Monday, December 13, 2010


Here’s a cool poster from my Tron collection, but for me, the tag line should read - PLAY THE GAME. SEE THE MOVIE.

My introduction to Tron wasn’t in a movie theater but instead at an arcade. My brother and I discovered the Tron coin-op video game one hot and humid day in midsummer at the Rebel Arcade. (The Rebel lacks air conditioning.) It would be a few months before we got to see the film. Here’s a photo of my local arcade back in the 1980's.

When we walked into the arcade, we noticed a line of kids waiting to play a new game. I’m sure we both asked the same question, “Hey, what’s Tron?” After a long wait we finally got to deposit a few of our pocket burning quarters into the machine. I’m not sure if it was the four games in one, the unique sound effects or that glowing blue joystick that hooked us, but I do know we were instantly hooked on Tron.

Hey, I was so taken by the game I even made a Tron light cycle drawing. Once the movie came out, Tron became a favorite art subject for me, but this drawing is the only surviving piece of Tron kid art that I have. Oh, oh. Looks like the bottom cycle is in trouble.

It’s amazing, but the Rebel Arcade is still open and what’s more amazing than that, is the very same Tron machine that I grew up playing is still there. Even more amazing than that, is the machine is still sitting in the same spot right next to Pac-Man, like it did in 1982. Here’s a photo from 2004 -

The poor machine has challenged many a video warrior thru the years, but time has not been kind. The side art is heavily worn and the blue joystick disappeared in the ‘90's. I checked a few months ago and it still sits right in front waiting for a quarter. Click on the photo below and if you look really close you’ll see it in the front next to one of those big dance machines.

The Rebel still has the ultra cool Discs of Tron. Unfortunetly, it has seen better days too.

The Tron video game was a big part of my childhood and like any nostalgic fool like me, I eventually got a nice cabaret model for the house. A good friend set me up with one about ten years ago. Boy, it sure has saved me a ton of quarters!


Mike Middleton said...

I didn't know you had Tron kid art. Very nice!

Todd Franklin said...

Yep, that's the only one.

Dex said...

You know what's funny? Your drawing is the pattern you should drive on the first cycle level to beat it easily..or at least close to it.
I distinctly remember the first pattern being question mark shaped.