A HeidiTown fun place: Lyon’s Classic Pinball

Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer
Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

He’s a pinball wizard
There has to be a twist.
A pinball wizard,
Got such a supple wrist!
He’s a pinball wizard
His score shoots even more!
-The Who

Lyons, Colorado is a cool little town, just about an hour northwest of Denver. It’s most famous landmark is probably Oskar Blues, home of Dale’s Pale Ale, but there’s another gem tucked away in this tiny town.

Kiss (Bally, 1978) 50 cents.  Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer
Kiss (Bally, 1978) 50 cents. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

Lyons Classic Pinball is located next door to Oskar Blues, along Main Street. It’s a family run joint featuring approximately 37 pinball machines ranging from the 1960s to 2000s.

We stopped in this noisy establishment on a Friday night, collected a $10 roll of quarters from the front desk and then tried to decide where to start. The games range from 25 cents to 75 cents, with the cheapest games located in the back.

The crowd at Lyons Classic Pinball ranges from youngsters to grandparents. Everyone is welcome and almost everyone is sure to find a game they remember from their youth.

Kismet (1961, Williams). Currently the oldest game at LCP.  Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer
Kismet (1961, Williams). Currently the oldest game at LCP. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

In 1871, British Inventor, Montegue Redgrave made additions to a game called Bagatelle. These included a coiled spring and plunger, shrinking the game’s size, replacing the large balls with marbles, and adding an inclined playfield. These are all common features of the game we now know as pinball.

During the early 1930s, pinball games were countertop machines and started appearing everywhere. The name “pinball” was coined in 1936. In the 1940s, the flipper was invented and by the 1960s, the pinball craze was in full swing.

I’m not really a fan of the actual game of pinball, but my two Friday night accomplices are definitely gamers, and while perhaps not pinball wizards, the two are much more skilled with the balls and flippers than I.

Wizard! (1975, Bally) 5 balls for 25 cents.  Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer
Wizard! (1975, Bally) 5 balls for 25 cents. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

My enjoyment lies not in the game, but in the machines. I love pinball machine art. It’s easy to identify the decade a machine was built just by looking at the art. You can also tell a lot about what sorts of things were going on in the decade by the art on a pinball machine.

If you are fan of pinball, or just a bit nostalgic, a trip to Lyons Classic Pinball is a must. For more information about Lyons Classic Pinball or to find out about tournaments, visit www.lyonspinball.com.

Lyon's Classic Video inside Oskar Blues (downstairs).  Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer
Lyons Classic Video inside Oskar Blues (downstairs). Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

HeidiTown Tip:

When you visit, don’t miss Lyons Classic Video. This room is run by the same family and is located just beyond the pool tables in the Oskar Blues downstairs bar. The room is home to such games as Tron, Mrs. Pacman, Donkey Kong, Q-bert and many more. There are 25 games in all and every game  is just 25 cents.

8 Comments


  1. I’m so sorry we missed out on the fun!

    Reply

  2. I’m so sorry we missed out!

    Reply

  3. This place sucks big time the last time we were there most of the games were broke down and the whole place was looking run down. Owner or manager also had an attitide from hell. wasted my time and gas coming here.

    OKLAHOMA FOLKs

    Reply

  4. When we went all the machines were in good working order. Sorry to hear you had that experience. I hope the rest of your trip went well!

    Reply




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