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Operations Director Tiffani Huskey couldn’t tell us exactly where the new space is; the museum’s new landlord doesn’t want to publicize the information until all lease negotiations are finalized. All she would tell Arts Desk is that the museum will look “as spectacular as it is now.” And no, they’re not giving away or selling any machines to the public.
In a press release, board member VerNitta Tyson is straightforward about the museum’s obstacles in D.C. “We simply can’t afford the high market rents in the D.C. area, and we haven’t had any luck in convincing realtors, community leaders or other organizations to help us out,” she says. “The funny thing is we continue to receive offers for free space every day from places like New York and Arizona, but nothing from our own community—-even though there are millions of square feet of commercial real estate that are sitting empty. We’re still hoping to find space to host a small exhibit to keep the Museum alive in D.C. But, for the foreseeable future we’ll be making our home in Baltimore, which has been extremely receptive to the Museum.”
The National Pinball Museum was booted by its landlords at Georgetown Park, Vornado Realty, in May. Owner David Silverman was granted a lease extension that allowed it to stay open through September 5, but a recent request for another extension was denied.
The museum says it hopes to reopen in its new location in a couple of months. It officially closes in Georgetown Park on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and admission is free all day on Labor Day. The museum is also looking for volunteers to move the pinball machines.