Archive for Cavalcade Arcade

Walking through The Fun Hub arcade from Ping Pong Summer

Posted in movies, nostalgia, pop culture, video games with tags , , , , , on July 22, 2015 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

Back in June the Cult Film Club watched a movie from last year called Ping Pong Summer.

Ping Pong Summer

It’s a quirky summer comedy set during the summer of 1985 in Ocean City, Maryland.  We all loved it.  Well, one of the locations that is lovingly showed throughout the movie is a community center/arcade called The Fun Hub.  It has air hockey, ping pong and a ton of video games.  So, I think it’s time for one of my patented video arcade walk throughs, don’t you?

If you haven’t seen the movie, I urge you to watch it.  It’s pretty great.  Now check out the awesome, awesome arcade in which most of the movie is based, The Fun Hub.

Brad (nicknamed Rad) and his family arrive in Ocean City, MD for their summer vacation.  While there, Rad walks into town and finds Anthony’s Beer & Wine.  Here our hero, gets schooled in proper Icee pouring etiquette.  Then he’s told about a door hidden in the alley behind Anthony’s.

That door leads to the Fun Hub.

Fun Hub

Within the Fun Hub are games galore for all types. There are skill games like air hockey and ping pong as well as arcade games lining the blue cinder block walls. Let’s see how many games we can identify.  I get lots of help from The International Arcade Museum.

Super Chexx Hockey SCH flyer

As you can see in the establishing shot of Fun Hub above, our first games to see are the air hockey table on the right as well as this Super Chexx Hockey table from 1983.  This game may look familiar as it was seen previously in the Golf n’ Stuff arcade in Karate Kid.

Karate Champ and Commando
Here’s a quick shot of Data East’s Karate Champ (right) and Capcom’s Commando (left) machines.  The former is one of my favorite fighter games and I recently got to play it at The Galloping Ghost arcade in Illinois.  The other is the precursor to the much more popular Bionic Commando game.

DK Jr and Harlem Globetrotters Harlem Globetrotters pinball flyer
Here are the heroes of our movie, Rad and Teddy. Just over Rad’s right shoulder is Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Jr from 1982. Just over his left shoulder is the amazing Harlem Globetrotters On Tour pinball machine by Bally from 1979.  I love pretty much all things Harlem Globetrotters, so this was a nice one to spot.

Harlem Globetrotters pinball Harlem Globetrotters pinball
The guys actually play the Globetrotters pinball later in the movie and you get a great shot of the awesome art and lights in the table.

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Crashing the Galloping Ghost, The Largest Arcade in the United States

Posted in nostalgia, personal, pop culture, roadtrip, video games with tags , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

It’s not often I get to profile an actual arcade on Cavalcade Arcade, but that is my pleasure today. While you’ve probably seen and heard that both the Nerd Lunch and Atomic Geeks podcasts united in Chicago for C2E2, a few of us broke away from the convention nuttiness to live out a boyhood dream of playing in a dedicated video arcade. And one just happened to exist in the suburbs of Chicago.  And it’s called the Galloping Ghost Arcade, reportedly the largest indoor video game arcade in America.

Galloping Ghost arcade

So, without further ado, here is a journal of my adventures with Jeeg and Christian traveling to outer Chicago to find the mythical Galloping Ghost Arcade.

The day started off with breakfast at McDonald’s, then Jeeg, Christian and I had to hightail it to Union Station to catch a train to Brookfield. We were cutting it close, but we made it. Here’s Jeeg running for the train.

Jeeg, Christian and me.  Train buddies. Traveling to a mythical nirvana of pixels, CRT monitors and nostalgia.

Right off the train stop in Brookfield, there was this awesome little ice cream shop called Cock Robin. I was afraid to walk over to it because I didn’t want to ruin the illusion of a time warp to a 50s diner in perfect hibernation.

Galloping Ghost entrance
And after planes, trains and automobiles, we finally arrive. The Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL.  HALL-LE-LU-JAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

Walking through the door for the first time, you literally have to stand back for 5 minutes to even process everything that you’re looking at.

Galloping Ghost wide 01

Galloping Ghost wide 02

Then expect another 10-15 minutes just walking around open mouthed looking at the games. You’ll literally say over and over again in your head, “They have THAT?!” or “I haven’t seen that in YEARS!”

So you shamble over to the counter, pay a $15 cover and begin your own personal spirit walk.  Everything is set to free play.  No quarters.  No tokens.  Just bliss.

After taking stock of the situation, it was really hard to decide which game would come first.  What should start off this massive orgy of electrical consumption?  The arcade made that decision for us.  Or at least, for Jeeg and me.

Krull game

We had literally just done our Krull episode for Nerd Lunch and I discussed how 100% of my knowledge of that movie comes from this game.  We had to play it.  And play it we did.

Krull Pax Krull Jeeg

That game was a fun blast from the past.  And with that, the seal had been broken.  Before we split up after playing this game, Jeeg and I stated that our goal before we left the arcade was to play each other in Karate Champ, a very favorite of both of us growing up. Making that pact, we split up and explored the wonders that lay within The Galloping Ghost.

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Nerd Lunch Episode 140: Video Arcades

Posted in podcast, pop culture, video games with tags , , , , on July 14, 2014 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are down a CT so Jeeg and I invited our good friend and my Cult Film Club co-host Shawn Robare to sit in CT’s chair as his fill-in. With Shawn in place we got The Retroist to come back for his third appearance on the show. #HatTrick

Mr Do(Via

With the Retroist on board we are discussing video arcades.  We talk about our first experiences with arcades, we talk about our favorite arcade games, we even have lively discussions on Showbiz Pizza Place and the controversy surrounding Dig Dug and Mr Do!  It’s a pretty fun discussion, won’t you join us?

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner. Or listen to it online right here.

Today is Atari National Pac-Man Day

Posted in Atari, pop culture, video games with tags , , , , on April 3, 2014 by Paxton

Atari National Pac-Man Day

Three awesome game shows featuring video games I used to watch

Posted in pop culture, TV shows, video games with tags , , , , on February 12, 2014 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

Yesterday on Nerd Lunch Episode 118, we talked all about our favorite game shows.  I love game shows.  But I also love video games.  So, obviously, I love when they combine the two.

To supplement yesterday’s podcast discussion, here are three video game based game shows that I loved watching when I was growing up.

starcade01 starcade02
Starcade (1982) – I loved this show. It was a quiz show with bonus rounds where players would get to play a few minutes on all types of upright arcade machines.  Many of the machines were debuted on the show and there were several I never saw in a local arcade.  You can find a ton of episodes all over YouTube. You can also find over 60 episodes streaming live on

videopower01 videopower02
Video Power (1990) – OMFG I loved this show and its host, Johnny Arcade (seen above right in his video enhancement chair).  Check out the amazing Vanilla Ice-like rap by Johnny for the show’s intro.  This show began, surprisingly, as not a game show at all but a cartoon variety show hosted by Johnny Arcade featuring action adventure cartoons starring characters from the games Arch Rivals, Wizards & Warriors, NARC and Bigfoot (the monster truck).  However, for the second season the producers overhauled the format and created a game show, still hosted by the venerable Johnny Arcade.  Contestants would answer trivia, play timed sessions on console video games (mostly NES stuff) and the winner would run through an obstacle course covered in velcro clothing sticking games to their bodies.  This show was so incredible and simply reeks of 1990s awesomeness.

nickarcade01 nickarcade02
Nick Arcade (1992) – This was Nickelodeon’s game show which featured trivia rounds plus generic variations of popular games. The winning team of each episode would suit up and actually jump through and play in a virtual video game. It looks like crap now, but was a lot of fun back in the early 90s. Check out an impossibly young Joey Fatone from N’Sync as a contestant.

A tour of the Golf ‘n Stuff arcade from the 1984 Karate Kid movie

Posted in movies, pop culture with tags , , , , on July 24, 2013 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

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.

Golf n Stuff sign 1Golf n Stuff sign 2

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.

Walking into Golf n Stuff

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.

Super Chexx HockeySuper Chexx Hockey

Up first is this awesome Super Chexx Hockey by ICE.  Manufactured in 1983.  There was also a regular Chexx Hockey released the same year, but I think the Super version was what was used in this scene.

Flight 2000 pinballFlight 2000 flyer

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.

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It’s Atari National Pac-Man Day!

Posted in Pac-Man, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2013 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

Today marks the 31st annual Atari National Pac-Man Day.

Atari National Pac-Man Day

Atari declared National Pac-Man Day on the day they released the Atari port of Pac-Man back on April 3, 1982.

Atari Pac-Man
(Via Sascha Grant)

Pac-Man was a cultural phenomenon in the early 80s. It was merchandised as thoroughly as anything is today. So on this most auspicious holiday think back on the Atari 2600 and the game of Pac-Man. Maybe head on over to an emulator site and play a game.  Enjoy one of the first video games to become a global phenomenon.

Check out these other Pac-Man specific articles:

1. On Episode 77 of the Nerd Lunch Podcast we discuss the Atari 2600 and its games (including Pac-Man)
2. First Perfect Game of Pac-Man played back in 1999
3. America’s Love Affair with a man named Pac
4. Check out some Pac-Man photos in my Video Games Flickr set


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