My Favorite Arcade Growing Up. The Van Dyke Sports Center Complex

This July marks the 11th anniversary of the closing of The Ultimate Fun Spot The Van Dyke Sports Center. A good part of my childhood in the late ’70s hanging out there. I would ride my big red Schwinn 10-speed with a pocket full of quarters to play my favorite pinball machines.

Since the arcade was close to my home, it was a staple of my childhood throughout the years. I remember getting busted by the police for steaming up my windows one night with my girlfriend. A bonus was also the Van Dyke Drive-In in Warren, located right next door. The layout of the whole place was just bizarre. The back room had remnants of a dance floor and a sunken bar. The place is filled with strange rooms, there are areas closed off and if you look at its construction, you can tell the building has some odd history. The upper level was the living quarters for the owners.

I was never bored during summer vacation. I’ll always remember my neighborhood friends spending an afternoon in air-conditioned comfort. Do you remember the strange smell when you walked in the door? Yes, it had its unique scent. Not having much money I would walk around and look at the pinball games to see if anyone left a free credit on them. I remember the Rock-Ola jukebox near the pool room. Played The SWEETFox on the Run.

Watched as the transition from pinball games gave way to video games. The Van Dyke Sports Center still had a great variety of awesome pinball games from old to new.  Hit a bucket of golf balls at the indoor golf driving range. Race around on a winding go-cart track or if you were old enough went to the Butterfly Disco at night.

Fast-forward to 2023, and it looks like the arcade business is coming back. I’ll never forget the Macomb County Memories of my childhood at one of my favorite places to go to have fun with friends. The Van Dyke Sports Center.

Van Dyke Sports Center



Some of Your Favorite Classic Rock Bands Have a Pinball Game

Some of Your Favorite Classic Rock Bands Have a Pinball Game

Pinball came out in the 1930s and right from the beginning it was labeled as trouble. Pinball was at one time, from the 1940s till 1976,s banned as illegal gambling. Arcades were all the rage in the 70s. Around here they were in every roller rink like Motor City Roller rink, to arcades like Walkers Pinball Palace and the Van Dyke Butterfly Sports center. 

My love for pinball started very young as my neighbor across the street had a game in his garage. The bells and lights drew me to the game and I was hooked. In 1976 Pinball got a big boost from the band, “The Who.” Not only that but a hit song to go with it. Pinball Wizard, gave way to a pinball game based on the movie with Roger Daltrey and Elton John. The pinball game was Captain Fantastic by an American pinball company, Bally Manufacturing.

In later years, Pinball games have had their ups and downs, but like rock and roll, have never died! Many bands and artists have been immortalized forever with their own pinball game machines. Rock guitar god, “Slash,” even helped to design a new Guns and Roses pinball game. The list is getting long on rock and roll-themed pins.

  1. Foo Fighters
  2. Elvis
  3. The Who
  4. Iron Maiden
  5. Ac/Dc
  6. Metallica
  7. Nugent
  8. Alice Cooper
  9. Rush
  10. The Beatles
  11. Led Zeppelin
  12. Guns & Roses (2)
  13. The Rolling Stones (2)
  14. Kiss (2)
  15. Rob Zombie
  16. Primus
  17. Elton John
  18. Dolly Parton

More Rock and roll-themed pinballs are being planned. Cheap Trick would be one of the pinball games I would like to see in the future.

Some of Your Favorite Classic Rock Bands Have a Pinball Game. Here is a list of my personal favorites.

  • 2012 AC/DC Stern

    Classic Rock Bands Pinball

    2012 AC/DC Pinball

    Great fun game with an awesome playlist of AC/DC songs to keep you rocking for hours

  • 1979 KISS - Bally


    1979 Bally KISS Pinball

    17,000 KISS pinball games were made of the original game. Later in 2015, Stern made an updated version. If you have one of the original games hold on to it as it’s going up in price now that the band is allegedly on their final tour.

  • Aerosmith 2017 Pinball by Stern



    Aerosmith 2017 Pinball by Stern

    With an MSRP when new: $8,999.00  Aerosmith keeps fans entertained with drum sounds, toys in the attic multi-ball, and a soundtrack of classic Aerosmith.  

  • Captain Fantastic - 1976 Bally


    1976 Captain Fantastic by Bally

    Remember first playing this at the Van Dyke Sports Center in Warren, MI. Loved the old-style bells and it is a bit slow by today’s standards. The artwork is so interesting with secret drawings hidden throughout the game.

  • Nugent - Stern 1976


    1978 Nugent Pinball by Stern

    This Nugent pinball I own myself. Location now is in my office at WCSX. I couldn’t afford the KISS pinball and came across this game which only 2,437 were made. Thought it might be a good investment. Plus you can’t beat the Motorcity Madman.

Born in Mt Clemens, Screamin has been a part of the Detroit airwaves for over 29 years with 26 at WRIF and 3 years as a morning show host at Z-Rock. When he’s not out on the streets, you can find him in his game room, where he collects jukeboxes and classic pinball machines. Screamin also devotes time doing local charities with his, "Screamin Angels"; and for 15 years with Rock 4 Tots charity. “CHIT” is his local cover band for 10 years all over the Motor City in local bars and has graced the main stage at local festivals like Arts, Beats & Eats warming up for national acts like Cheap Trick, Guess Who & even Salt & Peppa. Screamin’ is the lead singer and also plays cowbell & lead triangle

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