Everything you need when planing a vacation trip to San Francisco
Inside the Musee Machanique on Fisherman's Wharf


Just some guy who hangs out in the Musee Machanique. Better keep your children away from him.

In a Nutshell...

The Musee's buildingMusèe Mècanique is a collection of vintage arcade amusements located in an industrial building on Pier 45 behind Boudin’s. We are including it in our museum section largely because of its name, but be warned, it is not exactly the de Young Museum. While most museums are dedicated to preserving heights of cultural achievements, the Musèe Mècanique shows us a low part of society that often gets swept under history’s carpet. Its collection of antique arcade machines is one of the world’s largest. With some 300 pieces, it ranges from the penny peep shows of the late 19th century to the pinball and video arcade machines of the late 20th century.

Visitors are first greeted by Laughing Sal, a giant brassy dame, who, for a quarter, will wheeze and cackle a vulgar laugh that has been creeping out kids for generations. After Sal has regained control of herself, one can go on to play the Wurlitzers and player pianos or consult with a gipsy fortune teller who stares right through you. There are mechanical monkey bands who are only too happy to entertain you and folk art dioramas with an unsettling eerie quality to them. It has two working photo booths, once quite common in bus stations and county fairs, but in this digital age are going the way of pay phones. For pocket change they will provide you with a retro souvenir of your trip, that years from now you might value more than all the bobbles and clever kitsch that you hauled home from Pier 39 and Chinatown.


Inside the Musee


  • A window on a forgotten corner of culture
  • Many unique items



  • Very little context is provided


Free (but you will want a pocket full of quarters)


  • Mon-Fri: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat-Sun: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Holidays: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm


An oldtime iPod
Neighborhood: Fisherman’s Wharf
Pier 45 Shed A
Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 346-2000 / MuseeMecanique.org


View Musee Mecanique in a larger map


Some of what awaits you at the Musee Macanique


bottem of the shadow


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