People playing pinball at Past Times Arcade (photo courtesy of Past Times Arcade)

Past Times Arcade Houses Hundreds of Retro Games

Created by collector Rob Berk, this spot in Girard is filled with vintage pinball machines and old-school arcade cabinets. Even better, you can play all day for $20. 

Entering through the doors of Past Times Arcade may remind you of walking into a grocery store, especially since the sign for Santisi’s Marketplace is still hanging in the entryway. This feeling doesn’t last long, however, once you hear the music, flashing lights and cacophony of pinging and clicking.

In June 2023, this former grocery store in Girard became home to over 600 vintage pinball machines and retro arcade cabinets representing Rob Berk’s 45 years of collecting. Berk’s fascination with pinball started when he was 6 years old playing a family-owned machine called Baby Face, but it wasn’t until his 20s when he started getting serious about his collection. It started with a call that prompted Berk to rent a U-Haul and head to Wisconsin to pick up 15 machines for $100 each. He later ventured to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for an additional 40 machines.

“I started having a passion and [an] obsession that kept getting stronger and stronger,” Berk says. “Then I started wanting to collect all of a certain manufacturer or a certain type of game, so the obsession kept going. Pinball is in my blood, that’s for sure.”

Berk’s pursuit of expanding his collection has taken him as far away as Spain and as nearby as Illinois and parts of Ohio, where some of his older machines are from. These machines, some of which date back to the 1930s, are not available to play but are displayed near the entrance to showcase the early history of the game.

Maybe the best part is the $20 admission fee allows you play as much as you’d like for as long as you’d like each day you visit.

“From the minute we open to the minute we close, you could stay and play 8 to 10 hours,” Berk says. “It’s a very unique thing that we brought to the community … It’s a chance to relive the past.” 

419 N. State St., Girard 44420, 330/765-4121,