Makes me want to get on a plane.
13th Dimension reader Rocko Jerome tipped me off to a really cool happening — the local unveiling of a special-edition Batman ’66 pinball machine at a Louisville, Ky., club called Zanzabar.
Zanzabar, which has been around since the ’30s, bills itself as the epicenter of Kentucky pinball and they did something pretty groovy over the weekend — they turned the joint into a modern-day Wayne Manor, the San Francisco Batman-themed discotheque from the ’60s famously featured in Life magazine:
Just dig this video put together by Rocko’s friend Jimmy Humphrey. You won’t be able to take your eyes off it:
Here’s what Rocko had to say about the July 2 unveiling:
The club really worked to get the thing, it’s the only one of that edition that’s at a place anyone can just go in and pop in some quarters and have a go. The two brothers who run the place are big-time pinball fans, and they lobbied hard to get it. It joins an illustrious collection of other rare pinball machines, including one devoted to The Six Million Dollar Man.
They tricked the whole place out for the night in Batman ’66 style, with a Batsignal projector, ZAPS and POWS hanging on every wall, and a stage made up like a miniature Gotham, complete with the show projected on the bands, who were all dressed up like various villains and henchmen. They performed songs devoted to the subject of Batman and his world.
The game itself is a delight. It has a screen that plays familiar scenes from the show. On the inside, there’s a twirling platform with a little old fashioned TV tuned to the show’s opening, the flashing Batphone, and the Hot Wheels Batmobile. Here and there are the various Mattel Bat-vehicles of the last few years, including the Corgi-inspired Batmobile with Batboat attached, Batcycle, and Batcopter. It’s fun to see things you have in your collection right inside of a pinball machine.
The game itself features the common quartet of villains (Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman) as well as more obscure favorites like Egghead, Mr. Freeze, Bookworm, Shame, and then a few that must be “unlocked” to be seen on the screen by some player more skilled than myself.
The top of the machine projects the Batsignal on the ceiling at key times.
Perhaps the nicest touch is a classic Topps card under the glass, featuring an autograph from none other than Adam West himself.
If you’re anywhere near the Louisville area and love Batman, you should make your way over to Zanzabar.
Y’know, I have never been to Louisville. But now I really wanna go. Even though the club has reverted to its normal decor, the pinball machine will be there indefinitely. For more info on Zanzabar, click here.