The word “nerd” gets bandied about quite a bit these days by hip folks trying their hand at cool-kid marketing buzz. But real nerds like Gene Lewin, owner of Vintage Arcade Superstore, don't flex — real nerds don't have to. Real nerds, in fact, own 17-year-old vintage arcade stores and can turn busted electronic game cabinets into functioning fun boxes in 20 hours flat. Split between a byzantine repair warehouse and a spic-and-span showroom, Lewin's Glendale shop repairs and resells the holy gaming sepulchers of geeky childhood worship. The soft-spoken, 56-year-old Lewin bought his first pinball machine in 1976 and never looked back, running two arcades before turning to repairs and sales. He has an original Pong machine, Galaga and other quarter-gobbling classics, ranging from the 1970s to today. He's even got Nick Stahl's re-gifted Terminator 3 pinball machine, which was recently offloaded by Stahl's wife. 4334 San Fernando Road, Glendale. (818) 246-2255, vintagearcade.net.
—Paul T. Bradley