By Robert Sain
The Replay Museum, located on East Tarpon Avenue, in Tarpon Springs Florida, was created by Becky and Brian Cheaney, two long time collectors of arcade games and pinball machines. Their passion for these machines led to a large personal collection, which started 10 years ago with a classic two-player fighting game, Street Fighter. Becky and Brian enjoyed sharing their collection with their friends and family, but after collecting for so long, they discovered a way to expand this joy to the public while creating a way for their collection to keep growing. And so on October 3rd, the Replay Museum had it’s grand opening. After paying a single fee, patrons of the museum are given all-day access to the wide selection of pinball machines and arcade video games. Every game is set to a continuous free play mode, giving guests unlimited day long access to the interactive museum.
Immediately upon entering, patrons of the Replay Museum will find themselves looking down rows of pinball machines lining either wall. Satisfying clicks and dings fill the air as players go for a high score. Beyond the pinball section lies the arcade games, their screens glowing in the dim light, and their theme songs and sound effects blending together into a unique atmospheric noise. The selection of games is impressive. Most visitors will recognize the classics, such as Super Mario Brothers, Pac-Man, and Frogger.
The Replay Museum has met substantial media attention since the day it went public; the mayor of Tarpon Springs was present at the grand opening. Brian Cheaney believes the large amount of press that the museum has received is due to the simple fact that the Replay Museum is very unique. He says, “There’s not a place in Florida that has this many publicly playable pinball machines, or even in the south-east for that matter.”
Nostalgia has played a major part in the formation and enjoyment of the Replay Museum, with the collection open to anyone who desires to be transported back to that time of arcade and pinball machines. Brian Cheaney says that watching someone rediscover a game they haven’t played since they were 12 is the most enjoyable part of running the museum, and that it’s rewarding to see them share a moment with their children, showing them what they used to play in their childhood.
In the short time the Replay Museum has been open, it’s owners have already been recognized and rewarded. Walter Day is a world-known official scorekeeper and contributor to the video game industry, as well as the founder of Twin Cities, a video game company which pioneered organized video game playing. Mr. Day granted the Replay Museum a recognition award for contributions to the Coin-Op gaming community.
Brian and Becky Cheaney are always working to keep their selection fresh. They never stop looking for new working games and adding them to the collection, if space allows. If any game breaks down, it is quickly pulled off the floor and replaced with a working one. The goal is to provide a fresh experience for returning visitors.
The Replay Museum is located at 119 Tarpon Avenue, in Tarpon Springs, Florida. While closed on Monday and Tuesday, the doors are open every other day of the week, from 11 am to 7 pm, and 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition to the $13 one day pass, there are monthly and yearly pass payment options.
Header photo from Replay Museum’s facebook page.