Montreal bar challenges anti-pinball law
Published Thursday, January 7, 2016 9:03AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 7, 2016 11:34AM EST
Montreal has a new pinball bar -- and it's breaking the law.
The North Star bar on St. Laurent is a throwback to the time before cell phones, video games, and cable TV.
A tactile, analog world where complex machinery triggered lights and bells.
"There's s sensory type of interaction with it that you don't get from having a tablet experience of this," said pinball fan Adam Hardington.
Pinball was also seen, by many politicians, as a gateway to organized crime, and the machines were banned in several cities because of their use in gambling.
Mayor Jean Drapeau's administration seized pinball machines, claiming that teenagers were tempted to steal in order to play the games.
Justin Evans, co-owner of North Star, said this also happened in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
"Organized crime, using arcades to kind of draw people into prostitution and drugs, and this kind of peaked in the late '70s, early '80s, and they shut down all the machines everywhere," said Evans.
Since then only certain arcades in Montreal have been allowed to have pinball machines, and they have been strictly forbidden in bars.
For the past year Evans and his partners have been negotiating with the city to make pinball legal in bars.
"It's kind of time for this to re-emerge in a new and different way," said Evans.
"This is such a great way to hang out and enjoy life and they're beautiful, they're incredible cultural objects, they're a blast to play."
Representatives from the city agree, and say the idea that pinball will lead to a life of crime is antiquated.
The law will be changed, although with no guarantee when, but until then the ban on pinball in bars will not be enforced.