Coin-Op Hall of Fame!
First Inductees Honored in Las Vegas
Under the patronage of the AAMA, the jukebox and games business can now boast having its very own Hall of Fame. Such a “club” (if you wish) of trade figures from yesterday and today, living or gone, has been discussed for many a year. Now, thanks to such “founding fathers” as Rich Babich, Rick Kirby, Gary Stern, Dave Couring-ton and Don Marshall, the initial “class” of inductees has been voted in and presented to the trade at the recent AEI show in Las Vegas.
A total of 30 men, one woman, two jukeboxes and four games were on the list receiving Amusement Industry Hall of Fame honors. Living winners along with representatives of those who’ve passed on (called “Legacy” inductees) received trophies during a presentation held at the close of Day 1 of the trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the Beers & Cheers reception.
The committee mentioned above solicited nominations from the trade at large in general and then determined who made the cut this time around (and with the knowledge that worthy people who were missed can be added in future balloting). It’s to be ongoing and an added feature to the more “social side” of the industry’s spring show along with the AAMA and AMOA awards you’ve already read about in this issue.
The five winners who’ve hailed mainly from the operator side of the industry were: George Miller (AMOA founder), Marty Bromley (co-founder of Sega and U.K. mega-operator), Buster Corley and Dave Corriveau (D&B founders), and Jules Millman (founder of Aladdin’s Castle and the mall arcade concept).
Legacy winners, who were predominantly manufacturers, were: David Rockola (Rock-Ola), Harry Williams (Williams Mfg.), Bill O’Donnell (Bally), Hank Ross and Iggy Wolverton (Midway), Justin P. Seeburg (Seeburg Corp.), Lyndon Durant (United Shuffle Alleys), Mike Kogan (Taito), Ray Maloney (Lion/Bally founder), Ralph Coppola (ICE), David Gottlieb (D. Gottlieb & Co.), Earl Feddick (Valley founder), Chuck Milhem (Valley and VNEA), Masaya Nakamura (Namco), and Sam Stern (founder of Stern Electronics).
Also winning on the Legacy side were Jack of All Trades (departments) Joe Robbins and Bert Betti. Robbins, co-founder of the AAMA itself, was a distributor (Empire) and manufacturer (Atari). Betti was the founder of Betson Enterprises (distributor), Imperial Billiards (national parts house) and manufacturer of sorts considering his seminal role in bringing what was called the “Belgian crane” to U.S. shores.
Living winners, most of whom were present at the Vegas show to accept their awards (no speeches were permitted) were: founder of the video game industry, Atari’s Nolan Bushnell, Sega co-founder Dave Rosen, AAMA co-founder and icon of the pinball business Gary Stern, Golden Tee creators Elaine Hodgson and Richard Ditton, and premier game designer/builders Eugene Jarvis (Raw Thrills) and Joe Kaminkow (now with Aristocrat gaming machines).
Perhaps the most unique inductee of all considering his vast Time Zone arcade operations, his player card component (Embed) and manufacturing entity (LAI Games) was Australia’s Malcolm Steinberg, who is still active out of his Perth HQ.
Oh, yes…our “Jack of Only One Trade” (putting ink on paper) Eddie Adlum (founder and publisher of this magazine) made the cut.
The machines inducted into this inaugural class of the HOF were: Wurlitzer’s Model 1015, TouchTunes’ digital jukebox, Space Invaders, Skee-Ball, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.
Readers might look ahead to getting ballots for next year’s slate of inductee suggestions though are cautioned to please avoid putting Uncle Dan down. He may have been a great guy but likely only in your town. That said, when next year’s call goes out, heed it and make sure the operators, distributors, manufacturers and suppliers who truly made their mark get due consideration.
Note: RePlay will feature each honoree in Instant RePlay newsletter and on our website.