We're back with another edition of the Arcade Spotlight, this time focusing on an arcade at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA. I went and visited this popular tourist
trap spot this past weekend and went inside to check out the arcade. Is it worth visiting? Let's find out!
The Playland Arcade at the Santa Monica Pier has been around since... well, I have no idea actually. They don't have a fancy website, but when I called, the person working there said it had been around for at least 50 years. So, that gives you some sort of time frame as to its history.
As far as the arcade itself they have quite a lot of games to play for arcade lovers of all types. A whole row of retro games including titles like Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, etc. A row of sit down driving games. Some larger simulation games, a slew of air hockey tables, Skee-Ball, and a bunch of ticket redemption games.
They also have a row of pins, with tables like the awful Star Wars: Episode I pin which pretty much destroyed the pinball industry after its release. The Getaway, Terminator 2, World Poker Tour, South Park and more were also playable. Not a bad selection but some of them needed work because they get a lot of playtime and not much maintenance. Flipper action was pretty bad on quite a few of them.
Despite that, this is a pretty neat play to kill an hour or two. There are a lot of games to play and they even have a shooting gallery, which I love. Unfortunately, this shooting gallery cost a buck, which is a total rip-off for what you're getting. To put it in perspective, Disneyland's awesome shooting gallery is a buck but you've got over 90 targets to shoot at.
The arcade runs on quarters which is a plus. The days of tokens are long gone, and I have no idea why some arcades continue to use them. If you ever find yourself farting around in Los Angeles, head to Santa Monica and check out Playland. I think you'll dig it. Check out some photos I took during my visit.
Playland at the Santa Monica Pier is located at:
380 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA. 90401
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