Where did we use to play arcade games?

Twisted Supreme April 10, 2008 11

One of our forum members RJAY63 started an interesting new topic the other day; Where did we use to play arcade games. Now I’m really going to have think hard to remember all the places I’ve been to because I have a shocking memory. Why don’t you think back and tell us about the arcades you used to go to and the games you use to play.

My earliest memories of playing arcade games has to be when I was about 7 and visited Weston-super-Mare most weekends during the summer. My dad and I would play Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle and Xybots all the time, until my mum would drag us out of the arcade and in to the horrible sunshine!

After the break; the arcades that RJAY63’s and Shaggy used to go to, as well as the games they played.

[Discuss on the Forum]


This is a special mention to the arcades centres, cafes, takeaways and funfairs that I used to visit during my youth. These location have either closed, removed their machines or replaced them with slots. Please note: I have only mentioned the games I remember playing.
The Variety Takeway, Swaythling, Southampton
Game: Blood Brothers
Year: 1992
Greentrees Cafe, London Road, Southampton (now a Subway)
Game: Ghosts ‘N’ Ghoblins
Year: 1992

Some video game shop, Eastleigh (now an Indian takeaway)
Games: Final Fight, ALIENS
Year: 1992

Munchies Cafe, Burgess Road, Southampton
Games: Street Fighter 2 World Warrior & Champion Edition
Year: 1992-1993

Burger King, High Street, Southampton
Game: Street Fighter 2 World Warrior
Year: 1992-1993

Big Georges Chip Shop, Portswood, Southampton

Games: Mortal Kombat, Fatal Fury 2
Year: 1993-1994

B.Cole & Sons Funfair, Southampton Common (still has video games like Crazy Taxi, Sega Rally & HOTD1 but charges £1 per play and machine condition isn’t great)
Games: Final Fight, Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, Shinobi, The Punisher, The Simpsons, World Heroes
Year: 1992-1999

Quasar, Ocean Village, Southampton (demolished years ago – still a building site)
Games: Mortal Kombat 1 & 2, Street Fighter 2 (CE, Hyper Fighting, Super & Super Turbo), Time Crisis, Mad Dog Mcree, Killer Instinct 2, Virtua Fighter, Ridge Racer, Daytona USA, NBA Jam, Primal Rage, Point Blank, Suzuki 24 hr
Year: 1994-1997

Eastleigh Arcade (a converted warehouse in the service area between Market Street & High Street)
Games: Crazy Taxi, House Of The Dead 2, Daytona USA, Killer Instinct 2.
Year: 1999 (very short lifespan)

E.Cole & Sons Funfair, Eastleigh Common (all games were replaced with slots after 2001)
Games: World Heroes 2, Cadillac & Dinosaurs, Metal Slug, Street Fighter 2 CE, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter Alpha
Year: 1993-2000

Way Out West, Ocean Village, Southampton (replaced with luxury flats)

Games: Silent Scope 1 & 2, Daytona USA, Scud Race, King Of Fighter’ 96, Final Fight, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Mortal Kombat 3, House Of The Dead 1 & 2, The Last Bounty Hunter, Carnevil, Die Hard Arcade, Police Trainer, Prop Cycle, Crazy Taxi
Year: 1997-2000

Games Area, Red Funnel Terminal, Southampton (closed down)
Games: Planet Harriers, Daytona USA, Revolution X, Prop Cycle
Year: 2002-2006

Hotshots/Stardust/Reception area, Leisure World, Southampton (all closed early 2008 and now being replaced with a nightclub)
Games: Daytona USA 2: Power Edition, Outrun 2, Ferarri F355 Challenge, Time Crisis 2 & 3, House Of The Dead 3 & 4, 18 Wheeler, Silent Scope 2, Rolling Extreme, Need For Speed GT, LA Machine Gunners, Silent Scope Fortune Hunter
Year: 1997-2008

Also about 2 years ago, there was a shortlived retro arcade above Starbytes Internet Gaming Cafe in New Road, Southampton. Unfortunately it has closed by the time I visited.



I can vaguely remember a couple that I visited:

49th Street Galleria – was an FEC, first arcade I remember visiting. The arcade floor at the time was dark, illuminated only by the games themselves and light from other areas of the FEC. I was only 5 or 6 at the time so I don’t remember most of the games they had there, although I do remember seeing Discs of Tron. It was the late 80’s so there were a lot of upright games. At one point down the road I remember that they got an R360 but I never had a chance to play it. They were sold and turned into the “Fun Dome” where the arcade was scaled back but had some decent games in the late 90’s like Star Wars Trilogy Arcade, Rampage: World Tour, Area 51: Site 4, one unit of SF Rush 2049 and more. The Fun Dome closed down back in 2002 or 03 I think, now it’s some school. Probably 1987.

Leatherby’s – great ice cream parlor and restaurant, they’ve always had a couple of arcade games there for people to play and it was there that I first saw and played Street Fighter II. Today they have a vertical shmup (I forget the name, it might be Raiden Fighters Jet) and Demolish Fist.

The NickelCade – the first time I visited the Nickelcade I was in total awe – tons of games especially classics like BattleZone, Star Wars (Atari), T-Mek, Gauntlet II, Black Tiger, Asteroids, Centipede, Defender, Die Hard Arcade, Crusin’ USA and World, The Simpsons, TMNTand more. Then they moved their location to where it’s at presently and they have changed their line-up many times since getting rid of some of the games I played the most like Asteroids, BattleZone, T-Mek, TMNT and others. I did spend an entire day there once on the last day of one of my school years, played Gauntlet Legends quite a bit.


  1. Neil April 10, 2008 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    I played at the “FUN ARCADE” in Metarie, LA, which is a ‘suburb’ of New Orleans. New Orleans Novelty Company was pretty big in the south in terms of distributorship back in the 80’s-90’s, so the “Fun Arcade” had the newest games and unique games, some of which I have never seen again outside that arcade.

    My other haunt was Aladdin’s Castle in Biloxi, MS. It survived up till Hurricane Katrina, and I guess Namco decided that it was not worthwhile to reopen it due to the extensive damage to the gulf coast. I loved Aladdin’s Castle’s tokens in the 80’s with the genie on it.

    I think one of the coolest things about arcades up till the mid 90’s was that you truly never knew what was going to be in the arcade week to week. Every week there was usually a new game out that you knew nothing about.

  2. SaraAB87 April 10, 2008 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    For me it was usually the mall arcades, there was a Time Out arcade with 2 rooms in the Rainbow Centre Mall here in Niagara falls NY and there was also an Aladdin’s Castle in the Summit Park mall. The Aladdin’s Castle had more skeeball and more games than the Time Out and was generally a better looking arcade than the Time Out. The Time Out had an afterburner cockpit for a short time then it mysteriously disappeared. The Time out also had a huge “Time Out” mirror at the front entrance of the arcade, I will NEVER forget that mirror as it was just so creepy to a kid.

    Aside from that there was the yearly trip to Major Magic’s usually for my mom’s company christmas party. This was of course paradise as I only got one trip a year and they just had so many more games than the other arcades. They also had an afterburner cockpit. There wasn’t any CEC here or Showbiz pizza, it was mainly the 2 mall arcades.

    Oh yeah there was also another mall arcade, it was a very small room though but the thing that is significant about it is that there were a bunch of cockpit games lined up against the wall, nothing too exciting just stuff like Sega Turbo but still very cool.

  3. Brian Deuel April 11, 2008 at 2:28 am - Reply

    All of these arcades were in the Grand Rapids/Wyoming/Kentwood Michigan area in the early 1980s:

    Funway Freeway in Woodland Mall
    Aladdin’s Castle in North Kent Mall
    Someplace Else in Eastbrook Mall
    Putt Putt Golf and Games on 28th SE in Kentwood
    Silver Castle on 44th SE in Kentwood
    Fuzzy’s Arcade on Division in Wyoming (a pic of what’s there now can be seen at http://atari.vg-network.com/arcade.jpg. Pretty funny)
    Krazy Kone on Division in Wyoming
    Meijer on 54th St in Wyoming
    Comet Lanes on 28th SE in Kentwood
    Dave’s Place on Division in Wyoming
    Dean’s Cafe on 28th SW in Wyoming
    Super 8 Ball on Leonard in Grand Rapids
    unknown arcade on Breton SE in Kentwood

    As you can see, there were TONS of arcades in this area, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few…

    • Chris S September 15, 2010 at 12:55 am - Reply

      Forgot about Funway Freeway. I often think of the Silver Castle, great memories. My best friend, and next door neighbors father worked for Bally Midway in the 70’s and 80’s, so we would go over there (Roger B Chaffee) and spend a saturday playing all the games we wanted.

      • shizzle dizzle May 18, 2011 at 10:52 am - Reply

        We used to call Funway Freeway “Drugway Breezeway” because of all the stoners with their foosball gloves that used to hang out there…….

  4. Paul April 11, 2008 at 2:38 am - Reply

    So sad that this is only discussed in the past tense. Nobody even thinks to ask where do we go to play them today. 🙁

  5. twistedsupreme April 11, 2008 at 9:57 am - Reply

    @ Paul

    Fair point, although we do location reviews when we can, and encourage our readers to tell us about the arcades they visited now, over at the forum…….


    It’s just nice to reminisce, you know?

  6. Tom April 11, 2008 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    The first place I remember playing was in a western sizzler. They had an entire downstairs filled with arcades. Very nice setup. Mom and dad could have a peaceful meal, while I was downstairs playing.

  7. Geo April 12, 2008 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    When i came here to the U.S i use to go to a mall call NorthWest Plaza, the bad news are that the arcade does`nt exist any more, they really had very good games there and it was a big place, i dont know if they moved, but i know they went out of bussines, sad……

  8. Jan Schultz November 13, 2008 at 3:23 am - Reply


  9. Jeff June 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    In Cincy there were many great independent locations as well as a few that were part of a chain. The best might have been Electric Viking (1981-84), which had Haunted House & Black Hole pinball, Robotron, Xevious, Zaxxon, etc. Also recall Jupiter and Beyond in the university area, an old, sprawling, 5 room building with many pins and vids. Doc Holidays on the westside was very impressive, over 30 pins / vids. We had a great Aladin’s Castle in the Cassanelli Square Mall that had all the great games as well as a Pinball Rally in Montgomery that was awesome, too. So many places, so much time.

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