A tour of the Golf ‘n Stuff arcade from the 1984 Karate Kid movie
Late last year I took a look at the Pinball City arcade from the 1980 movie Midnight Madness. It featured lots of good, awesome vintage arcade games for us to take a look at. It was a pretty popular article so I thought I’d take a look at another movie arcade. This time, I’m looking at the famous Golf n’ Stuff arcade from The Karate Kid.
Here is that spinning red sign.
Until grabbing screenshots for this article, I never noticed the sign has a hole in it right by the ‘S’ in Stuff. Interestingly, the director, John Avildsen, has been posting film he took in 1983 when they were rehearsing for shooting The Karate Kid. Some of the Golf n’ Stuff rehearsals are out there. The spinning sign has that same hole in it. I love that continuity.
So, Daniel and Alli go to this mythical Golf n’ Stuff amusement center for a first date. The first part of the date is quickly spent in the Arcade. Here they are walking into the entrance.
Inside during this adorable music montage (Can You Feel the Night by Baxter Robertson) we get a glimpse of a few vintage video games. Click any of the below screenshots to see them BIGGER. It makes it easier to see the games in some instances.
Daniel appears to score a goal on Alli and he sort of overreacts to his victory. During this douchey hockey celebration, right behind Mr Larusso, is a Stern Flight 2000 pinball machine from 1980.
Nope, no video games here. I just think Elizabeth Shue is achingly adorable in this movie. I thought we should all just take a moment and drink it in.
Okay, let’s move on.
At the end of the date, Alli and Daniel get their pictures taken in a photo booth. Right next to the photo booth on the left of the screen is a Qix machine. Created by Taito in 1981.
That’s about it for the first date. However, towards the end of the movie, Daniel needs to go see Alli and make up for acting like an ass. So he roams around and finds her at the Golf n’ Stuff. Again, we get to see some more video games and we get a great song playing underneath (Young Hearts by Commuter) to underscore Daniel’s earnest determination to make things right.
UPDATE! – Because Jaime Hood loves to correct my articles during the extremely rare times that I’m wrong about something, I have moved the Young Hearts link from above to here. She correctly pointed out that the first date musical montage used Feel the Night and Young Hearts was during this later scene. Thanks again, Jaime, for diligently and eagerly pointing out my mistakes. :-)
As far as the games, though, not much obscure, but a bunch of good classic video games.
Here’s an awesome 1982 Bally Midway TRON in the background between the Love Tester carnival game and Daniel-san. It’s tough to see at first because the art on the side panels look like they’ve been through a war. How did the machine get that much wear on the sides?
Daniel finds Alli and her friends playing this Namco Shoot Away light rifle game. It was made in 1984 which means it was a fairly brand new game when this movie was filmed. Were there groups of girls that go play games at the arcade like this? And a shooting game? Not where I was from, so I obviously lived in the wrong city.
Daniel-san is rebuffed by Alli and she and her friends walk away, exasperated by Larusso’s antics. During the walk away, we get a shot of a 1982 Atari Pole Position (environmental cockpit version) and a 1982 Williams Joust. They are in the background on the right.
Daniel tries to catch up with Alli by walking around her friends and he passes a Galaga machine from 1981. One of my favorite games. Right next to the Galaga (on the right behind Daniel) is a 1980 Centipede machine. You can’t really tell, but the Centipede machine actually sits directly next to the above Shoot Away game.
After Shoot Away, Alli goes to start a game of Super Pac-Man (Bally Midway, 1982), another one of my favorites. Daniel won’t let her finish and she walks away clearly not able to finish the quarter she inserted. Johnny should show up to teach Daniel a little lesson in video arcade etiquette.
After leaving Super Pac-Man, Alli and Daniel walk back to the spot in the arcade where their first date occured. The Super Chexx hockey game. While walking, they pass a 1983 Sega Champion Baseball game (in the back to the right of Alli).
After Champion Baseball Alli and Daniel stop in front of a pinball machine that, for the life of me, I can’t identify. It’s on the far right of the screenshot above. It looks like it has someone riding a mechanical bull on it. The title looks something like Club…something. I can’t tell. Go ahead, click the image. Make it bigger. See if you can tell what the hell that is. I may have to get the Blu-Ray to see if I can see what the hell it is.
UPDATE! – Thanks to shenanitim in the comments below, the above pinball machine has been identified as the Bally Rolling Stones pinball machine from 1980. So I wasn’t even close with my “club mechanical bull” guess.
Alli and Daniel continue on from the unknown pinball machine and walk to the side of the Super Chexx hockey game (you can see the bubble top in the lower left). Behind Daniel you can see a Moon Patrol (Irem – 1982) and a Ms. Pac-Man (Bally Midway – 1981) machine. If you look behind Alli, you can also see the earlier Flight 2000 pinball machine.
After this, Alli storms off because Daniel keeps acting kind of like a dick. Daniel is then told by Alli’s friend that she decked Johnny in the mouth after he kissed her at the party. It’s one of my favorite lines in the movie, “You think she sprained her wrist doing her nails?”
And that’s it for the Golf n’ Stuff arcade scenes in The Karate Kid. I was able to identify a lot more than I thought I would.
Btw, the Golf n’ Stuff in the movie does still exist today. It’s located in Norwalk, CA. Here is what it looks like now.
The sign is a bit different. It seems like the outside is mostly unchanged, but from what people are saying, the inside was completely redone.