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Who fancies buying an arcade?


Anne Summers
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In Southend ...

 

https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/19702379.southend-fantasia-amusements-listed-sale-dedman-grey/?ref=ar

 

£195k for the business, looks like that includes all of the machines. But you don't get the building it seems, and have to pay rent on top of that. Obviously we would want to chuck out most of the crane grabbers and ticket spewers and fill it up with proper games like Double Dragon and Outrun. Crowdfunder anyone?

 

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19 hours ago, gizmo1990 said:

Looks a fantastic frontage, that sign, gorgeous. Pity there aren't any photos of the interior. I still maintain that a well run arcade, in the right position, run by the right people would be pretty successful. Perhaps I'm way out of touch though.

That particular arcade is located near the end of the front in Southend, so it's one of the poorer locations along that strip. I don't think it was all that big either, so limited space for big arcades. Space for fruit machines though, which is where I suspect a lot of the revenue is derived. 

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On 06/12/2021 at 14:28, Dudley said:

I think the days of a pay per play arcade are gone.  Timeslot is the only way that business works.

 

For sure.

 

I haven't been to Arcade Club in Bury or the gargantuan arcade paradise of Galloping Ghost in the States but the flat fee model seems to be very successful for them and they're considered the gold standard, from what I gather.

 

I'd guess the harder bit might be maintaining permanent skilled arcade & CRT technicians and space where they can keep everything ticking over nicely.

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55 minutes ago, MikeBeaver said:

Not sure if he knows, but he has a shop with an arcade next to it already, Neon Knights :)

Not made it down there yet, but will at "some" point....

I have been planning on visiting there for a while too but not got round to it ... We could make a mini MUK meetup of it if you fancy it, maybe @jdanddiet would be up for it too as it's his neck of the woods I believe?

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15 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

I have been planning on visiting there for a while too but not got round to it ... We could make a mini MUK meetup of it if you fancy it, maybe @jdanddiet would be up for it too as it's his neck of the woods I believe?

0

Yep the boys and I been there many times, great little place! They have snacks and play games while I have a beer and play games!

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1 hour ago, Anne Summers said:

I have been planning on visiting there for a while too but not got round to it ... We could make a mini MUK meetup of it if you fancy it, maybe @jdanddiet would be up for it too as it's his neck of the woods I believe?

 

Where about is this?

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On 15/12/2021 at 07:42, jdanddiet said:

If you've got the cash it's a tremendous opportunity to start a proper arcade right on southend sea front.


and great flood potential too. 
 

As a fellow SOS forumite I’d be up for a meet at Neon Knights. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I went (deliberately) to Southend last week for old times' sake and happened to visit this particular arcade. It's even further down the front than I thought - it's the worst-located arcade by far. It was mainly fruit machines and grabber type games, with the arcade offerings mainly racing games (there were probably some lightgun titles too, but I didn't really stay too long.)

 

Obviously I know nobody here is looking to buy it (turnover close to £140k with four full-time staff doesn't scream 'good investment' to me), but I think it's a hard sell; one of the smaller arcades down the other end of the front that was up on the Pier Hill Walk next to what Sunspot is now closed - I assume the pandemic did for them. That one had a real old-world feel to it; it was tiny, on stepped levels due to the incline of the hill and had plenty of old 2p drop-shelf stuff and 10p machines - very quaint. Shame to see it's gone.

 

I know this thread is more interested in arcade games, but I only ever visit(ed) Southend for the fruit machines (and that was the reason for my trip last week as a bit of a different day out with the other half) and it was sad to see all along the front that all the old classic machines are now long gone (things like Snake and Ladders, Roller Coaster, Casino Crazy etc). That was back when, combined with £6/8 jackpots, my friend and I used to get a good amount of gameplay out of a day, very often being in profit, too. These days there are either lo-tech Bar-X stuff (with a connected bonus game) or a million Deal or No Deal variants. Even if they were on lower jackpots, the actual play is so dull on them. Oh how I miss the days of trail-based games!

 

Anyway, to conclude what has become a more general "I went to Southend, yay" post, we took a walk up the high street and it was disappointing that they didn't have any Christmas lights on. It did also bring back a lot of memories, which was nice, despite how much it has changed - it was basically a permanent fixture every couple of weeks or so for my friend and I back in the late 90s/early 2000s, including the obligatory Christmas Day trip, and yes, the arcades were open. To make this game-related, I remember in the run-up to the original release date for Championship Manager 3 (which I'm sure was delayed quite a bit?) see a big board advertising it in EB and my friend and I got excited, thinking it was finally available and then bitterly disappointed when it wasn't (and the staff didn't know when it was coming out either). Good times.

 

So, er, arcades then, not a thriving business, eh?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am probably going to pop along to The Retro Hunter/ Neon Nights this afternoon/ evening - got half a feeling it might be popular as it was featured in RG this week!

Quick question for any locals that are familiar ... does the shop have much in the way of retro computer stuff, or is it all consoles? (Looks mostly consoles from the pics in RG - which I'll be happy enough with, sure I can find some MD or PS1 stuff to keep me occupied. But it would be great if they had some home computer stuff too). 

 

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4 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

I am probably going to pop along to The Retro Hunter/ Neon Nights this afternoon/ evening - got half a feeling it might be popular as it was featured in RG this week!

Quick question for any locals that are familiar ... does the shop have much in the way of retro computer stuff, or is it all consoles? (Looks mostly consoles from the pics in RG - which I'll be happy enough with, sure I can find some MD or PS1 stuff to keep me occupied. But it would be great if they had some home computer stuff too). 

 

Unfortunately Ally stopped selling computer stuff a while back. He reckons that no-one was interested in it but he was always a console gamer at heart :)

 

Tell him I said hello if you do pop in.

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6 minutes ago, Swainy said:

Unfortunately Ally stopped selling computer stuff a while back. He reckons that no-one was interested in it but he was always a console gamer at heart :)

 

Tell him I said hello if you do pop in.

Will do!

Yeah, I get that there isn't the same level of interest in computer stuff these days. Also that stuff just undeniably doesn't age as well - cassettes and floppies tending to perish quicker I guess, and even the boxes and packaging weren't as durable, as they were often just cardboard rather than plastic!

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There was a change in tax law in the 90s (I think), I dont remember any of the details, but the gist was the operator paid a flat fee on a per machine basis.  This meant that a £1 per play fruit machine incurred the same fees as a 8 player Outrun 2 and a 10p Mr Do!  I know this because I'd asked the guy from Pleasureland on Morecambe Promenade why they were getting rid of the two long lines of Jamma cabinets.  Not sure how relevant that is today but arcade floorspace is valuable and back then I'd imagine the Wonderboy, Shinobi and all the others probably took 5 X 10ps a day.  

 

At the time it was reported as the death of the arcade as they all filled with big simulator rides, fruit machines and novelty games.  I'd guess an Arcade Club style place wouldnt attract those costs as they're a museum with am entry fee. 

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