If you’re planning a stop in Quincy, Illinois in hopes of visiting the last Aladdin’s Castle arcade location, you may be about a month too late.
You can read about my family pilgrimage to the Quincy location just before the start of the pandemic here.
If you’re not familiar with the chain at all, you can learn more about the first Aladdin’s Castle location here.
Pour one out for Aladdin—the famed chain of mall and standalone arcades dating back to the late 1960s indirectly fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic after Bandai Namco made the decision to pull out of North American retail space in March 2021.
Facebook user Mark Mayeski reports to the public-facing Aladdin’s Castle Arcades group that the final location, previously open to the public in the Quincy Town Center mall, has updated its signage to read “AT THE PIER ARCADE.”
At The Pier Arcade is a nationwide arcade chain owned by CTM Group. Its parent company, Z Capital Group, announced the acquisition of 39 entertainment locations and thousands of pieces of equipment from Namco USA in November 2021.
The Quincy Aladdin’s Castle rebranding seems to mark the end of a 50-year saga for the chain, including its humble beginnings in the Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois (where the iconic Blues Brothers chase scene was later filmed), a precedent-setting hearing in the US Supreme Court, and an unheard-of presence with 450 eventual locations across the country. Many readers think their local Aladdin’s was the only location, but nearly every gamer over 30 years of age has a memory of playing there.
Based on Mark Mayeski’s accompanying photo, interested visitors can still see the last Aladdin’s location in nearly identical condition, signage notwithstanding. As he tells it, the mall’s information desk employee hadn’t realized the name had changed and made a note about it when asked. Indeed, for the moment, Quincy Town Center’s online directory still calls it Aladdin’s Castle.
Todd Mitchell is a US Midwest-based comedy writer and game developer with bylines at Weekly Humorist, Fanbyte, Slackjaw, End of the Bench Sports, and more. He’s the author of Inside Video Game Creation, the founder of CodeWritePlay, and host of several podcasts including GameDev Breakdown and Fully Remote with Todd Mitchell. Follow him on Twitter @Mechatodzilla.