After more than 20 years living in San Francisco and serving his community as a member of the San Francisco Police Department, Mike Hutton decided to move to Stockton for the more affordable cost of living. After he got here, he decided to share his childhood passion with everyone and opened the Stockton Coin Operated Amusement Game Arcade just two months ago.
Growing up he was a big fan of coin-operated games, but had to shelve playing so much after he joined the police force.
“I wanted to get into the business a lot sooner, but you can’t really do anything else when you’re in the force,” said Hutton. “After I retired, I finally had the opportunity to get back to playing and I want to share it with other people.”
While most people think of arcade games as being for children, most of Hutton’s demographic falls into the 20 years to 40 years old age range.
“People want to come here and play the games they did as kids,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting there to be a lot of older people like me that still wanted to play games. It’s really neat because they bring their kids as well, and get to relive their childhood with them.”
The arcade has a mix of newer and older machines and Hutton plans on bringing in more. He gets most of the machines from Craigslist and has used Ebay before as well. His favorite is the Millipede game, which he calls “a great stress release.” There also are classics like Mr. and Ms. Pac Man, and one of the most popular is the Jurassic World pinball game.
“I took out the snack bar to make more room for games,” said Hutton. “There’s a lot more games to get and now I could fit in a lot more games.”
The snack bar was a large part of the arcade when it first opened but Hutton thought giving people a better selection of games would better utilize the space. He still sells snacks and refreshments that are kept in a smaller section of the arcade.
The arcade is one of a kind in Stockton and it gives people another activity to participate in locally.
“Moving here, I realized there aren’t a whole lot of things to do in Stockton,” said Hutton. “Hopefully opening up a place like this will give people something to do and take their kids.”
Being open only for a few months means Hutton is still attracting a customer base for the arcade. He hopes as the months go by and word gets out, more people will visit him and he will be able to expand with more games.
The arcade is open daily from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 802 E. Weber Ave. Hutton can be reached at (415) 585-7777 for more information. There is no fee for entry and all the machines take only a few quarters to play.