SC3 is the Southern California Classic Collectors – a video game collector’s group serving the Metropolitan Los Angeles, San Diego and Inland Empire areas. We’ve got a soft spot for the “classic” days of the early 1980s, but we love games of all eras, from Pong to PlayStation 4.
They usually have two events a year one in the spring and one in the fall. In past years the spring event was held at The Last Arcade on the Planet in Santa Ana but now that the owner Juan has decided to take it private the group was looking for a new location to set up shop at for the spring events.
Thankfully a new location was found at 2084 Arcade in Anaheim that is a private invite only arcade that has recently started up in the So Cal area. The owners of 2084 are four Southern California coin-op collectors who combined their collections under one roof to recreate the games list of an early 80’s arcade. Now they have nearly 100 classic machines, including a few pinball’s, at a facility in Anaheim.
This was my first time also going to 2084 Arcade and was quite impressed with it. The space was similar to the size of The Last Arcade but it did seem a bit wider and was longer. There was plenty of parking in the lot and being Saturday in an industrial area there were no conflicts with the other tenants. In the front of the location Mike Kennedy from RETRO Videogame Magazine was running the alway popular raffle table with lots of prizes for only $1.00 a ticket.
There was also a larger table set up for people to bring items that they wanted to sell or trade in the front parking area. You never know what you’re going to find but there always seems to be something. One of the most impressive things that someone brought was a SEGA Genesis table top Kiosk. You rarely see store kiosks for sale and who wouldn’t want one for a classic system like the Genesis?
The bottom floor of the area had around 100 video games and three pinball machines. Some of the machines were placed by manufacture and some were placed by their genre or type. I was very impressed with the amount of more rare and unusual games that they had. They had two cockpit machines SEGA Star Trek and Midway’s Omega Race that you rarely seen in arcades when the machines were new.
They also had a very nice selection of vector games that are getting harder to find now. One of the games that I haven’t played since it came out was the Atari Empire Strikes Back game that was only sold as a kit and very few seemed to have survived over the years. The one at 2084 Arcade was in great shape and the monitor was perfect.
It was also nice to see both Solar Quest (Cinematronics) and Tac Scan (SEGA) that was a lot of fun to play them both again.
There was a nice selection of Taito games that cover many genres beyond their best known game Space Invaders and they had Space Invaders Deluxe that is not as common as the regular one.
They had a nice selection of Atari machines with both classic vector games and the well-known classics. One of the big surprises was the Sprint driving game that is always a hit with everyone.
Nintendo was well represented with the Donkey Kong games, Popeye and even a VS Duck Hunt that we all love.
While they only had three pinball machines they we always super busy the whole night. There was usually at least 3 to 4 deep of people waiting to play them. They had The Shadow (Bally) Attack From Mars (Midway) and Indiana Jones (Stern).
One of the things that I really love is that people bring their kids to the SC3 events and they get to experience arcade games. I grew up during the heyday of arcade and sadly kids today do not know about the joy of playing arcade game and experiencing the excitement of playing another player next to them. Kids really love the simple graphics of classic games and it’s great that parents are passing it on to a new generation. There were also a lot of people in there 20’s that are really getting into retro gaming and are collecting for older systems.
While the area for the home consoles was smaller than usual you certainly wouldn’t know it for how steady the people playing games was.
One of the neatest things at 2084 Arcade was the stairwell to go upstairs had original arcade manufacturers posters, game marquees and a High Speed pinball playfield that was framed. This was really impressive because so little of this history has survived over the years that it’s nice to see that the owners have taken the time and money to preserve them.
Of course the big highlight of the SC3 event is when the raffle starts later in the evening. Everyone gathers around the prize tables and Mike calls out the winning numbers and you hope that you get an early chance to pick some of the better prizes that are available. I got really lucky this time and got some of the early choices. I picked out the Coleco Telstar Ranger and the Atari 2600 home-brew Game Panic.
The guys that run SC3 do these events because they enjoy sharing their love and experience of both arcade and home gaming systems with both the old guard and newer generations of gamers. It’s a great way to meet fellow gamers and spend time playing video games. Because in the end that is why we do it.
I want to thank both the SC3 crew and the owners of 2084 Arcade for having this event and sharing their great arcade selection with us. Hopefully there will be many more SC3 gatherings at 2084 Arcade in the future.
Below are more photos of the games and as you can see the selection was really amazing.