It's hard to believe that a city that fell head over heels for Caine Monroy and his faith-in-mankind-restoring cardboard arcade once voted to ban arcade games like pinball and claw machines, but it's true. The LA Times's Framework blog (coincidentally?) took a look at this bizarre chapter in our civic history this weekend, the same day Caine announced he was packing it in. In 1939, the mayor and police commissioner urged the public to support an ordinance that declared the games "nuisances in public places" and subject to seizure by the police "on the grounds that the machines are used for petty gambling, so widespread that the police are totally insufficient in number to enforce the law." In October of that year, 400 Angelenos packed the city council chamber to be heard on the matter, and six weeks later Proposition 3 was easily passed by voters. Even more surprising than the fact that it passed with a sizable majority is this: the ordinance stayed in effect until 1974.
· Pinball games banned in L.A. [LAT]
· Caine's Arcade Archives [Curbed LA]