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Arcade brings nostalgic games to new generation


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MILLCREEK — Have you ever wondered what happened to all those old video games that filled arcades and emptied kids' wallets in the '70s and '80s? Well, they've surfaced in Millcreek, and it's stirring up plenty of nostalgia.

You might miss it if you blink driving down Highland Avenue. The Atomic Arcade doesn't have a fancy marketing campaign, and it resides in a modest building on Highland Drive.

But inside of the business opened just this spring, it's not just the games that will keep you coming back, it's the sounds that will make you feel like a kid again. The beeps, whirs and dings are reminiscent of the heyday of arcades.

Chris Wright, who owns the arcade, has been collecting the machines for years.

"In my garage and in my basement, and in my, just pretty much crammed into my house like crazy," he said of storing the games.

Atomic Arcade
3939 Highland Drive

Mon through Thu: 11:00 am - 12:00 am
Fri through Sat: 11:00 am - 1:00 am
Sun: 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Free admission
25 cents for video games
50 cents for pinball, driving games and foosball

He has all the classics, like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers, and Galaga, but he also has dozens of others, including the game that started it all: Atari's Pong.

People who grew up with arcades frequent the Atomic Arcade, but today's youth find it to be a refreshing change from the games they play from their couch or computer desks.

"All these games are new to them like they were to us when they came out," Wright said. "They are just as excited to see them as I was when they came out."

Whether people come through the doors for a piece of nostalgia or to experience these classics for the first time, the excitement is tangible, Wright says.

"I need to put a punching bag in there for them I think, because they get so excited about it," he said.

Wright's family helps him run the arcade. He has another job, and his family keeps the doors open by working as game attendants.

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Andrew Wittenberg

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