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Inside Indy’s secret pinball league

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A secret society of sorts of about 40 people meets near Fountain Square in Indianapolis every two weeks to have fun playing pinball in a league just like a bowling league.

You may have seen machines around town pop up more and more but for the past two years, you needed to be in the know to get into Pinvault 

“Before Pinvault, places maybe would have one pinball machine,” said co-owner Aaron Silvers. “Our friends started accumulating multiple pinball machines and then from there, we needed a place to put them because you can only fit so many in our house.”

They bought the Vault in the Murphy Building off Virginia Street as storage. It’s now turned into a seriously cool place to hang out.  

“All this is real underground and kind of like a speakeasy, you have to know about it to come up here,” said Aaron. 

Matt Forslund is the man who fixes them when they break down. He says they’re like sculptures you can play. 

“They weren’t meant to last this long. The people flip them out every year or two, it’s always meant to be the next new thing,” said Forslund. “They weren’t supposed to withstand the vibration and age that they’ve gone through.”

For players like John Hawxvy, the game itself is what keeps him coming back.  

“It’s always going to want to make you come back because it’s always ‘oh, I can do one shot better’ or ‘I can do something better’ or ‘a little bit different’ and I don’t think a lot of things are like that,” said Hawxvy. 

Four times a month the vault opens and the best news is that it isn’t a secret anymore. 

“You can tell people where it is fine,” said Silvers. “We are on the second floor of the Murphy Building off Virginia. Enter through the door next to La Margarita.” 

“We made this for you guys, so come play pinball,” said Forslund. 

They have events like tournaments every few weeks. The group has also created and hosted the annual Pinball classic, billed as “Indiana’s largest single-day pinball party since 2011.”