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Centralia's Insert Coin arcade offers nostalgia and fun at the drop of a quarter

There's no shortage of attractions at this must-see fun zone halfway between Seattle and Portland. #k5evening

CENTRALIA, Wash. — On Centralia's antique store-laden North Tower Avenue, a street that offers visitors a way to travel back through time, Insert Coin arcade offers nostalgia of a more recent vintage.

"Oh yeah!" says Michael Ropka. "Back when we had our local mall, there was an arcade there and this place has a lot of the same games, and yeah, it brings back a lot of memories."

It's also the kind of place that brings families together.

"We are parents of five," says Keli Coleman, who opened Insert Coin in the summer of 2021 with husband Dan. "We have five kids and we know that it's hard to find fun things to do, especially during the long rainy season."

The Colemans bonded over retro video games when they met.

"Because we are both young children of the '80s," says Keli Coleman.

It wasn't enough just to open one business in the building they purchased. So they opened three: an arcade, a restaurant, and a bar that features a self-pour beer wall with 26 taps.

"People think it's fun to pour their own beer and be their own bartender," says Keli Coleman.

Credit: KING TV
RALF, Insert Coin's resident robot, delivers a meal to a table.

The restaurant serves up burgers and pizza in a surprising way, with a robot server named RALF.

"It actually stands for Robotic Assistant Labor Facilitator", says Keli Coleman.

Of course the main draw is the arcade, featuring more than 100 games. Some might take you way back.

Dan Coleman remembers a time he and his friends saved up money all week to play "Samurai Showdown".

"We felt like millionaires with all the quarters in our pockets," he says.

Now he can play Samurai Showdown any time he wants.

"I'm definitely rustier than I used to be," he laughs.

There's also an air hockey game that unleashes dozens of pucks at the same time, and a yogurt machine that customers command.

"You can tell it what flavors you want and what toppings," says Keli Coleman.

It all adds up to a lot of fun at the drop of a coin.

Credit: KING TV
The game room at Insert Coin has dozens of games to play

"We have people here take the kids home and come back and have a date night basically," says Dan Coleman.

"The best way to have fun is to bring your family or bring your friends," says Keli Coleman. "And go see who wins at Pac-mania." 

Insert Coin is located at 309 N. Tower Ave. Centralia, WA 98531. The arcade is open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday.

KING 5's Evening celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email.

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