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                                  Silverball Museum did their part by running a vibrant business.
According to Ilvento, pinball enthusiasts now know what “heaven looks like.” Visiting the museum exposes the senses to a sea of colors, flashing lights, bells and buzzers. For a flat fee, you can play for hours without dropping a coin.
A big part of every week is consumed with searching for more classic pinball machines to buy. Each machine is transported to New Jersey, lovingly reconditioned and maintained. Ilvento keeps maintenance specialists on staff to keep the machines in top playing condition.
“Machine maintenance is critical at the Silverball Museum because our loyal customers expect and deserve the best experience,” Ilvento said.
Though the Silverball Museum runs as tightly as its pinball machines, that’s not to say there weren’t some trying times. When Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey in October 2012, the flood water rushed through the museum. Although many arcade games were destroyed, the pinball machines survived because they
are raised off the floor. Ilvento kept the staff on payroll and was back in business in six weeks.
“We were one of the first businesses back, and it was important to Asbury Park to show that things here were getting back to normal,” he said.
The Silverball Museum continues to grow and improve. Ilvento recently converted the machines to LED lights which run cooler and save electricity. These lights are better for the machines and extend their lives.
This year, a new location opened in Delray Beach, Florida. Ilvento points out that “Asbury Park is the ‘City by the Sea’ and
Delray Beach is the ‘Village by the Sea.’” Ilvento is looking to expand throughout the United States, with possible locations being in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Austin, Texas.
There is also an option for the historic Casino and Carousel House on the Asbury Park boardwalk.
“We may need to expand the museum, and there is 30,000 square feet in that space,” said Ilvento. He added that he is seriously looking to bring back the classic carousel to the casino.
Ilvento still has a soft spot in his heart for Rutgers—and is a big fan of Rutgers athletics. He is currently putting the finishing touches on a fictional screenplay about the first college football game between Rutgers and Princeton called “The Rumble” that covers the participants in that event and how the fame evolved.
“If there are any Rutgers alumni connected to Hollywood, give me a call,” Ilvento urged.
The future is as bright as the pinball machines being played at the Silverball Museum for Robert Ilvento, and it all started at Rutgers. Visit for more. 5