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Remember when you could play pinball at the arcade? Frank Accetta's Dormont store is dedicated to keeping the game alive.

When Frank Accetta first watched the television show "Silver Spoons" in the mid-1980s and saw that Ricky Schroder had his own pinball machine, he decided he wanted one, too.

The childhood dream never faded, and now Accetta's storefront is full of pinball machines and classic arcade games.

Flashback Pinball officially opened on Tennessee Avenue last weekend, and Accetta said the store is one of just two or three in the tri-state area where collectors can find arcade machines original to the 1980s and 1990s. He specializes in classic pinball machines.

"A lot of times we have these wild ideas we never really follow through with, so I really wanted to give this a try," he said. "I wanted this to be a pinball museum, as well as a store where you can buy the machines."

The store is not an arcade—customers can't come into the store just to play the machines. In fact, the machines won't likely be turned on, unless an interested customer stops by.

But Accetta said Flashback Pinball is for the pinball connoisseur, the person who grew up with pinball as not just a game, but as artwork, and wants to preserve the importance of the piece.

"This is more a place where you walk in and it sets you back to the 80s and 90s," Accetta said. "I have all the books about pinball, about the history of it. I've tried to incorporate everything I've grown up with and give great appreciation for it."

The machines in Accetta's store are all working, and range in date from 1981 to 1996. He said he's hoping to attract older customers who remember playing the machines in arcades, as well as a younger audience that is just discovering a game that's becoming harder and harder to find.

Accetta grew up in Dormont, and said he wanted to bring his childhood back to his hometown. He now lives in Robinson.

When he's not at the store, which is only open on weekends, Accetta is a history teacher for Pittsburgh Public Schools. He also is a soccer coach at .

"I don't think a lot of people have really gotten a chance to play or know what it's about," he said. "If you can find an arcade anymore, it's all video games and Dance Dance Revolution. These (pinball) machines just aren't around like they used to be."

The store is at 1368 Tennessee Ave. in Dormont. It is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Bill Hulin August 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM
A lot of your potential buyers, like myself, played pinball back in the 60's & 70's. Just saying you might want to go back a bit further with your machines. Good luck with your store
Harry Funk August 25, 2012 at 06:40 PM
It's great to see someone get into the pinball business! Brings back lots of memories from back before there were video games.
George Watzlaf August 26, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Bill, I agree with you (maybe because we're old). But I remember playing "Kings and Queens" at Roy's Dairy in Brentwood in the early 70s. I put a lot of quarters in that machine.

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