The Bay Area's Alameda Island is home to the Pacific Pinball Museum, a decade-old non-profit "dedicated to teaching science, art and history through pinball, and to preserve and promote one of America's great pastimes." The Bay Citizen spoke with founder Michael Schiess. From the Bay Citizen:
Disappointed by other museums’ pinball offerings, Mr. Schiess started snapping up the machines in 2001, buying 36 all at once. He installed 14 of them in a room that he rented for $400 in Alameda and put out a donation jar. In 2004, Lucky Ju Ju, as the arcade was then called, expanded to become the Pacific Pinball Museum, a nonprofit, and instituted a $15 admission. It now features 90 machines; most are free to play, but a few are for display only."Local Intelligence: Pacific Pinball Museum, Alameda"
Pinball collectors abound, and many have organized museums in cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Seattle. Mr. Schiess says his personal collection totals 800, and the machines not on display in Alameda reside in an 8,000-square-foot warehouse whose location he keeps secret.