David Silverman

David Silverman owns the National Pinball Museum, which is moving to Power Plant Live. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun / September 15, 2011)

The National Pinball Museum, forced out of Washington after losing its lease earlier this year, will be moving into the Power Plant Live complex.

Trucks began moving owner David Silverman's vast collection of flipper-type pinball machines into a building at 608 Water St. Wednesday. Silverman, a Silver Spring-based landscape designer who has been collecting the machines for some 40 years, said he hopes to open for business by the end of November.

"We're moving in now," he said early Thursday morning as he drove into Baltimore.

The four-story building, which dates to 1906, includes 12,160 square feet of office space. That's slightly more than the museum had at its previous location, on M Street in Georgetown, Silverman said. The museum was forced to leave Washington after owners of The Shops at Georgetown Park, where it had opened in December, decided to renovate the building. The museum closed after offering free admission on Labor Day.

Silverman's collection includes more than 800 machines, some 200 of which were on display at the Georgetown location. The museum included several rooms devoted to the history and development of pinball machines, which can trace their lineage back to 18th-century France.

Not all of the exhibits will be able to make the transition to Baltimore, Silverman said, primarily because of the expense involved. But he said he plans to expand the museum's pay-to-play area, where visitors can operate the vintage machines, which date back to the 1940s.

Initial plans call for the museum to be open Friday through Sunday. Silverman said he has signed a one-year license agreement for the building, with an option for up to an additional three years.

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

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