How much would one pay for nostalgia? When I try to think of an answer, I find myself thinking about what nostalgia truly is. Instantly, my mind is transported through memories. Images seem to flash across my eyes, even though I know they are all in my head. But what about the nostalgia of before you were alive? How do we tap into the feeling of being somewhere before we existed? Sure, there are recreations of these places dotted across the country, but do those really offer nostalgia, or just a tourist filled vision? There is no need to worry about that today, as I was recently able to spend some time at the oldest penny arcade in The United States. Here, the nostalgia is real.
Spring Lake is hidden in Rhode Island close to the borders of both Massachusetts and Connecticut. Rhode Island is such a small state, you could definitely miss this small park located along one of the many lakes that dot the state. You would seriously be missing out though. To get there you have to wind through multiple small forest roads. A small parking lot will eventually appear with a small sign pointing you down a road which opens up into the beach. The absolute serenity that came over me sitting down at a picnic bench was astounding. I already felt as if I had transported back 50 years. There wasn’t anything in particular that lead to that, and maybe it was that lack that lead to the feeling. There wasn’t anything modern; no electronic kiosks, no audio systems. Just a beach, the lake, and some small wooden buildings. Inside one of those buildings, lies a penny arcade over 85 years old, and still taking pennies.
As you walk into the building, you are seriously blasted into the past. As I was born in the 80’s, most arcades were fully electronic by the time I attended them. Here, you have a bevy of mechanically run machines, still all operating like they were made yesterday. Balls drop into fields with individual baseball or soccer players. High Striker games line the walls begging you to test your strength. Wondering what the future will hold? You’re in luck as a fortune teller machine will give you a glimpse into your destiny. How much would I pay for nostalgia? Here, I only have to pay a penny.
Closest Supercharger Aburn MA 27 mi
385 Southbridge St, Auburn, MA 01501
Spring Lake Penny Arcade
50 Old Hillside Dr, Glendale, RI 02826