Movieland Arcade: A Hit Of Nostalgia In Vancouver

Ah Vancouver, the city of many cruise ships and retirees boarding these massive vessels! This post has been a long time coming, but that’s because we’ve been distracted – till now!

Continuing on with cool places we visited while on our North American trip (like the Seattle Pinball Museum, Toy Shack and A Gamer’s Paradise in Vegas), the city of Vancouver delivered its own piece of gaming nostalgia via the Movieland Arcade!

There are some amusement centres that are stuck in a bygone era, a period of time when arcade parlours in the 80s were lined with machines, both of the arcade and pinball kind, checkered linoleum flooring, cheeky signage, an attendants booth for exchanging your notes for coins and of course, the smell. Well, it is safe to say that Movieland Arcade encapsulates this 80s era perfectly.

Situated at the hipster end of Granville Street in central Vancouver, Movieland Arcade cannot be missed – its distinct red tile facade enticing you to go in and experience some real gaming nostalgia. With pinball tables and arcade machines ranging from the 70s to the late 90s, you better exchange your notes for a shed-load of coins as you will want to play them all!

Movieland Arcade reminded us of the arcade joints we used to frequent in the 80s on Swanston Street and Russell Street in the centre of Melbourne. Unlike those arcade joints going the way of the dodo, Vancouver can count itself lucky with a place like the Movieland Arcade.

Whoa, we spot Movieland Arcade across the road!

You definitely can’t miss the distinct facade of this majestic arcade parlour

We better grab some more coins!

Here we go! Hmm, pinball or straight to the arcade machines?

We shall start from the left and work our way to the right..

You have to go slow when you are in here! Too many awesome distractions!

We can’t go past some Neo Geo action

Killer Instinct is next!

Whoa man, haven’t seen a Gauntlet Legends machine in almost 20 years!

Some single racing action on Daytona USA!

Inserting coins now!

Nothing beats some 8P head-to-head racing!

We spy Medieval Madness! Time to destroy some castle!

Needing some gun action, which Area 51 will satisfy

We enjoy gunning down zombies!

Hmm, not sure if these ‘movies’ and that ‘theatre’ are appropriate, but…

OMG, Raiden Fighters! There go all of our coins!

Our shmup senses have gone into overdrive! Get us some more coins!

We spent our last few coins on some Playboy action *wink*

Darn it, the booth attendant must’ve had a toilet break. We’ll be back.

Coming To America

ComingToNA_HDRIt’s been a while since we had a holiday – our last proper trip was to the Gold Coast (where we spent a lot of time at Timezone Surfers Paradise) almost 2 years ago. So we are well overdue for a vacation!

Although we have been to the US before and visited some great retrogaming tourist attractions (e.g. San Francisco’s Musée Mechanique, the Nintendo World Store in NYC, plus 8Bit & Up and Video Games NY) there are more than enough places left to visit to justify a return trip. This time we will be concentrating on the West Coast.

Los Angeles
ComingToAmerica_DB
Once we hit LA, we do what all tourists do, go on a TMZ Hollywood Tour to check out where the celebs hang out. Also, while in the US, attending a live taping of a show is a must – we will be ticking @Midnight off of our bucket list too (Ed: Hope Stacey Borg will be watching!). And no trip is complete without a feed and gaming session at Dave and Buster’s (in Hollywood).

Anaheim (a.k.a. Disneyland!)
ComingToAmerica_Disney
When we think of Anaheim, we think of Disneyland! With a 3-day pass, surely we will get to experience everything that Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park have to offer! Then we’ll hit the Games of the Boardwalk and the ESPN Zone Sports Arena in the Downtown Disney District.

Once we are done with Disneyland, we’ll be checking out the Exodus Escape Room – Sherlock’s Study and Trap Room, and hopefully Video Game Geeks and Phat Collectibles. I get the feeling we should have booked an extra day or two…

Las Vegas
ComingToAmerica_Vegas
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! Nah, we don’t subscribe to that saying, we will be happy to share our Vegas experience with you all! I know that Alex is really looking forward to hitting the Pinball Hall Of Fame and then going retro gaming shopping at A Gamer’s Paradise store. We will have to be careful not to exceed our luggage limit!

We will also be packing a heap of coins to check out the casino amusement centres at New York-New York (The Big Apple Roller Coaster and Arcade), MGM Grand (West Wing Bar Arcade Lounge), Excalibur (The Fun Dungeon) and Circus Circus (Midway Arcade). We’ll even hit the arcade and gaming booths at Insert Coin(s) on the old Vegas strip.

Our non-gaming fun will involve the Zombie Burlesque and a tour of the classic Vegas signs at the Neon Boneyard. Last but not least on our Vegas hitlist, is the underground arcade joint, Flipperspiel Wunderland!

Vancouver
ComingToAmerica_Vancouver
After Vegas, we will be venturing across the border into Canada to check out the wonderful city of Vancouver. While researching of the things to see and do, I stumbled upon the Movieland Arcade. I know we are both looking forward to this one.

We will be cramming a fair bit into our short stay in Vancouver, but places like Pub 340 (for some Karaoke fun!), EXP Restaurant and Bar and Golden Age Collectibles are high on our ‘to do’ list. And of course, no trip to Vancouver is complete without going to Gastown for some live music, board games, pool, darts and video games!

Seattle
ComingToAmerica_Seattle
Last on our whirlwind trip is beautiful Seattle. We will be getting more silver ball fever by visiting the Seattle Pinball Museum and then hitting the barcades like John John’s Game Room and Vidiot to quench our thirst and unwind with some games.

Our sweet tooth and gaming appetite will surely be satisfied at the quirky Full Tilt Ice Cream parlour. If that isn’t enough, then I reckon a bite and more gaming at Gameworks will satisfy our hunger.

There are a number of cool museums in Seattle, we’re looking forward to visiting the EMP Museum of Music – SciFi – Pop Culture, the Living Computer Museum and the Museum of History and Industry. Maybe we’ll also check out Pike Place Market for some arts and crafts.

A highlight for Alex is sure to be the Boeing Tour, while I’m looking forward to the carnival themed Unicorn & Narwhal bars and the Rock Box Karaoke Rooms and Bar. To finish up, Alex and I will be downing some hot dogs and frosty beers while playing the arcade machines and classic pinball tables at Shorty’s Arcade & Pinball. Oh boy, it will be quite difficult leaving Seattle, but all good things must come to an end. 

Well, there you have it. I didn’t realise our itinerary was so packed with wonderful things to do and see in North America – we both can’t wait to get there! Rest assured, there will be plenty of photos (and maybe a few videos) from the places we visit, so stay tuned (and don’t forget to let us know about other cool places we could visit in these cities)!

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

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