Pinball Shop Brings Fun and Games to Southern Arizona

D&D Pinball in Tucson, Arizona has some of the rarest pinball machines in the country.

Gary Dillahunty and his wife Jane opened up the pinball arcade in September of this year. The couple used their savings to get the small business up and running.

"We didn't go into debt over doing this. We didn't take out any loans, or sign a long lease. We started out saying let's just do this for a year, and if it doesn't do OK then we'll take all our machines and go home. But it's amazing we've built up this little community here," Dillahunty told

Gary says he stumbled upon the pinball hall of fame in Las Vegas, and fell back in love with the game.

"I walked in- I literally put a couple of quarters in a machine, laid my hands on it. And it was like everything changed. I went home and told my wife we have to get a pinball machine," said Dillahunty.

One machine quickly turned into an enormous collection, so Gary decided to share his love of pinball with the community.

"This isn't something we wanted to start like 'Oh, we're going to retire rich on quarters and quit our long-term jobs," said Dillahunty.

Gary and Jane work as missile engineers during the day, and keep the pinball arcade open on weekends.

"We decided OK, we're basically [going to] give up our lives for a while. We work out of Raytheon a good 40 to 50 hours a week, and then as soon as we get out of work on a Friday- we open this place in the afternoon and we're open all the way through Sunday. The most me and my wife see each other is usually crossing paths down here playing pinball," said Dillahunty.

Pinball enthusiasts have flocked to the arcade, and it attracts people from various walks of life.

"I've been a fan of pinball since I was 7 or 8 years old, and have always sought out places to go find pinball. I moved to Arizona about 3 or 4 years ago, and in that time have just been searching for a place that might have one or two games. And for the most part, pinball has just about disappeared from our communities and forms of entertainment," customer Eric Lyons told

Lyons is a computer scientist and is fascinated by the machines.

"You're playing this entire game- there's lights, there's rules, there's this ball that's flying around the table. And you only have two buttons that you are pushing. So as a computer scientist, I sort of find it really interesting that we can have such an engagement with a machine with such a minimal amount of user interface," said Lyons.

In addition to sharing their pinball machines with the community, D&D Pinball is also giving back. Each month they pick a different local charity to donate a portion of their proceeds to.

"After we pay our bills, we essentially adopt a local charity every month. The first month we did the community food bank of Southern Arizona. We donated a little over 1,500 meals to the local food bank. It's a great thing to do. We're doing this for the love of pinball," said Dillahunty.

The couple hopes to eventually break even, all while promoting pinball around Southern Arizona.