The founder of the original Tilt.

As a boy of about thirteen in 1977, I had two obsessions, pinball and cheerleaders. I’ll get to the pinball later, but first the cheerleaders. I grew up in Oxford, Mississippi, next to the campus of Ole Miss. It was your typical small southern town for nine months of the year, but every summer Ole Miss hosted cheerleader camps from June through August. Every week a fresh crop of girls and every week the same group of town boys hovering around them like tomcats in the alley. We spent our every waking moment either chasing girls, or playing pinball in the student union and waiting on the girl’s next break to have our egos bruised all over again. As the summers rolled on, I found that I got better and better at pinball and absolutely no smoother at delivering my rehearsed pickup lines. We played for hours on a single quarter and the satisfaction of winning one free game after another was almost as satisfying as getting to first base with the prettiest cheerleader from Hot Coffee High School (yes Hot Coffee, Miss. is a real town). We played Captain Fantastic, Skylab, Surfer, Spin-Out and all the classic electromechanical pinball games. Early on, I became a Williams man and still today you will find more Williams games in our arcade than any other.

As the years wore on, I found less and less time to play pinball. The 80’s brought video games that pretty well spelled the end of the pinball era. One by one the iconic pinball makers went out of business, Chicago Coin, Gottlieb, Bally, and finally even Williams; leaving only Stern remaining and making very few pinball games at that. I must admit to playing the occasional game of Pac-Man or Donkey Kong, but video games never captured my imagination or devotion like the randomness of pinball.

Over the years I became less interested in playing pinball and more interested in how these complex machines work and how to restore these dinosaurs back to life after sitting in a garage for many dusty years. Some of the machines in our arcade are more than 40 years old and have been lovingly restored so they work today as well as they did in 1972.

You will also find a number of giant-sized old-fashioned board games in our arcade. These came about from my fond memories of playing never-ending games of Monopoly, Scrabble, and Risk with my sisters into the wee hours of the morning. Invariably, these games eventually ended with “he cheated”, some hair pulling, or the game-ending tactic of throwing the board in the air and sending all of the pieces flying. We made the pieces giant sized, so we don’t need to worry about board throwing, but please no hair pulling.

Fast forward to 2014. I finally got my cheerleader! My wife Lynn was crazy enough to support me when we decided to start the original Tilt! Pinball and is my partner in every way. We hope you will stop in and play a few games.