When Frank Accetta first watched the television show "Silver Spoons" in the mid-1980s and saw that Ricky Schroder had his own pinball machine, he decided he wanted one too.
The childhood dream never faded, and now Accetta's storefront is full of pinball machines and classic arcade games.
Flashback Pinball officially opened on Tennessee Avenue last weekend, and Accetta said the store is one of just two or three in the tri-state area where collectors can find arcade machines original to the 1980s and 1990s. He specializes in classic pinball machines.
"A lot of times we have these wild ideas we never really follow through with, so I really wanted to give this a try," he said. "I wanted this to be a pinball museum, as well as a store where you can buy the machines."
The store is not an arcade—customers can't come into the store just to play the machines. In fact, the machines won't likely be turned on, unless an interested customer stops by.
But Accetta said Flashback Pinball is for the pinball connoisseur, the person who grew up with pinball as not just a game, but as artwork, and wants to preserve the importance of the piece.
"This is more a place where you walk in and it sets you back to the '80s and '90s," Accetta said. "I have all the books about pinball, about the history of it. I've tried to incorporate everything I've grown up with and give great appreciation for it."
The machines in Accetta's store are all working, and range in date from 1981 to 1996. He said he's hoping to attract older customers who remember playing the machines in arcades, as well as a younger audience that is just discovering a game that's becoming harder and harder to find.
Accetta grew up in Dormont, and said he wanted to bring his childhood back to his hometown. He now lives in Robinson.
When he's not at the store, which is open only on weekends, Accetta is a history teacher for Pittsburgh Public Schools. He also is a soccer coach at .
"I don't think a lot of people have really gotten a chance to play or know what it's about," he said. "If you can find an arcade anymore, it's all video games and Dance Dance Revolution. These (pinball) machines just aren't around like they used to be."
The store is at 1368 Tennessee Avenue in Dormont. It is currently open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
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