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Big Bank-Nite, 1936

Features: 6 balls for 5 cents. Illuminating backglass.
Manufacturer: Rock-ola Manufacturing Corporation, of Chicago, Illinois, USA (1932-1938)
Date of Manufacture: August, 1936
Players: August, 1936 / 1
Year: 1936
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Theme: Movies - Night Life - Theaters
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Machine Type: Electro-mechanical (EM) 
Notes: In the Encyclopedia of Pinball Volume 1, author Dick Bueschel writes that movie theaters, in order to increase attendance during the Great Depression, would give gifts to patrons or would draw for prizes using the numbers on the ticket stubs. In 1936, 'Bank Night' was started, which was a cash giveaway of five to twenty dollars to the lucky patron with the matching ticket stub numbers, but the winner had to be present to collect, otherwise the amount would increase for the next show. This pinball machine carried the same theme, as shown on the backglass and the playfield holes. The Register holes represented buying the movie ticket, the Winning Number holes compared to matching the ticket stub, and scoring a Player Present hole was necessary to collect the prize. Lights on the backglass reflect when each of these three functions was achieved. Artwork in the lower playfield shows patrons up on stage in front of the spinning cage used to draw the winning tickets. There are two ways to win: 1) Scoring 4 holes in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in the upper playfield grid. 2) Scoring one of the two Register holes, both Winning Number holes, and either of the Player Present holes would award the player the value shown on the lower playfield Bank Dial. If no win, then the Bank Dial would increment as a carry-over feature to the next game until it was won. This dial also increased every time the Bank Increases hole was made. This game is not equipped with a payout mechanism, but payouts would be made by the location if the backglass showed the Register, Winning Number, and Player Present components were achieved. The payout would range from 50 cents to $2.50. Bueschel also writes that this game has slanted woodrails, not only for appearances' sake but to prevent the parking of cigarettes on it. He seems to suggest that either Rock-Ola was the first manufacturer to do this, or this was their first game to have this.
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