While both competing for the same consumer dollar, Hollywood and pinball have shared a long relationship mutually beneficial to both. For starters, pinball machines have long filled movie theaters lobbies and, of course, pinball machines have been featured in films as well as used as props in them.
Pinball has had a starring role in several Hollywood films. Paul Newman and Sidney Lumet star in the 1982 legal drama The Verdict along with William’s Disco Fever machine. Dazed and Confused has teenagers spending the last day of summer in the Emporium arcade as they come of age. In Whip It, a roller derby queen battles it out with her love interest on Gottlieb’s Bronco.
Of course, every pin needs a theme, and similar to pins based on rock bands, blockbuster movies also offer name recognition that marketers want to exploit. As a result, a large portion of pinball’s legacy involves theatrical films reinvented in pinball form. Fans like it, too!
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