Phoenix man converts home into giant fun house with arcade games

Dann Frank, 70, remodeled his home near Cactus Road and 60th Street, but instead of putting in a few pinball machines, he made the whole house a game room.
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:12 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Christmas decorations are great, but make no mistake; a house in a north Phoenix neighborhood is number one when it comes to fun. Welcome to the “House of Pinball,” where every kid on the block wants to hang out for the holidays.

But the only kid you’ll find here is 70-year-old Dann Frank, who’s been playing, collecting, and building arcade games since the 1960′s. “You just get into the zone, and suddenly you become one with the game,” said Frank. “It’s just the flow and good game design. It’s all about the flow. The shot comes up, shoots around, and comes back with the flipper, and you shoot it this way, taking care of the ball. It’s a Zen thing.”

The local “Pinball Wizard” recently remodeled his home near Cactus Road and 60th Street, but instead of putting a few pinballs in a game room, he made the whole house a game room. It’s like a Dave and Busters home edition. “All my life I’ve built home game rooms for other people and fixed other people’s games,” said Frank. “Now that I am retired, this is the game room I’ve always wanted to build for myself.”

You’ll find at least 40 arcade games in and around this Phoenix funhouse. Some are older, vintage models. Others are newer, the best of the best, with the latest bells and buzzers. Frank is most proud of his custom builds and games he’s made from scratch.

He built one pinball machine for a local radio station and another for kids with disabilities. “They could put their chin on a joystick and the start game,” said Frank. “They can shoot the ball left and with right flipper, and even though they can’t move, they’re interacting like you and me and in the real world and having a blast.”

The fun and games aren’t limited to inside the house. The backyard has a 9-hole miniature golf course, where Frank and his wife Janet battle it out for bragging rights regularly. “We have to get in a round every night,” said Frank. “It’s one of the joys of being retired.”

Frank is already considering redesigning one of the golf holes into a pinball machine theme. Unfortunately, the neighborhood arcade and mini-golf are not open to the public, just to friends and family.

It’s not hard to guess who will be asked to host every holiday from here on out. “One game becomes two, two becomes 200,” said Frank. “It’s not like stamps where you can keep them all in one little room. Pinballs tend to take over the house.”