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November 24, 2011 - Image 84

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-11-24

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arts & entertainment >> the best of everything

Past And Present Fun

Everyone loves Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum.


e laughs, pulls on his trademark
make it ... My, how wrong
Piston, liked to challenge
suspenders and admits to being
they were!
youngsters on the video
known as anything but the name
It had all started from
games, Tommy Hearns enjoys
on his birth certificate.
Marvin's hobby of Marvin col-
the boxing machines, former
Eccentric Marvin, Weird Marvin,
lecting coin-operated machines
Detroit Red Wing Darren
Marvelous Marvin, "the world's strang-
in his home that also housed 13
McCarty loves the hockey
est dresser" ... But yes, there really is a
pianos in one room and an out-
machines, Florine Mark brings
Marvin ... Someone who loves to see
side sign that read, "This home
her grandchildren for pinball,
people enjoy themselves, as he celebrates
is protected by Ribono Shel
Penn Jillette, one-half of the
the 29th anniversary of his Marvin's
Olam" (a Hebrew term for God)
Vegas act Penn & Teller,
Danny Raskin
Marvelous Mechanical Museum on
... The sign is still in front of
the magic posters, former
Senior Columnist
Orchard Lake Road, south of 14 Mile,
his present museum, along
Detroiter, magician Amazing
Farmington Hills.
with "This place recommended
Jonathan (John Szeles), adores
There was no name for it when he
by its owner" and others.
it all ... Untold amounts of second and
opened a little aisle spot
The walls of Marvin's cav-
third generations come in and introduce
in the one-time Tally Hall
ernous museum have never
their youngsters to Marvin, an amateur
... Marvin is a registered
been painted because every
magician who always has a trick or two
pharmacist and owner of
inch is covered with posters,
to show them ... His son, Jeremy, used to
Sam's Drugs on Fenkell in
signs, billboards, neon displays play the games with much zest, and now
Detroit, and so was able to
and exhibits ... Some of the
helps Marvin run the museum.
pay the Tally Hall rent just
posters are large like outdoor
When Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical
so he could entertain people
billboards, 20 feet wide by 8
Museum originally opened, he served no
... In the first week, with
feet tall.
food ... Four years later, when he finally
only one exhibit, a robot
From the at-home collection, got more space, Marvin put in hot dogs,
chicken that dispensed eggs,
Marvin's first venture was hav-
cotton candy, nachos, ice cream slushes
he took in 1,600 quarters, or
ing a fortune teller machine at
and popcorn, etc. ... Today he has them
Marvin Yago da
about $400 ... Three years
the former Marvin's Gardens
all plus much more than ever, and with
later, Marvin's take was over
restaurant, owned by Jim
places for customers to sit down at
30,000 quarters, or about $7,500 a week.
Thompson on Telegraph Road, Bingham
tables instead of standing ... In the 29
In the 29 years since opening that small
Farms ... Tally Hall had opened in the
years since opening, Marvin's Marvelous
location, more than a half-million visi-
late 1970s, and in November 1982, he had
Museum has gone through untold
tors have come into Marvin's Marvelous
rented the small passageway space.
amounts of kosher hot dogs, bags of pota-
Mechanical Museum ... It has grown
Today, 20 years later, Marvin's
to chips, bags of nachos, ice cream slushes,
from a small aisle space into 5,500 square
Marvelous Mechanical Museum holds
boxes of popcorn, etc. ... Also bar mitzvah
feet with more than 600 machines and
claim to being one of America's premier
receptions, kiddie parties are held there.
exhibits, 6,000 signs, posters and games,
attractions of its kind, featured on NBC,
Marvin Yagoda looks back on 29 years
including dance machines, fortune teller,
ABC, CBS and numerous cable programs,
of fun, as he says, "Who cares what they
airplanes, music machines, kiddy rides,
magazines, travel books, Detroit News,
call me as long as they enjoy themselves?"
photo machines, video machines, etc.
Detroit Free Press, Detroit Convention
... Is there really a Marvin? ... There sure
When Tally Hall closed for a couple of
Bureau publication, etc.
is, and a mighty successful one indeed.
years, and reopened with F&M drugstore
Prominent people and celebrities have
WAITRESSES WOULD love to answer
taking over most of the area, numerous
made Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical
back like one did to a fellow who always
leases were not renewed and Marvin's,
Museum a must place to visit ... David
went to the same lunch counter and
still with a lease, was moved to its present
Copperfield loves its old coin-operated
annoyed the same waitress ... Next time he
location in the rear, with little exposure,
machines, Eminem relishes the photo
came in, the gent roared, "Make it snappy.
and where people said he would never
machines, Grant Hill, while a Detroit
I want a grilled cheese sandwich!" ... "Do

you want it on rye or in a rat trap, wise
MAIL DEPT. ... "We have been away
from the Detroit area since 1993 and sore-
ly miss the wonderful restaurants of back
then. Our ethnic and upscale restaurants
here can't compare to our favorites back
home in the Detroit area.
"Our mailing address is Sun City West in
Arizona, but our community, Corte Bella,
is not incorporated. We visit Scottsdale
frequently because some of our favorite
restaurants are located there. We love to eat
in good restaurants and fine dining venues,
and miss our Coney Islands.
"The ones here are not like back home,
Leo's, Hellenic, Athens on Woodward,
Lafayette and American downtown,
Kerby's and National. We only have
two delis in our area. Chompies and
Goldman's. Chompies has three locations.
Tempe, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale.
Goldman's is located in Scottsdale." ...
William "Bill" or "Willie" Blake
MAKING ROUNDS ... To Moro's, Allen
Road, Allen Park, for Veal Olympic flamed
tableside ... To Hong Hua, Orchard Lake
Road, Farmington Hills, for crabmeat
in an oyster shell ... To House of India,
Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills,
for Lamb Sagwala ... To Shirlee Bloom's
Kitchen in Vineyards Marketplace,
Northwestern Hwy., Farmington Hills,
for vegetarian chopped liver ... To Traffic
Jam, Canfield and Second, Detroit, for
Portabella Mushroom Soup ... To Pegasus,
Monroe, Greektown, Detroit, for salmon,
feta cheese and spinach in phyllo dough.
CONGRATS ... To Dee Dee Lynn on her
65th birthday ... To Bruce Markman on his
60th birthday ... To Marilyn Tringali on her
60th birthday ... To Claire Raminick on her
80th birthday ... To Jennard and Adelyn
Greenberg on their 65th anniversary. II

Danny's email is dannyraskin@sbcglobal.net .



Award-tVinuilN- Restaurant Desigiler Ron Rea has given
Andianm Bloomfield an extreme restaurant makeovel:

Enjoy delicious cuisine and
extraordinary ambience this holiday season.

B1()()M1 II I I)


November 24 • 2011



6676 Telegraph

Bloomfield, Ml 48301


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