collection and offerings.

Throughout 2003 and 2004, Arcadia continued its special exhibit format, though open to small groups only for logistical reasons.

In July 2005, Arcadia and Greg McLemore hosted a major two-day festival, show, and exposition in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Coin Operated Collectors Association. Enthusiastic visitors flew in from across North America, the UK, and Australia specifically for this event and arrived at the venue via tour buses. Featured machines included the earliest known floor model coin-operated arcade machine (well over 100 years old), the earliest known kiddy ride, and lots of other historical pieces. Rounding out the event were hundreds of early coin-operated amusement machines, some antique slot machines, a few early coin-operated music machines, and several coin-operated automata. A number of (relatively) modern coin-operated and home console videogames in a basement level rounded out the experience. The vast majority of all games were playable by the visitors -- even the museum pieces. The original 1981 Penny Arcadia sign proudly hung on the wall. A special celebration dinner and auction rounded out the weekend.

Arcadia hosts additional events with key selections from the collection such as our special gallery event in Portland, Oregon held on May 6, 2010 (one of two shows we held in Portland that year), and our Arcadia event held in conjunction with E3 (leading videogame industry trade show) on June 15-19, 2010.

Arcadia, including Penny Arcadia, Video Arcadia, and Pinball Arcadia, continue to have access to over 700 mostly coin-operated machines made between 1880 and the present, accented by choice pieces made in each decade since.

After successful public exhibitions ranging from our 2005 mega-show in Los Angeles to our recent gallery events, Mr. McLemore looks forward to Arcadia's future: "The museum is working towards developing even greater exhibitions. We are actively at work at our 11,000 square foot Arcadia® - Museum of the Game® center in Pasadena.

We are currently in planning stages for our next shows.

A Few Random Arcadia Gems:

This Exhibit Supply 1928 Tiger dares you to pull its tale.

An early home Pong knockoff, for (economic) VIPs in the Soviet Union

A turn of the century (not Y2K century!) chocolate vending machine.

A videogame that looks
like a pinball machine!

A pinball machine that looks
like a videogame!

This 80+ year old grandma and her pet
cat are ready to tell your fortune!

A half dozen trucks were used to prepare
for our last major Los Angeles exhibition

It took a team of over a dozen staff and volunteers
several days and nights to move machines...

Show Highlights: Arcadia, Penny Arcadia, Video Arcadia, and Pinball Arcadia

The following are some of the highlights you can see at Arcadia® or one of its shows.

  1. Third Century A.D. - Roman Coin-Operated Holy Water Dispenser - The historical background of this machine was first discovered by the London Museum more than a century ago. (The original machines are believed to no longer exist).
  2. 1840's Coin-Operated Tobacco Honor Box - This crude vending machine represents the first coin-operated machine made (except for a coin-operated holy water dispenser made in the Roman Empire 16 centuries earlier!)
  3. 1882 - First Coin-Operated Floor Model Arcade Machine - Only one instance of this first ever machine has survived, and it is at Penny Arcadia®!
  4. 1882 - Second Coin-Operated Floor Model Arcade Machine - Only one instance of this machine has survived in this world, and it is also at Penny Arcadia®
  5. 1883 - Second Coin-Operated Floor Model Arcade Machine - Only one instance of this machine has survived, and again, it is to be found at Penny Arcadia®
  6. 1880s-1920s - Slot Machine, Arcade Machines, Scales, and Trade Stimulators - Come enjoy an impressive collection of early machines.
  7. 1920's - The first Kiddie Ride invented - The first coin-operated arcade kiddie ride was a coin-operated horse invented by Hahs-Groves. None were believed to have survived, until one was found in an abandoned amusement park in 2001. Within twenty years of its invention, numerous manufacturers had placed countless rides of various themes across the U.S. and beyond.
  8. 1938 - Rockola's World Series Baseball - One of the greatest amusement machines ever created. It correctly counts men on bases, singles, doubles, triples, home runs, strikes and outs --- all mechanically. Rockola made it famous, but the game was actually released in 1928 by All American Baseball Co.
  9. 1940s, 1950s, 1960s - These decades were the highpoint of electro-mechnical arcade machines. Come find out why.
  10. 1948 - AT&T Touch Tone Phone - Touch tone phone switching was invented and tested within a Baltimore, MD central office in 1941. The design was put on the shelf during World War II. In 1948, touch tone phones were finally placed in the homes of 35 Pennyslvania Bell employees after the installation of the first No. 5 crossbar switch in Media, PA. This test led (slowly) to AT&T's release of the first commerical modem in 1958 and AT&T's full touch-tone roll-out in 1963. BBSs, the movie 'War Games', celular phones, and online gaming are all children of the early tests. One of the 1948 touch-tone phone prototypes can be found at Penny Arcadia®, next to a bare, unpoplated circuit board for a Novation AppleCat II modem.
  11. 1960s - Videogames, the prototype years - Learn about the history of early console videogames, including information about Ralph Baer's "Brown Box #7", which led to the Magnavox Odyssey.
  12. 1970s - Videogames, the first Coin-op Decade - Enjoy a selection of truly classic machines.
  13. 1971 - Computer Space - Earliest Commercial Coin-Op Videogame - Computer Space, brought to the world by Nolan Bushnell and Nutting, was the first commerical coin-operated videogame. There are a variety of them that can be played at Penny Arcadia®. Our holdings include the three lowest serial numbers known, including the only one manufacturered in white. We also have them in red, blue, yellow, and green (2-player). Nolan went on to found Atari, Chucky Cheese, and several other businesses including, recently, uWink.
  14. 1972 - Pong - Although Computer Space was not a great commercial success, Nolan's next game was. Leonardo DiCaprio's film company has picked up the rights to make the film, Atari. Arcadia presents a wide variety of related history, including the original Pong production unit serial #001, and the original circuit board design sheets for coin-op Pong!
  15. 1973 - Pong In-A-Barrel - Shortly after the invention of Atari's famouse Pong game, Nolan experimented with different formats, includings this pong machine made in a wine barrel. It is prototype serial number #001.
  16. 1975 - Supper Flipper - Videogames were the hot new thing, but pinball machines were an established business. Chicago Coin blended the two with a video pinball machine in a pinball cabinet.
  17. 1976 - Death Race - Long before Grand Theft Auto, Death Race helped launch the genre of violent videogames with a relatively tame game in which the player runs over (barely) animated gremlins.
  18. 1977 - Atari 2600 - Arcadia presents impressive offerings from the massively successful Atari 2600. As with coin-op Pong, Arcadia is proud to display the original circuit board blueprints for the 2600!
  19. 1980 - Asteroids Deluxe - Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe were classics. Prototype Serial #1 can be found at Penny Arcadia!
  20. 1982 - Atari CX-2000 - Atari 2600 Prototype - Also known as the VAL, only a few were made in brown (the "east coast" edition) and less than a dozen in blue (the "west coast" edition). Find one of each at Penny Arcadia®.
  21. 1980s - Videogame's Golden Years - Enjoy a great selection of classic videogames. Do you remember Tempest? Centipede? Galaga? Missle Command?
  22. 1981 - Atari 2700 - Basically an Atari 2600 with wireless controllers, interference problems kept it from the marketplace.
  23. 1982 - Atari 5200 Prototype Version 1 - Slightly different than a production machine.
  24. 1982 - Atari System X - 5200 Prototype - This looks like an Atari 5200 but it says 'System X' on the top of it instead of '5200'.
  25. 1983 - Odyssey 3 U.S. Prototype - One of many machines that never made it to the marketplace.
  26. 1983 - Varkon - As the videogame market grew, pinball manufacturers struggled to catch a piece of the action. William's attempt to make a pinball machine look like videogame says it all.
  27. 1990s - Another great decade... - ...another great selection of machines.
  28. 2000 - Xbox Launch Team 2000 edition - According to Wikipedia, only 60 translucent green 'launch team' xbox systems were made, though we suspect the actual production numbers were a little higher. On the center of the machine are the bold words, "Great work! Bill Gates"
  29. 2000s - Latest and Greatest - Enjoy the latest and greatest console and coin-op machines.
  30. 2010s - The newest - What shall the industry bring us next?

Press Coverage

Arcadia® is always looking to expand our file of press clippings and photographs covering our decades of important history. Any help you can provide us in further documenting our history, from press coverage to documentation of your experiences, is much appreciated. Additionally, we are asking anyone that has taken photos or video at any of our Los Angeles, Portland, or UK centers or events to please email or mail us copies for our files. Thank you in advance.

The following are some historical references found either online, or from the collection of International Arcade Museum Library.

  1. 1980s-90s - The Music Box Society Journal - Vol 11, No. 4, Page 150 - "Penny Arcadia" by J. Scott
  2. 1980s-90s - The Music Box Society Journal - Vol 12, No. 1, Page 7 - "Penny Arcadia" by Jon Gresham
  3. 1983 - A documentary aired with a segment on Gresham and his Arcadia. We are currently working to obtain a copy to display.
  4. 1985 - "Penny Arcadia: The Magical Museum of Amusement Machines - A Concise History and Museum Guide" by Jon Gresham, published by Penny Arcadia. This guide was distributed throughout the UK, the United States, Australia, Europe, and beyond. Copies are still held at libraries both near, such as by the International Arcade Museum Library, and wide, such as the State Library of Victoria, Australia.
  5. 1985, October 5 - Arcadia 85: Exposition & Auction - A major exhibition, play fest, and auction event was held under the 'Arcadia' name. An auction catalog of 250 lots of surplus games was distributed, along with a history of and guide to Penny Arcadia. The Arcadia auction was held in conjunction the Arcadia 85' Expo, advertised as "Europe's First Major Exhibition and Auction of Antique Slot Machines, Pinballs, Jukeboxes, Mechanical Music and Associated Items held at Park Hall Exhibition Centre, Nr Chorley, Lancashire on 5th October 1985."
  6. 1991, Fall - "Coin Slot People in Geneva, Illinois - Jon Gresham / Penny Arcadia, Dick Bueschel, and Clive Baker", Page 46-60.
  7. 1992, Spring/Summer - "Vintage Amusement Magazine" - "Pocklington Paradise" ..."is the setting for what is probably England's finest collection of amusement machines."
  8. 1993, Easter - Pocklington Post (York, England) -- Article mentions that the "Oak House Cinema" was currently "Penny Arcadia".
  9. 1995 - CTC Birthday Rides - Bike riding publication recommends a visit to "Penny Arcadia" for its "collection of 'slot' and 'what the butler saw' machines."
  10. 1995, February - Pinball Player magazine - "Obituary - the sad loss of Jon Gresham, owner of the Penny Arcadia museum in York" -- We found this article reference on-line but do not have the article in our files. We would love to get a copy (and even a set of magazines for our library).

  11. 1998 - 'International Directory of Arts 1998-1999' By K. G. Saur, 2398 pages - includes 'Penny Arcadia'
  12. 2004 - 'Schotland, Noor-Engeland' - by M. Bierens, Bredt & Ipenburg (Amsterdam) - 396 pages - Dutch Travel Guide published from 2004-2007 recommends a visit to Penny Arcadia (page 199/1999) even though it had already moved to Los Angeles! (book can be found online in Google Book search)
  13. 2007, July - The Bradford Magic Circle magazine - This issue contained an article about Jon Gresham and Penny Arcadia, and the "Art of Showmanship".
  14. Outdated - Even though the Penny Arcadia exposition in York England closed a number of years ago, some websites still list the York, England location and encourage a visit! We look forward to our next UK show. When it is planned, information will be available both here and at

The Museum of the Game, International Arcade Museum, The Killer List of Videogames, Arcadia & more...

The International Arcade Museum is focused on providing cutting edge educational research, outreach, and community services.   To that end, we have assembled one of the world's leading archives covering the art, entrepreneurs, inventions, and history of the amusement, coin-operated machine, and videogame industries.   As a result of our constant research efforts, we will be continuously adding to the nearly 130,000 pages of educational content already on-line.

Arcadia® Penny Arcadia® Pinball Arcadia™, and Video Arcadia™ offer hands-on gaming for our visitors and present special real-world events and more.

The International Arcade Museum Library, Inc. is a 501(c)3 pubic charity providing library, archive, and research services to the community. It is independant of the International Arcade Museum