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BY MIKE AVITT
The Q Club was at 122 S. Taylor Street in Mt. Ayr, and closed in 1975. I saw my first video game here in 1974; it was called “Pong”. This game was followed by “Breakout” and “Centipede.” Let’s talk about Fun Town.
Arv and Shirley Woollums opened Fun Town about March 1, 1975 at 120 S. Taylor, next door to the Q Club. I remember pinball machines, air hockey, foosball, a jukebox and video games. There was a popular video game called “Space Wars.” Pac-Man came later. Fun Town was the first of many pinball arcades. It closed by the start of school in 1976. Jim Carlson of Grant City supplied the machines.
Rick and Lora Stull were holding pool tournaments in the former DanDee Cafe in the late 1970s. I don’t remember what other games were there. Roger and Michelle Main had a pinball arcade at 109 E. Madison in the late 1970s, as well. I remember playing air hockey with Casey Monaghan there.
In December 1981, Shirley’s Worlds of Fun opened at 109-111 N. Taylor (the former Northern Propane building). It was owned by Don and Edna Small and run by a woman named Shirley who would become my neighbor in November 1982. I forgot her last name. By this time, Deb’s Roller Palace had many of the popular games and tables.
On May 1, 1984, Bud and Hazel Matthews opened the Yellow Submarine at 204 W. Madison. Snooker, 8-ball, video games, foosball, and pinball games were advertised. I don’t recall this business at all, nor do I know how long it lasted.
In July 1988, Tim Irving opened Cy-Hawk Arcade at 114 W. Madison. An announcement in the November 3, 1989 Record-News says the business is now under the management of Jeff Powell. Extremes Pizza and Arcade opened in this same location in June 1991.
In April of 1999, Syd and Kathy Comer opened a game room on the north side of Mt. Ayr Video at 106 E. South Street. This later became All Seasons Cafe. In July 2005, Khaled and Rhonda Abdalla opened Frosty’s Ice Cream at 904 E. South St. I remember seeing many, many video games there.
I don’t have all the information I need for this article but I didn’t have anything else planned. I would appreciate folks coming forward with corrections or additional information.
The Teen Center opened in 1999 but I have never been there so I don’t know about entertainment there. Kelly Main has at least one snooker table in his Deadbeat Club. I think all the bars in Mt. Ayr have an 8-ball table. I never see pinball or foosball but I don’t go everywhere.
Today, video games can be played on your TV at home or on your phone at any location. But I remember very well how the gang gathered around the pinball machine at the Q Club when Jimmy Powell or Roger Tipton or Mark Packwood would be closing in on high score for the week. Which was worth a dollar on Monday morning back then.