Garage Arcade Memories

Anybody who visits the site frequently knows that I can be a little...remiss...when it comes to updates. One thing that you probably don't know is that my garage arcade is no more. Oh...I still have all of the games! But we moved a little over a year ago into a house with a basement. The good news is that I have a lot more room for games. The bad news is that the garage arcade is no more. I've kept all of the pictures up for posterity, and added the (sad) image below so you can see the last view of the garage before I painted it a neutral color and put the house on the market. (The real estate agent didn't seem to think that people wanted their garage to look like an 80s arcade.) Helpful tip: think long and hard before you paint a room black. It takes a LOT of primer and paint to change it back.

 

Want to see the new arcade? Check it out here.

The Garage that Became an Arcade!

Back in 2005, I set out to turn an ordinary single-car garage into the arcade of my dreams. The results were (if I may say so myself) outstanding.

Click the here or on the picture below for a full tour. Click here to read about the details of the renovation.

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Project Details

I wish I had taken pictures throughout the process, but I didn't. Oh well.

My first step was to move the games to my neighbor's garage across the street (no small task for 13 games!). I then took down everything from the walls that could be removed, and primed the walls, ceiling and floor. Then I painted everything black. I decided on concrete paint for the floor instead of carpet because it makes the games easier to move, is easier to clean, and doesn't promote static.

Next, I added some cool detailing. I had originally decided to paint a variety of video game graphics on the storage cabinets and ceiling--both raster and vector images. In the end, though, I decided to stick to vector. It was much easier that way. I had to put my X-COM Interceptor mural back on the wall. It's not an 80s game, but I did design it, so that mural means a lot to me, and it generally goes with the game theme. I also framed and hung the autographed Dragon's Lair and Space Ace posters I got at the Classic Gaming Expo a few years back. For lighting, I installed rope lights around the perimeter of the room, put up a, and mounted two plasma discs on the ceiling.

On my large storage cabinet, I mounted two chalk boards for posting high scores. I marked them off using car pin striping so that you can erase scores without erasing the lines. On my garage window, I hung a new set of black miniblinds. (I had to order those online--not much demand for black miniblinds locally, apparently.) I covered the remaining storage cabinets with stretchable black fabric--stapled to a 1 x 1 board on the ceiling and velcroed underneath the front edge of the shelves for easy opening. With the lights off, the shelves disappear and all of the junk is hidden!

The final touch was mounting a monitor and a DVD player on the wall. Whenever the arcade is in use, 80s music videos run constantly. It's a great addition (and a cheap, space-saving alternative to an actual video jukebox).

Just before our summer party in June, 2005, I finally covered up the garage door. Rather than painting it, I hung some inexpensive cloth from the shelves above the door and let it drape down behind the games. This was a cheap (under $10) solution for hiding the last bit of white in the room.

For our anniversary, Meghan bought me a new neon "Gameroom" sign for the arcade (as you can see in the pictures). This adds the perfect amount of light to brighten up Centaur's playfield, and it is definitely an eye-catcher. The perfect crowning touch.

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