The National Pinball Museum in Washington, D.C., has just received what pinball enthusiasts would call a replay.
After months in limbo, the National Pinball Museum, founded by David Silverman of Colesville, announced Friday it will move to Baltimore.
“Baltimore is a great city,” said Tiffani Huskey, director of operations at the museum. “It’s an artsy place, and we are definitely an artsy museum.”
Silverman learned in May he would have to vacate his space in the Shops at Georgetown Park this summer, though he had signed a two-year lease with owners, Vornado Realty Trust, last year.
While the museum’s future is safe, its exact location is under wraps. Huskey said she could not announce the specifics until all contracts with the landlord are signed. The space will be near the Inner Harbor and bigger than the Georgetown space.
The museum will likely announce the address next week and reopen in the next few months, aiming for November, Huskey said.
Huskey said the museum also hopes to open small, satellite buildings with exhibits in Washington, D.C.
Silverman started the pinball museum in his Colesville home in 1998. Silverman, who owns almost 900 pinball machines, moved the operation to Georgetown last year.
Museum employees had been combing Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland after learning they would have to leave Georgetown, Huskey said.
Huskey said they looked at around 20 spaces and inquired at 50.
“It really has been all hands on deck looking for a new space, and we have been everywhere up and down [Interstate] 95 and up and down [Route] 50 and every major thoroughfare, looking for a space for the museum,” Huskey said.
It came down to price, though, Huskey said. The museum is a nonprofit, and the space in Georgetown was rent-free.
“There are a lot of empty commercial spaces in the D.C. area,” Huskey said. “The problem is, it’s too expensive. We just could not afford to pay those rates.”
The museum received offers to move all over the country, including New York, Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina, Huskey said.
The museum closed Monday, but it went out with a bang by giving visitors a chance to play free until its final moments at its old location at 3222 M Street NW in Washington, D.C.