Brewcades and Cruisers Pizza in Balboa Fun Zone Host Thursday Eve Pinball Tournaments

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Thursday night pinball tournament at Cruisers / photo by Chris Trela

“He’s a pinball wizard, there has to be a twist. A pinball wizard’s got such a supple wrist.”

Those familiar lyrics to “Pinball Wizard” by The Who are on full display at Cruisers Pizza Bar & Grill in the Balboa Fun Zone.

Every Thursday, Brewcades – a company started by Laguna Beach pinball enthusiasts Tom and Jessica Walker along with partner and technician Pete Cooley – hosts International Flippered Pinball Association tournaments at Cruisers on nine new and classic pinball machines.

Cruisers is one of three locations where Brewcades hosts events (the other two are in Long Beach and Huntington Beach). The location makes sense, since the Balboa Fun Zone has a rich history of pinball and arcades. Many locals – including Tom and Jessica – have memories of playing pinball in the Bay Arcade, which closed in 2017 after more than 60 years of providing kids of all ages with everything from pinball to skeeball.

There has been a resurgence in popularity of pinball, although some would argue there have always been pinball wizards who seek out game venues and opportunities to plop a quarter in a machine and manipulate the flippers into coaxing the metal balls into the bumpers and on to higher and higher scores.

Brewcades has installed nine games at Cruisers:

  • Atlantis (1974)
  • Fathom (1981)
  • Terminator 2 (1991)
  • Addams Family (1992)
  • Twilight Zone (1993)
  • Monster Bash (1998)
  • Iron Maiden (2018)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pro (2020)
  • Godzilla Premium (2021)

Here’s how the weekly tournaments work: Each tournament is a five Fair Strikes Knockout Tournament format with the winners being determined by “last player standing.” Each standalone tourney prize pool includes cash for the top two players, and prizes for 3rd and 4th place.

Entry fee is $9 plus $1 IFPA fee plus coin-drop.

Tournament sign-in opens at 7 p.m. Tournament starts at 7:30 p.m. This is a MatchPlay tournament using MatchPlay events. In each round each group will play a single game on a randomly selected machine.

Cruisers Pizza Bar Grill is at 801 E. Balboa Blvd. Minimum of one purchase at the bar is recommended.

Visit www.Brewcades.com for more information.

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