A new art gallery featuring collectibles and nostalgic items from the 20th century has popped up in Old Pasadena called the Peekaboo Gallery. Their first exhibition on display is called “25¢ a Play: The Art of the Videocade” and it’s filled with rare arcade cabinets and pinball machines in great condition from the ‘70s and ‘80s. If you’re a fan of ‘70s and ‘80s games or just want to appreciate the art of the craft, this is the place to go. And it’s free to go.
The gallery is the idea of Jordan Reichek, who has worked in the animation business for over 30 years for the likes of Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and so on. Reichek has been collecting memorabilia for his entire life ranging from records, coin-ops, comics, etc.
The exhibit features over two dozen classic arcade cabinets, neon signs of the games, prints that use fluorescent ink and pinball machines. While you’re not allowed to play any of the games or machines, they are incredible to look at. You’ll find games in great and clean condition, such as “Pac-man,” “Death Race,” “Football,” “Asteroids,” “Donkey Kong,” “Q*bert” and the list goes on. You’ll even find some rare and obscure ones as well, such as the cabinet version of Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalker.” They even have a copy of the KISS pinball machine in pristine condition.
To some, that may seem like “so what?” But to anyone who enjoys retro gaming like myself, it’s a geek out all in its own. As a lifelong lover of video games old and new, this gallery had me geeking out at a lot of the games in there. I did get the chance to play one of the pinball machines, “Space Shuttle,” because the director of the gallery, Matt Kennedy, was there, gave me a tour of the place and was nice enough to let me play.
Everything in the exhibit is on sale, but everything costs a pretty penny. In fact, the cheapest game in there costs three grand. However, if you’re truly into classic arcade gaming, that price tag is completely justifiable. They also have artwork from classic games such as “Double Dragon,” the original “Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark” game, “Water World,” and a Wonder Woman pinball machine. Basically, there is some really cool stuff in there that many people would recognize and reminisce about.
Entrance to the gallery is completely free and if you go to the Neon Classic Arcade nearby afterward and show that you were at the gallery, you get a 20 percent off play card, which alone makes visiting the exhibit worth it. But everything in there is just so cool that it’s absolutely worth going and checking out. The overall experience is wonderful. Seriously, go to this gallery; you will not regret it. It’s open until July 8th. The only thing missing was Journey’s “Separate Ways” playing on repeat.