If you love video games and live within three hours of Greensboro, you owe it to yourself to visit the Lost Ark Arcade, an answer to my dream of finding a true arcade like the ones my father got to enjoy in his youth.
After Star Video in Wilkesboro closed their doors, taking all of their stock of used vintage gaming supplies with them (at least all that I couldn't buy up at the time), I'd been on a quest to find a local store where I could browse NES (I own three of the consoles) games and accessories.
Eventually, after meeting my now-husband who was living in High Point, I discovered Lost Ark Arcade, a virtual paradise for anybody with a penchant for anything and everything video games and their history, spanning from Atari to modern-day consoles. As much as I love Gamestop, it's so much more satisfying to support a local business, but that's far from the only reason to go to Lost Ark.
The best thing about Lost Ark is their tons of arcade machines - and good ones, not the crappy ones found in movie theaters - including an impressive assortment of pinball machines, new and old. Eric particularly enjoys the Iron Man pinball machine, and I prefer the AC/DC one; I can toll the bell and rock out, although it sucks when I'm mid-song and drop my ball, completely ruining my groove -- all the more incentive to stay afloat! We've played through the shooters (Jurassic Park and House of the Dead) a couple times together, even managing a high score in the former ("You have the best partner ever!" the machine told me what I already knew). They regularly rotate their machines out with ones from storage, so you never know what you might find.
The walls are plastered with video game posters and plaques to really set off the atmosphere, and there are glittering display cases comprehensively filled with hard-to-find classic games, consoles and memorabilia. Plus, decent foot traffic combined with a sound trade policy ensures that their stock is always changing, so you never know what treasures you might discover.
Even more, Lost Ark regularly hosts events such as pinball competitions, or my personal favorite, Powerglove Parties. Unfortunately, school kept me in Durham the weekend I first learned of them, but I - a proud Powerglove owner - did rather fancy the idea of my donning a cocktail dress and holding a champagne glass in a Powerglove'd hand.
At Lost Ark, you really feel as if you're stepping into another era. Its jingling, blinking arcade machines make it a beautiful anachronism--and the perfect place to waste a weekend wasting coins with a date or friends.
Lost Ark Video Games
2823 -E Spring Garden Street
Greensboro, NC 27403
Open until 1 am Fri & Sat!