Reopening California: East Bay's beloved Pinball Museum prepares to reopen their doors amid COVID-19 pandemic

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ByMelissa Pixcar KGO logo
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Alameda's Pacific Pinball Museum prepares to reopen amid pandemic
'We're a big family here and I want to see us survive." Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda is gearing to reopen and enforce social distancing rules.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Pacific Pinball Museum has always been known for cleanliness but the nonprofit is worried about the financial crisis that the pandemic will leave them in.

There is still a lot of uncertainty when indoor museums will be able to open and what the safety guidelines will be.

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"We are probably going to be in trouble," said d'Arci Bruno, Director of Operations of the Pacific Pinball Museum. "If we have to keep it at this minimum capacity to keep people safe and social distancing. Keeping our staff safe and comply with all the new rules that are probably come out. It depends on how long we will have to do that."

The museum survives on membership fees, as well as admissions, field trips, birthday parties, and summer camps but they have had to cancel and refund multiple events.

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The nonprofit decided to close their doors on March 13th before the shelter-in-place order was in effect but they have been using their time wisely by having a plan to keep customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are starting a new reservation policy so you won't be able to walk in off the street and play," said Bruno. "You have to make a reservation so we can keep track of how many people we can have in."

In the first few weeks of reopening, the pinball museum plans to open for members only.

The museum's plan is to also enforce social distancing rules by having every fourth or fifth pinball machine on and plans to rotate machines daily.

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"We have three places where people can wash their hands," said Bruno. "We will wipe down the games and keep a good airflow."

They have received kind donations from people but their future is still uncertain.

"The Pacific Pinball is worth preserving because it is a very special place. You don't get places like this," said Bruno. "These are the places that go away when things like this happen. We are a big family here and I want to see us survive."

To donate to the Pacific Pinball Museum, visit their website.

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