Some of the penny arcade games at Fisherman’s Wharf’s Musee Mecanique have been around since the influenza epidemic of 1918, so they’ve survived situations like COVID-19 before. But it was an open question whether the Musee Mecanique would survive the pandemic, since the coin-operated arcade collection that used to be in the Cliff House, and relocated the Wharf in 2002, had been forced to start a GoFundMe to survive.
That GoFundMe campaign bears great news. “Our wait is almost over! If all goes well, the Musée will be able to reopen on June 15th! Less than one month to go,” Musee Mecanique owner Dan Zelinsky posted Monday. Then on Tuesday, he wrote “We are loving our new hand painted sign on our front doors, ready to welcome people back!
might drive up to sf to be there the very minute musée mécanique reopens. lmk if you want to join. pic.twitter.com/jhM0JVkVey— Sarah ☁️ (@clouddottir) May 20, 2021
In an accompanying Facebook post, Musee Mecanique posted “Thank you to everyone that has supported us during the last 428 days (who's counting?). We would not have made it here if it were not for our amazing fans donating to Go Fund Me and liking and sharing our content.”
Though we were thankfully spared by the recent fire, Musée Mécanique is still in dire straits. If you have ever visited us or wish to, please listen to Dan’s message and consider donating. https://t.co/3oWO96kD7n— Musée Mécanique (@MuseeMecSF) May 30, 2020
Full of precious and irreplaceable items, Musee Mecanique was almost destroyed in last May's Pier 45 fire that reportedly came within 30 feet of the museum. Zelinsky told the Chronicle that “One of the guys with the fire department said the only reason we didn’t go up in smoke is because we had an offshore breeze.”
Those vintage coin-op games faced an even bigger threat from just lack of use during COVID-19.
“They’ve been failing due to lack of use,” Zelinsky told the Chron in a separate article this month. “It’s amazing how abusive a lack of abuse can be. If you don’t turn them on and use them a couple times a week, they’ll build up condensation on the boards and short out.”
We cannot wait to go back and use them a couple times a week, if that’s what it takes to make sure Laffing Sal has the last laff.