The Grand Opening of Replay Amusement Museum in Tarpon Springs; Or, The Day I Fell in Love with Pinball

Replay Amusement Museum had their Grand Opening weekend on October 3rd-5th in downtown Tarpon Springs. It was beautiful sight to behold: the glow of all the machines lined up against the very hip brick walls was magical, and the sun was pouring in through some also very hip large windows at the entrance. The entrance is nicely decorated, and when you walk in you immediately get the feeling that this is the kind of place you want to hang out in if you’re a cool & geeky. It was packed on that Saturday with people of all ages – a really good mix of adults and children. Despite the crowd, there really wasn’t a long wait to play any games, and there was always at least one machine open somewhere.

There are basically two sections to the building: all of the pinball machines are towards the front, and the back section is filled with arcade machines. The entrance area has some nice looking shirts and other things for sale, a couple of jukeboxes, and an old Coca-Cola cooler that I did see them loading beverages into but couldn’t tell if they actually were selling them. It could definitely benefit from a clearly defined beverage selling system because after a few hours of playing you get a little parched. There are a few places to sit towards the front, and a nice, classy area in the middle with lounge chairs and some cocktail table arcade machines like Ms. Pac-Man.

In the very, very back of the store seems to be an area for repairing machines. There was a broken down pinball machine there that looked like it was in the process of being fixed up. Obviously these are all old machines and probably need constant repair. A few of the arcade machines were currently “out of order,” with the classic paper signed posted on the screen. Some of the pinball machines had issues while people played them, and employees were walking around and available to help fix them. I watched the Theatre of Magic pinball machine get opened up to retrieve a stuck ball, and in the process a saw blade that apparently hadn’t worked in years suddenly started spinning again. That was really cool.

They have a great collection of machines; tons of pinball machines and a good variety of arcade machines. I really fell in love with playing pinball during my visit. I’ve never really paid pinball machines much attention before, but after experiencing the satisfaction and pride of what felt like an extremely long lasting round on Centaur, and the joyful chaos of having 5 balls going at the same time on The Simpsons Pinball Party: I get it. The detail that goes into some of these machines is just amazing. I loved looking at all the tiny props inside and the special scenarios that each machine had – like how Medieval Madness has a castle with a drawbridge that comes down, and you can blow up the castle if you get a ball in there. So satisfying. And as far as the arcade machines go, they have all the classic favorites: Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Dig Dug, Root Beer Tapper… they also have some newer stuff too like a Minecraft machine and a Fix It Felix machine, which was cute & fun.

I’ve been following Replay on Facebook & Instagram since the opening, and they seem to be steadily adding new machines, which is exciting and definitely makes me want to go back and visit again, even though it’s a bit of a drive. What’s nice about how they run the store is that you’re purchasing an armband that lasts for the day, and they make it clear that you can leave and come back if you want. So basically you could play some games, leave and walk around downtown Tarpon Springs, get some lunch or dinner, and come back and play more games. So… all in all, a pretty sweet weekend activity for pinball and arcade fans living in Tampa Bay.

1 day pass is $13 for adults & $7 for kids (7-12)(6 & under are free)
1 month pass is $45 for adults & $25 for kids
Kids must be accompanied by adults

Replay Amusement Museum is located at 119 E Tarpon Ave in Tarpon Springs.
Open 11am-7pm on weekdays & 11am-9pm on weekends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>