Pinball Pete’s in East Lansing Gets Support from the Community
I have been playing pinball ever since I can remember and I absolutely love it, even though I have never been a pinball wizard as the song says.
Mike Reynolds has been pretty busy the last four decades at Pinball Pete's in East Lansing on Grand River Ave, until now. Because of the pandemic, Pinball Pete's had to close its doors temporarily.
He is now in his early 60s, and was in his 20s when he helped a pal Ted Arnold open the arcade's first location on Grand River Avenue.
The former donut shop was next to Coral Gables. A fiberglass elephant sat on its roof. They painted it pink to draw attention to the arcade, then pondered adding a cowboy to the display, Reynolds said. The cowboy never went up but the name they'd planned to give him — Pete — stuck and Pinball Pete's became a popular hangout.
Times have changed I guess, and pinball is probably not as popular as it used to be. Personally I could not get enough of it as a kid. I would play for hours trying to get a high score and win free games. I think all the technology today and fancy new games have taken over.
Pinball Pete's has 4000 square feet and many other games and even pool tables. There were 7 locations at one time and now there are only 2. The other one is in Ann Arbor. Both opened for a bit in the fall, then had to close closed again in November. Both are now open.
To make up for the money that they've lost during the pandemic, Pinball Pete's started an online fundraiser. As of the publication of this article, they have raised more than $96,000. Click here if you would like to help.