The Manitou Springs Penny Arcade

@teamfreak16 (40503)
Colorado Springs, Colorado
March 10, 2017 7:28pm CST
If you were a kid, you'd lose your mind here. If you are an adult, you might very well lose your mind here. I'll be 53 next month, and I sometimes still lose my mind here. "Here" being the Manitou Springs Arcade, also known as the Penny Arcade, officially Arcade Amusements. It's a very old arcade that encompasses several buildings located in the center of Downtown Manitou. The arcade, which offers up everything from Skee Ball to children's rides to vintage pinball and video games, has seemingly been here forever. Realistically, the arcade began in the 1930's, when John W. "Bingo Jack" Kerns opened a bingo parlor in what is now the Skee Ball room. Kerns soon began purchasing the adjacent buildings and installing coin operated games inside them (the bingo room became a dedicated Skee Ball area in 1962.) Since then, the arcade has been a major tourist draw. High school kids have been coming up from Colorado Springs for decades for fun (we were up here all the time in the early 80's,) and it's always fun to watch tourist kids going off as we drink on the patio of the Royal Tavern, the bar that sits at the edge of the arcade (how much fun, you ask? I can't stand kids, and even I'm amused.) The arcade has my all time favorite game, a pinball-style baseball game that a few of you might just recognize if I'd get off my lazy butt and walk up the street for a photo. If I don't go play it, I'm sneaking away from the Royal for a game or two of Skee Ball. I give the tickets I win to random kids as they walk past the bar patio so they can cash them in for prizes. The historical arcade offers up lots of fun for youngsters and old fogey's alike. It's just one more reason to visit us here in Manitou next time you're in Colorado. (Photo by me) (Info verified by Wikimapia)
9 people like this
9 responses
@JohnRoberts (52111)
• Los Angeles, California
11 Mar 17
Fascinating bit of history that the parlor began in the 30s and apparently adapted to the newer games that have come along in the decades.
3 people like this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
And, in an unwritten bit of, but just as important part of history, about 12 years ago, I was so drunk that I tripped and fell face first into a flower planter! There should be a plaque!
2 people like this
@TheHorse (62141)
• Pleasant Hill, California
11 Mar 17
I'm still a sucker for a good pinball machine. There's a vintage pinball arcade fairly near here.
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
They even have the Elton John Captain Fantastic pinball machine. I loved that one when I was a kid.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (62141)
• Pleasant Hill, California
11 Mar 17
@teamfreak16 I think my favorite ever was Gulfstream.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
@TheHorse - I remember that one. There is a live music venue outside of Downtown Denver that has about a hundred old school pinball machines in the back room. Really cool place.
@crossbones27 (18555)
• Redlands, California
11 Mar 17
It is neat that they still have some place like that. Here I think 99 percent went out of business.
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
It is such an ingrained part of Manitou that it would take huge balls to shut the place down.
1 person likes this
@TRBRocks420 (73654)
• Banks, Oregon
11 Mar 17
Sounds like a fun time enjoy. Next year I am going to chuck e cheese for my birthday. I don't care how old I am lol.
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
I worked at Chuck E Cheese back in the 80's when it was called Showbiz Pizza.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 17
Are the games still a penny though? Never too old to play arcade games and very sweet of you to give your tickets to the kids. Happy Early Birthday!
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
Oh no, no penny games anymore.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 17
@teamfreak16 Same with here.. its like four quarters lol!
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
@infatuatedbby - Luckily, these are still only a quarter.
1 person likes this
@allen0187 (32563)
• Philippines
11 Mar 17
Sounds like a place I'd visit often if I can.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
It helps that it's next to the bar I frequent!
1 person likes this
@allen0187 (32563)
• Philippines
11 Mar 17
@teamfreak16 the bar is a definite bonus! Imagine playing your favorite arcade game with a buzz! Fun times!
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
@allen0187 - Nothing like a cutthroat game of Skee Ball while loaded!
1 person likes this
@Ronrybs (7302)
• London, England
11 Mar 17
These kinds of things are more a feature of seaside holiday towns, but I can't say I've heard that big. Not been in one since I was a kid, many, many years ago!
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
Well, we are, in many ways, a seaside holiday town, only we are right next to the mountains.
1 person likes this
@Ronrybs (7302)
• London, England
11 Mar 17
@teamfreak16 My geography of the US isn't that great, but I was fairly sure that Colorado is a little bit away from the sea side!
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
@Ronrybs - Yep, we are definitely landlocked.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (118538)
• Bunbury, Australia
11 Mar 17
Penny arcades were popular here too years ago.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
They are quite fun, even as an adult.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (118538)
• Bunbury, Australia
11 Mar 17
@teamfreak16 Vince would be in one like a shot if we ever came across one.
1 person likes this
@andriaperry (46230)
• United States
11 Mar 17
Sounds like fun to me :)
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40503)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
11 Mar 17
It is. Especially during the summer when it's open late.
1 person likes this