By Will Fairless
Rock ʻN Roll Pinball is partnering with Red Clay Brewery to put on a pinball event from June 24 – 27. There will be three pinball machines set up for free play on those days during the hours when the brewery is open.
This event is a teaser for Rock ʻN Roll Pinballʼs eventual grand opening as a pinball arcade in downtown Opelika. The arcade will have 25 pinball machines (both modern and vintage, featuring Beatles and Elvis machines, among others), seven televisions, two multi-game arcade machines and a bar serving craft and domestic beers.
“We are testing the waters and hopefully finding out that the Auburn-Opelika area [has] a hunger for pinball,” said Ernie Rains, the owner of Rock ʻN Roll Pinball. Rains is moving to Opelika because he said the city has a “Mayberry” feel that is in line with the retro business heʼs planning on opening.
Although Rains is looking to make Rock ʻN Roll Pinball like a time capsule containing the golden age of pinball, he said heʼll be including modern machines that allow for more depth of play. He is partnering with Stephen Gentry, who owns pinball machines himself and has been running tournaments out of his house for a while now.
“Being a first time small business owner, I will measure success not by the money, but by whether or not Rock ʻN Roll Pinball becomes a hangout for people,” Rains said.
All of the machines in the arcade will be set to free play, and patrons will pay $15 at the door to play as much as they want until close. Rains hopes to have a grand opening on Labor Day, complete with a fireworks display to match the 25-machine light show going on inside.
For more information about Rock ʻN Roll Pinball, visit their Facebook group of the same name.