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  When Gottlieb's Black Hole (BH) first hit the arcades 1981, it made a "lasting impression" on its players and arcade operators.  BH was the first pinball game ever to feature a second playfield that was inverted away from players.  It was viewable below the main wide body playfield through a blue tinted plexi-glass that had its own score display.  The pinball head featured a dual back glass  that was animated and absolutely hypnotic in the dark arcades.  The chasing lights around the edges were reflected back into it to create a very 80's "infinity lighting" effect.  The center of the back glass rotated counter clockwise with astronauts caught in the Black Hole's clutches.  BH also offered a very challenging to achieve 3 ball mult-iball.  The multi-ball starts by releasing 2 pinballs in the lower inverted playfield and later releases the third on the upper level.  BH also featured speech with low mono-tone and cold sounding computer voice.  In 1981, it was still rare to hear games speaking. 

       Great artwork, speech and dazzling light effects made BH a very popular game but not with arcade operators.  The game was plagued with electrical problems and prone to failure.  The numerous electrical issues have been "well documented by Clay Harrell"  and can be corrected, termed "bullet-proofing".  For me, Black Hole with its sounds, lights and artwork encompasses my early memories of going to the arcades. 











Manufacturer:  Gottlieb

Released:  October 1981

Production Run:  8774 Units

Design Team:

Game Design:  John Buras, Adolf Seitz Jr.
Artwork: Terry Doerzaph

World Record: 2,807,010 (Factory Default)

Purchased:  October 2005

Date of Manufacture:  TBD 

Serial Number:  TBD 

Condition:   Bullet-Proofed and Refurbished.


Black Hole Quick Links (click below)

Internet Pinball Database Entry


Fuse Decals

Replacement Windows for Black Hole and Haunted House

This Old Pinball - "Bullet-Proofing" Gottlieb Sys 80 Pins.  Clay's reasonably priced DVD's are very entertaining and packed with excellent information

Steve Young's Pinball Resource - Home of the Gottlieb Factory Parts

Great Plains Electronics - Gottlieb Sys 80 kits

Black Hole Cabinet Stencils and Blue Filters by Pinball Pall


Black Hole Sounds


Extra Ball Lit

Entering the Black Hole

No One Escapes...

Do You Dare to Enter...


Black Hole Customized Free Play Cards

3 Ball Card

5 Ball Card



     Besides being the 1st pin to feature a 2nd playfield, BH was the 1st pin to cost .50 cents making it one the highest earners in history



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