Vintage Coin-Operated Machines

Gallery - Wonderland Arcade 1968

Located near a major bus transfer point at the corner of 12th and Grand in Kansas City, Missouri, Wonderland Arcade was a popular haunt for people of all ages with time to kill and a few coins in their pockets.

In the days before video games, amusement arcades like Wonderland were filled with a panoply of analog entertainment, from shooting galleries to skee-ball to mechanical fortune tellers to endless varieties of pinball.

Teenagers poured countless coins into the machines...and occasionally took them back. In 1947, Wonderland was robbed by a 13-year-old who made off with $150 worth of nickels. He was nabbed by police after buying a new suit, shoes and taxi rides around town with the five-cent pieces.

These photographs of a conspicuously empty Wonderland were created as exhibit evidence in a federal case brought against the arcade related to taxation of its penny bingo games.

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