Who We Are
It all started in 2006 when we, the Harmon family (Phil, Lori, Alex, and Zoe), bought our first pinball machine. After enjoying the machine for a couple of years, we added a multicade – more machines = more fun! Eventually all of that fun led to more machines showing up at our house – crazy how that happens, huh? We were quickly running out of room, so Alex started his business, Special When Lit Amusements, to place games in commercial locations and to rent out for events. Soon after, we opened our first “clubhouse” and filled it with about 25 pinball machines. We began hosting IFPA tournaments and weekly/monthly leagues. As these events became more and more popular, machines continued to show up. It became clear that we needed a larger space.
In 2019, we purchased a 3800 square foot location that currently holds over 50 tournament-ready pinball machines, several arcade and amusement machines, and provides plenty of space to relax. We really enjoy playing our games and are grateful to have the opportunity to share our passion with the community.
We would love for you to join us for open play, tournaments for all skill levels, and private rentals. Please check out our Facebook page for up-to-date information on hours and events in our family-friendly environment. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Questions? Contact us!
Our Tournament History
In 2013, Phil announced to the family that he was going to start playing competitive pinball. The family was surprised that there was such a thing as competitive pinball, but supported his efforts. So much so, that Alex joined him on this endeavor. As they were learning the ropes, they struggled at the first few tournaments they attended. Finally, Phil won a tournament and they were officially hooked. Alex has since won 112 tournaments and is one of the top-ranked players in the world. He has won a Professional & Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA) Circuit event, Canadian Pinball Championship, finished second in the Stern Pro Circuit finals, and was the 2018 International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) Michigan Pinball State Champion.
In 2014, Phil and Alex (with volunteer support from Lori and Zoe) started hosting their own tournaments. They now regularly host monthly tournaments and some of the largest events in Michigan, including large charity tournaments. Through these charity tournaments, they have donated over $18,000 from the proceeds. Phil is currently the Michigan State Representative for the IFPA.
Tournaments hosted by Phil and Alex always revolve around fun. All ages and skill levels are welcome to attend, whether folks have played in a tournament or not. Most of all, Phil and Alex want to build a tournament community that enjoys pinball and spending time with one another. After all, this is a family affair.
Interested in learning more about the IFPA? Click here!
What We Do
Open Arcade Hours: Open to the public! See our current hours here. All games will be on free-play, with the exception of prize redemption games.
Pinball Tournaments: Open to the public! Join us for IFPA tournaments year-round. Tournaments are open to folks of all ages and experience levels. We would love to have you join us to become a world-ranked pinball player! Tournament schedule posted here and on Facebook.
Birthday Parties + Events: Rent Clubhouse Arcade for your next party or event! We offer both private rentals (the entire arcade to yourself) and table reservations (if you choose to have a party during open hours). More information can be found here.
Pinball at the ‘Zoo
Every year in April, Alex hosts the largest pinball show in Michigan, Pinball at the ‘Zoo. This event is held in Kalamazoo, Michigan and is open to everyone! Play the classics or try your hand at new releases. With a plethora of games from all generations, this event is fun for all ages. In addition to the show, there are various tournaments held throughout the weekend. For more information on Pinball at the ‘Zoo, visit the website.