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St. Pete’s Pinball Arcade Museum closes, declares ‘Death by Covid’

Margie Manning

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The Pinball Arcade Museum at 2313 Central Ave.

The Pinball Arcade Museum, a nonprofit organization in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District, has shut down.

The museum cited the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in a July 24 Facebook post announcing its closing.

 

The museum, at 2313 Central Ave., opened in August 2019, and offered an opportunity to play classic pinball and arcade games.

It closed for 10 weeks earlier this year due to the pandemic, according to Bay News 9, but reopened on May 26 with safety measures such as plastic dividers between each game, hand sanitizer and limited capacity. 

“There has been no income/no profit since end of February. We tried our best but our type of business with basically no social distancing and everything is so touchy feely, we just can’t survive when so many scared to come in,” the museum’s Facebook post said. 

The museum hopes to open next year in a “bigger and better place,” the Facebook post said, adding the machines will be stored and preserved.

The museum was a nonprofit with proceeds benefitting the Odessa Wildlife Rescue and Sanctuary, and the Facebook post urged those who still want to support the mission to donate to PayPal.me/OWRS to help feed and care for the 350+ animals residing at the sanctuary.

The museum’s founder, Robert Klein, sued his landlord, Abraham Reid, last year, over a threatened eviction. A Pinellas County judge dismissed the case in March at the request of both parties.

 

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