To my knowledge, my very first encounter with arcade games took place in the now-defunct Godfather’s Pizza in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. That experience, as you might imagine, laid in place the foundation for my current career.
Each and every trip to Godfather’s Pizza was a delight for me in my younger years. Not only did I scarf down the venue’s delectable vittles—especially what I likely erroneously dubbed “desert pizza”—but I also got to play my favorite games.
Despite having a Wii, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo 64 at home, I treasured my (very limited) time with Johnny Nero: Action Hero, The Fast and the Furious: DRIFT, and other exceptional coin-op titles. I stretched the dollar or so I was usually allotted as thin as I possibly could.
I had my ninth birthday party there, as well. After my friends and I ate pizza and ice cream, my parents gave us rolls of quarters to burn through in the game room. That was a truly a special day.
Now that I operate my own arcade games and can use some of my income to play at other venues in my leisure time, I’ll never, ever forget the impact Godfather’s Pizza had on my life.
Fortunately, I don’t have to forget Godfather’s. Thanks to the power of online travel guides, I uncovered a treasure trove of photographs documenting the interior. Take a gander:
To most onlookers, the dining and game rooms probably doesn’t seem like anything special because, in all honesty, what’s on display is pretty standard fare. Even so, I can’t begin to overstate how wonderful it was to me at the time.
The fact that I, as a jaded video game blogger, still hold Godfather’s in such high esteem is a testament to the impact it had on me. The game selection was solid, the prices were fair, and the ambiance was breathtaking.
If Godfather’s Pizza of Hopkinsville were around today, you can bet your gosh darned beard I’d drop by and play the arcade games at much humanly (and financially) possible. (The current tenant doesn’t have a great lineup of games.)
Since I can’t visit Godfather’s anymore—and probably won’t find anything like it ever again—I suppose I’ll make it my mission to recreate and improve the experience to the best of my ability with my own arcade operations.
I can’t say I’ve reached that goal yet, but I’m hoping I can sometime before I die. Arcade games are a deeply precious form of entertainment to me—and Godfather’s Pizza was the catalyst for that passion.
Godfather’s Pizza of Hopkinsville: Gone but not forgotten.