I clearly recall seeing and watching the Pong attract mode in a Pizza Hut in California when I was a kid. I remember playing with the paddles and imagined I was playing the game itself. My parents seemed to be content with that.
It was in the front of the joint, in a cubbyhole of a sorts. It was also a cocktail table model too.
I posted this one before in another thread, but I'm sure it's buried, so a re-post could be useful perhaps?
I went to either a Dispensa's or Aladdin's Castle 1976. Whatever it was named. They had harsh overhead florescent lights. And an unfinished grid work ceiling painted in white. Much of the center area was open space, white speckle-peppered tiled floor. Nondescript, much like Toys 'R' Us of the day.
This one was more like a longer hall, about the size of a standard 40-lane alley. One one side they had plenty of Skee-Ball machines, and on the other some horse racing games and plethora of other mechanical games. The uber cool helicopter game, the mechanical Lunar Landing simulator. A baseball game with a real 3" wood bat and players that would pop-up out of slots in the pinball-like playfield. There were few videogames at that time. And the ones they had were B/W. I only vividly recall Sprint2. But they had some Tank and Pong cabinets. A tennis game, and something with a periscope. It was clearly a place for high traffic. And it really looked like a castle. Very much like Dispensa's.
I recall Sprint2 because I believe it was the first arcade game I ever played. I may have also played a Pong/Hockey/Tennis combo cocktail at Pizza Hut around the same time. Well one of them was the first game.. But it was fun trying to play Sprint2 when I couldn't reach the pedals and see the screen at the same time. Some of the bigger kids there would hoist me up and step on the gas pedal, and I just spun the wheel around and around like my Sit and Spin. And I'd swear and cuss like a truck driver. Bitch a Bastard, Bitch a Bastard, Bitch a Bastard, till I slobbered. The faster the car went the more I’d squirm and swear. Shit this Shit that. Fuckshit-fuckshit-fuckshit-fuckshit. Impossibly fast like only a kid can do. Made them laugh to high heaven
The place was full of druggies and Heroin shooters and smoke was everywhere. Full of those free-love hippies with long hair. But it was cool. It scared my parents though. One time something happened and they scooped me up and ran out and we never returned. I clearly remember smelling weed at the establishment. It was exotic. Custom. Not like the lame white cigarettes sold in vending machines.
Since we clearly weren't going back to the only arcade in town, I told my parents I wasn't going to behave no more in school anymore unless they bought me videogames to play at home. They gave me lip about how I had no choice in the matter. I'd show them. I'd teach them! So I went to school and caused trouble enough they had to come collect me. This went on for a week or two. They caved in and got me the mechanical Marx T.V. Tennis game. It was pretty cool. It made a hell of a racket (NPI) with all noise from the motor and the arm hitting the bell. Drove everyone nuts. But I was smart and used that as a bargaining point to get me a real electronic Pong console with real circuits and a proper volume control via the TV set or the console itself. So I ended up with an Indy 500 by Video Action. I taped my pocket calculator to it and my AM radio kit to it and added some random lights. I now had a control panel right out of Mission Control! I was in the SpaceAge!
I even conducted circuit-bending on it and blew something out in the process. It was put out for the weekly garbage collection and that was that. I kept the Interton F-4301 chip. We moved. In the new town I got into model rockets heavily and launched them via rubber bands tied to the roof, at first. When they hit the awnings and gutter overhangs I convinced them to get me real rocket engines. And eventually I got a VCS and Apple II. And more electronics. It was now 1979 and soon enough a new obsession with Lunar Lander and modems would begin. And it would carry over into when I got a TRS-80 Pocket Computer. Heck I even remember starting to write a text adventure on it! And that was that..
The Aladdin's Castle I experienced in the 70's was completely different than what one might have experienced in the late 80's or early 90's. The one in the 1990's was posh by comparison, air conditioned, quiet, subdued, controlled. Kid friendly. Full of pumped-in Oxygen. Not the Wild West anymore.
And I'm pretty sure it was an Aladdin's Castle. It was a stand-alone establishment. I'm just dyin' to open up the family time capsule made in 1985. It's scheduled for 2020. And I know I put a lot of my pictures in there. As a kid I had a joystick in one hand, camera in the other.