By Dana Caenan and Timothy Roberts; Photos by Sondra Roehr and provided by Gemini Arcade
Video arcades are the new fun social gathering place for young and “Old School” alike. Can you remember going to the store and spending all your allowance on Pac-Man or some other wildly popular video game? If you didn’t do it yourself then your mom, dad, aunts or uncles surely did. Video games and the arcades that housed them were so popular they created cultural icons including the blockbuster movies TRON and War Games. Every corner mom and pop convenience store, hotel lobby, Laundromat and mall had video games and arcades. Today you’ll find them in movie theatres, bowling alleys, children’s party places, and amusement parks. One of the newest pop culture additions for video arcade games is the ultra lounge. It’s a polished new approach to the “Old School” arcade and we certainly enjoyed the appeal after we visited a few in Las Vegas.
One of our favorite “classic” arcades here in Las Vegas is Insert Coin(s),located at 512 Fremont St., just east of the Fremont Street Experience. The inside is a cool ultra lounge with sleek neon bright booths that fit up to 6 people and giant flat screen TVs everywhere you look. Their arcade game consoles definitely take you back to your youth, emptying your entire pocket of quarters just to get your initials in the top 10. They have just about every game you can remember, from Centipede and Dig Dug, to Pac-Man and Space Invaders just to name a few. You’re sure to find your favorite there. They serve alcohol and are a 21 and over club with a D.J. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Wednesday (which is 80’s night). With a dance floor, bottle service, and movies, there’s not really any reason to go anywhere else once you get a wireless remote into your hands. With RPG’s, shooter, or sports team games playing overhead on one of the many 32” plus screens, you’re going to wish you brought all your friends. Next time, do just that. Another local favorite is the Gemini Arcade Palace at 4180 S. Sandhill Rd just south of Flamingo. It’s a labor of love for the owners who have created one of the most fun venues for the hot “dance machine” craze. They have dance games, classic arcade consoles, free foosball, air hockey, and guitar and drum machines. It’s an inexpensive local arcade for all ages.
A Fist Full of Quarters
Video arcade games have entered a comeback that can be fun for all ages. You can relax with friends at your local arcade, rack up the points or advance your warrior. You can choose any location and any game, and you definitely want to have a fist full of quarters!
1. The Super Mario Brothers series is in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful game of all time.
2. The highest score achievable on a Pac-Man game is 3,333,360 if all dots, fruit and power pellets on all levels are completed.
3. The American Classic Arcade Museum, in New Hampshire, has been established to promote and preserve the history of coin-operated arcade games.