Jessica Kane

Pinball is experiencing something of a resurgence in the United States in recent years. This includes a growing number of people taking to playing pinball. It also includes an increasing number of people who collect pinball machines.

Pinball Tournaments in Montana

In an increasing number of communities in the United States, pinball tournaments are being held. Although pinball tournaments have not become as commonplace in Montana as has been the case in other locations in the United States, they are still occurring. With this in mind, there are a few facts you need to understand about pinball tournaments in Montana.

Pinball tournaments in the state typically are sponsored and organized by bars, clubs, and taverns. A majority of these tournaments are organized as a means of raising money for charitable organizations.

Pinball tournaments are also popping up in community recreational programs. These include tournaments for younger people as well as adults. These tournaments sometimes are held at community centers, but also in cooperation with businesses in the community, including arcades, game rooms, and bars.

Pinball Leagues in Montana

In the past several years, pinball league play has started to pop up here and there across Montana. More often that not, a pinball league can be seen forming in one or another of the larger cities in Montana. With that noted, there have been a few pinball leagues forming in smaller locates in the state.

In Montana, there have been two basic types of pinball leagues. First, there are leagues that feature team play. Second, there are leagues that focus on solo play or individual players competing against one another.

Generally speaking, pinball leagues play at bars and taverns in cities and towns in the state. In some cases, these bars and taverns sponsor pinball league teams, the teams then playing against competing drinking establishments.

One other avenue in which pinball league play is popping up is on university and college campuses in the state. These leagues have formed around fraternities and other recognized campus organizations.

There have even been a few instances of pinball league play on the high school level. In some cases, these leagues were formed with the purpose of students raising money for different charitable causes. 

Arcades and Pinball in Montana

There remain a few arcades in operation in Montana at which more traditional pinball machines can be found. These arcades are located in larger cities in the state on a year around basis. In addition, there remains an arcade or two that operates on a seasonal basis in the state that include pinball machines in their entertainment mix. 

On a somewhat related note, county fairs remain popular in different parts of the state. At many of these celebrations, arcades are opened for the events. In many instances, these arcades feature a good many "old school" games, including skee ball and pinball. These arcades oftentimes can prove to be highly popular attractions at county fairs.

Home Entertainment and Furnishing

Pinball machines are springing up in residences in Montana with increasing regularity. People are placing pinball machines in home entertainment centers in their residences. In addition, some people are including antique or vintage pinball machines as part of their overall home decorating themes and concepts. 

Pinball Machine Collecting in Montana

As is the case in many places across the United States, pinball machine collecting has "become a thing" in Montana. At this point in time, pinball machine collecting is taking a number of different forms. 

Antique stores are proving to be solid ground through which people have been able to magnificent antique pinball machines. What many people do not realize is that pinball machines, and their precursors, have been around since the days of King Louis XIV in France. He had the early ancestors of pinball machines introduced into the Palace of Versailles. Although pinball machines from the era of King Louis XIV are not likely to be found in Montana, some truly interesting vintage machines have been discovered at antique shops.

Estate sales are also an resource through which people are finding antique or vintage pinball machines. This is becoming an ever-increasing resource as the Baby Boomer generation ages and older members of that cohort pass on. 

Finally, when it comes to pinball machine collecting in Montana, long-established bars and taverns are proving to be a great resource for vintage pieces as well. While many bars and taverns have pinball machines in operation, some have them stored away in backrooms and basements. Those venues that have machine stored away are oftentimes eager to part with them a most reasonable prices.


Jessica Kane is a writer for The Pinball Company, the best online source for new, used, and refurbished pinball machines, arcade cabinets, and more!