“I didn’t have enough money to save it myself,” Mr. Weeks said of the museum.
The auction, which will be held this Friday through Sunday and Sept. 24-26, is being handled by Captain’s Auction Warehouse, based in Anaheim, Calif., which specializes in pinball machines and arcade games.
“Personally I’m sad about it, but I’m optimistic that the equipment will move to good places,” Chris Campbell, the auction company’s owner, said in an interview on Wednesday.
Mr. Campbell said that the auction, the single largest private collection sale that his company has ever handled, has generated all kinds of buzz.
“The interest is insane,” he said. “It’s beyond expectation.”
He said that he expected there to be strong interest in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” pinball game, which was one of very few that were made. When asked if a collector would actually use the pinball machine after spending five figures, he said: “They’re definitely going play it. It’s definitely a show-off piece, too.”
Mr. Weeks said that he bought his first pinball machine as a child growing up in Lakewood, Calif., in Los Angeles County, and that he sold them out of his mom’s garage. When he was 17, he said, he opened his first arcade.
Years later, Mr. Weeks said, he watched as pinball machines began appearing in arcade bars.
“Back then it was kids’ quarters,” he said, adding, “now these kids have credit cards.”