Girard Pinball Arcade, Museum Sets Opening Date

GIRARD, Ohio – Past Times Arcade, a pinball arcade and museum of vintage machines, will open June 1 at 419 N. State St.

The arcade is a passion project of Warren businessman Rob Berk, a pinball aficionado who has been collecting the machines all his life. He has spent at least $1 million on the project.

Past Times will feature 300 modern or older pinball machines and 150 antique ones. All of the machines will be set to free play for visitors, who play a flat fee upon entering, except for the antiques.

The arcade also has a concession area, a bar and a gift shop. It’s located in a 30,000-square-foot building that once was a supermarket on Girard’s main thoroughfare.

Past Times will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Admission is $20 (age 13 and older); $10 for kids ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under. 

Berk is the owner of Berk Enterprises, a restaurant food packaging supplier. After buying the Past Times building, he gave it a complete makeover and added warehouse space.

Berk’s lifelong love of pinball began when he was a child and would play the games while on vacation with his family in Florida. He has been collecting pinball machines since the mid-1970s and has more than 1,200 in his collection.

In a December interview with The Business Journal, he called the creation of Past Times Arcade a labor of love.

He also owns and operates the Pinball Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois, which he started in 1984. The national event features pinball games and vendors, as well as displays from pinball game makers, some of whom unveil their latest products at the event.

Pictured at top: A sign at Past Times Arcade in Girard.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.