Redding’s first arcade that I remember was the Gold Mine. It was a great arcade, perfect in the sense of what an arcade should be… dark and full of the newest greatest games. They didn’t have any silly token system, which I thought was nice… games were made for QUARTERS!!!

Anyhow… the Gold Mine was made to look like a mine, with it’s rocky facade, and dark interior.

Being a kid in Redding that lived far from the Mt. Shasta mall where the mine was, my visits there were not frequent. And when my parents did take me to the mall, it was sometimes hard to break away and go play a few games… they were usually cool with it though… and would hand me a buck, and off I went, while they got to do some shopping without me nagging them anymore.

The one thing that I remember most about the Gold Mine was when they got Dragon’s Lair. People our age will never forget when that game came out. It was SO groundbreaking… and I was actually kind of intimidated by the game. Plus that game was SO popular the line of quarters on top of it was daunting… I usually just watched. It was the coolest game to just watch people play. (Especially people that knew how to play it) Every now and then I got a chance to play, and I actually turned out to be OK at it.

The Gold Mine was also the only place where I ever saw Thayer’s Quest.

It was the first, and maybe only game I have ever seen that had a keyboard. The funny thing about it was it was more daunting than Dragon’s Lair. How the heck could anyone know how to play it? You couldn’t just put a quarter in and quickly learn how to play… it had a freaking keyboard! I remember watching one guy play it who “sorta” knew how to play… but even he got frustrated after making it past a few scenes. Obviously, even though the game looked and I am sure was super cool… it was rarely played, and the Gold Mine quickly replaced it.

The Gold Mine had a great run… I think they stayed open for about 20 years. And it wasn’t until just a few years ago that they shut down the mine… and soon after, a bar replaced it. Pretty sad… actually, the gold mine wasn’t quite the same in it later years… it was full of driving and fighting games that were stale, and actually annoying. So it’s passing wasn’t quite so bad, it had it’s day in the sun… but it was time for the Gold Mine shut it’s doors.