A roll of quarters and good company are really all one would need for some good times and memory making at Musée Mécanique.
Located at Pier 45 of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Warf, this old school arcade is one worth visiting. Open seven days a week, with no entry fee, the building is packed full of game entertainment which spans the decades.
Family owned and operated since 1933, the ‘Mechanical Museum’ boasts a collection of more than 300 items including antique player pianos, fortune tellers and its very own “Laffing Sal” and “Susie the Can-Can Dancer.”
The collection of iconic gaming and arcade memories was acquired by San Francisco Native Edward Galland Zelinsky, who began his collection at 11 years old. Zelinsky passed in 2004, yet his legacy remains as the Musée Mécanique and is known as one of the world’s largest privately owned collections of coin operated games and artifacts.
Stepping through the door, one might immediately feel as if they’ve happened upon a boardwalk game room on steroids. No quarters? No problem. Change machines are located throughout the large building. Even better is the low cost of each attraction and game, which reflects costs of times past versus the sticker shock one might have when parking just steps away from the entrance.
From pinball, Skee-Ball, to Pac Man, Asteroids, Air Hockey and other vintage games, a roll of quarters goes a long way at the Musée Mécanique.
Rows upon rows are lined up with games that span the decades since Zelinksy began his labor of love collecting such things in 1933.
Hand cranked music boxes, player pianos, and “How Loveable Are You” type antique games are blended in with games of all styles ranging in price from 25 cents to a dollar per play.
Looking to spend a bit more, then travel on over to the 1915 Wurlitzer Band Organ for a whopping $2. A sound which when played fills the room with music from days past and often stops visitors in their tracks.
For those interested in making a day of it and making the most of the drive to the Bay Area from the Central Valley, the Pier 45 location could not be better. Just steps away from parking, surrounded by eateries and adjacent to the Bay, this is one attraction not to be missed.