Pool Hall with Pong Cabinet, 1973

Pool Pong 1973

SS Billiards in Hopkins, Minnesota. The gentleman on the right is playing Gottlieb’s 2001, released in 1971. Like Atari’s Middle Earth, the title cashes in on a popular cultural event, but the game itself slyly avoids any direct allusion to that event—and any resulting copyright infringement.

The 2001 artist is prolific Gordon Morison, who also worked on the Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978) machine, Orbit (1971), and The Incredible Hulk (1979), among many others.

UPDATE: I’m pretty sure the sign on the wall reads: “Any games on machines at closing time will be forfeited”.

2001 BG 1971

2001 PF 1971-3

2001 PF 1971-2

(Original photo via pinrepair.com; 2001 photos via pinrepair.com and The Internet Pinball Database)

9 Responses to “Pool Hall with <em>Pong</em> Cabinet, 1973”


  1. 1 leftylimbo March 26, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Wowee, what a cool pool hall! That’s probably the first time I’ve seen a Pong cabinet installed in an arcade. I’ve never seen one in person.

    Man, how simple those old pinball tables were. Look how complicated they are these days. There’s all these crazy nooks and crannies where the ball goes into these days and way more bumpers, etc. But no one can beat that old art. Wow. So cool!

    I had a friend that had an old ’50s pinball table about as simple as that one was. It was fun to play, but the rubber band that went around one of the flippers would keep coming off so that sucked.

    • 2 2W2N March 27, 2014 at 3:53 am

      Pinball was still king in ’73.

    • 3 Jay March 27, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      I love arcade video games (even though I, by & large, suck at them – thank goodness for emulators!), but there’s nothing like the physical feeling of a pinball machine when you hit the flippers or the ball bounces off the bumpers.

  2. 4 Ed March 27, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    That pinball machine got it right. That is totally how I remember 2001.

  3. 6 Thingamajiik April 12, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Yeah Pinball Machines i love them, amusement of the past. I remember going to a Fast Food Restaurant in the City and inside was a big lineup of both Pinball Machines and Arcade Cabinets (More Pinball machines then Arcade Cabinets) i must’ve been 4 0r 5 years old and there was this room full of Pinball Machines and that brilliant artwork just marvellous. But in 1985 such machines where banned from Restaurants and Cafe’s and had to reside in sorts of “gambling dens” for the adult. We had no Arcades like the ones in the USA in germany.
    The next contact i had with “Flippers” (german Term for Pinball Machines) was on vacation in france in the early 90’s. The French had Arcades
    (how I envied them) and all sorts of “Flippers” in the Restaurants and Cafe’s. One of my best friends has a original “Silver Ball” Glass sheet hanging on his living room wall ( It’s fully intact) the artwork looks just marvellous.

  4. 7 Lloyd Olson May 10, 2014 at 4:58 am

    The sign did say that, and was taken down not long after. Arnie Weinberg is the man playing 2001.


  1. 1 Close Encounters of the Third Kind Pinball Machine (Gottlieb, 1978) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on November 19, 2015 at 7:02 pm

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