He owns more than 900 machines that have an insurance value of almost $3 million and he’s going share his 30 years of collecting in what he’s calling the National Pinball Museum.
It opens Saturday morning on the top floor of the Shops at Georgetown Park in Georgetown. He’s closed a smaller museum that he ran adjacent to his home in Silver Spring.
The new space – where FAO Schwartz was many years ago – is a magical walk through the unique history of pinball machines -- who made them and how.
Some machines are so old and fragile you can only look, but many, many others are still in full operation. You can buy cash cards that allow you to play.
Silverman hopes to appeal to Baby Boomers and even young people who might wonder about the world before computers. Silverman intends for the nonprofit museum to hold classes on graphics design, marketing and mechanics of the pinball era.
There’s an interesting display of Pinball machines that featured pin-up girls that became popular in World War II. Silverman said the manufacturers put “chesty” women on the machines to draw the young men returning from war.
The basic entry fee for the museum is about $13, but there are discount tickets for groups.
Silverman said there is history and sightseeing, but a whole lot of fun, too.