Hit Every Ramp

It’s tough being a coin-op addict in 2013. Despite being the nation’s No. 1 resale hub for the things, most of Dallas’ pinball machines are preserved in the caring homes of collectors, rather than in the corners of bars and laundromats. For 51 weekends of each year, that is a heartbreaking fact of life. But for one glorious three-day span, the whole world becomes infinitely more beautiful as the city goes multiball. That’s right: The Texas Pinball Festival is back. This year it moves even closer to our fingertips, setting up camp at the Hilton Anatole (2201 Stemmons Freeway) from Friday to Sunday. It’s an excuse to revisit all of your favorite hard-to-find machines and to honor those who restore the things and breathe life back into those early models. (I miss you madly, Black Hole, you bewitching vixen.) There are also tournaments (for the impossibly good), Q&As, a swap meet and, most important, some quality bro-down time with your fellow arcade geeks. Basically, it’s three days of perfection. Prices start at $10 for a Sunday kid’s pass and go up to $50 for a weekend adult wristband. Psst: All games are set on “free play.” Visit texaspinball.com.
March 15-17, 2013