Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Here's another vintage pinball machine flyer, this time for Gottlieb's Close Encounters Of The Third Kind pinball machine. I have to admit, I love the colorful backglass art on this table. Beautiful - and with its comic strip-styled logo and wildly fluorescent colors - completely out-of-step with the wondrous, awestruck tone of the actual scene in the film. Still, I'm pretty sure I pumped a few quarters into this machine on a vacation trip in the Summer of 78....


  1. Even now, years later, whenever I'm driving at night and there's an oncoming car not quite over the next hill whose lights are making a spectral glow on the horizon... I think back to "Close Encounters" and whistle the five-note musical theme.

    It drives my wife nuts.

    1. Anything to drive the wife nuts!

  2. I like seeing these old pinball machines. They truly are something that we may never see again (outside of personal collections).

  3. The strip of road leading into the "glow" is such an iconic image. Loved the movie back then, and it still holds up now.

  4. The art is absolutely gorgeous. Total comic book style, totally wrong for the theme, but colorful and probably attracted a lot of players for the graphics. There are two references to sound effects based on what I suspect is the five-note theme, which would have been awesome to hear back in 1978 in an arcade.

    I agree about the front page using the iconic image. It was both interesting and eerie at the same time. I remember it was on the cover of the book, but I probably don't have the book anymore.

    Great movie, and I probably would have watched somebody play the game on the basis of the title and theme. (I was cheap and rarely had quarters back then, LOL)

    I always liked the instructions in the lower left corner of the playing area; I'd seen them on other machines of that era and accepted that that was the right look for them (although for all I know only Gottlieb used that design, LOL).

    Very nice find! You must spend a lot of time seeking these out and have a good deal of luck finding them, because these things are always rare!

    Gordon Long

  5. I remember the CE3K pinball game from either the game room at the mall (back when it was mostly ALL pinball machines) or at the bowling alley. I've always loved the film, but even as a kid I thought it was kinda odd they based a pinball game on it. But hey, who would've thought it could work as a comic book either?

    Watch the Skies. We Are Not Alone.