Pinball and video games in the basement of the Galleria at 1214 South University.

http://pinballpetes.net

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Pinball Pete’s has been in Ann Arbor, MI – home to the University of Michigan – for decades. In fact, it’s about to complete its third. For a place like this to survive the 80?s and 90?s is remarkable, but short of surprising. I believe the arcade is on its third location; I never went to either of the old ones but there’s no mistaking the bright pink awning that grabs your attention.

But for a devout few, the arcade is called Pinball Pete's for more than just the sake of vague nostalgia and alliteration. They're players of all ages whose devotion to pinball hearkens back to a time before Xbox. A time when Pinball Pete's had four locations in downtown Ann Arbor. A time that was the golden era of pinball - the early 1990s.

But Pete's quirky ambiance is a large part of the reason it's become the preferred arena for Ann Arbor's large population of video game addicts, pinball wizards and pool sharks. There's the bass-heavy music, all but drowning out the bleeps and bloops. There's darkness - video game screens are the major light source. And if you were happy when Amer's became non-smoking, steer clear of Pinball Pete's - it's one of the last bastions of smokers' rights with an ashtray always within arm's reach.

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