Lights flash, explosions roar, movie quotes echo. Think of them as ways to focus — at least they are at Now Here Pinball, a pinball arcade and meditation lounge on Route 13 in Cortlandville.
Both pinball and meditation require focus, owner Clyde LeFevre said.
“When we meditate, we’re right here in this moment and when you play pinball, that’s the only way you can be good. You have to be here, present, in the moment. Otherwise, if you start thinking about something, the ball drains,” owner Clyde LeFevre said.
The lounge brings together two important parts of LeFevre’s life: pinball and meditation.
As a meditation teacher and pinball lover, LeFevre, who marked the grand opening of Now Here Pinball on Saturday, wants to offer a place for pinball players to play, but also to attract those looking for a place to relax and live in the moment through his meditation classes.
“Meditation is about trying to quiet the mind. Most of us have really busy minds so mediation is really about trying to calm the mind,” Theresa Mulroy, the owner of Pure and Simple Yoga and Healing and a yoga teacher, said.
She differed from LeFevre on the use of pinball as a means of meditation.
“With meditation, you focus on calming the mind and you walk away learning how to breath. With sports, you learn how to be in the zone, but when you’re finished, you’re more relieved from the high but don’t take lessons away from it.”
The 55-year-old LeFevre’s connection to pinball goes back to his childhood of playing machines at pizza parlors in the Rochester area, where he grew up.
The idea for opening a pinball arcade first came to him when he moved to Cortland in 2009.
“I’d be driving 45 minutes to Binghamton or Syracuse to play pinball and thought, ‘Man, this
is crazy,’” he said.
He bought his first pinball machine 20 years ago, a 1989 Bally Mousin’ Around machine, but put it in storage when he moved to Cortland in 2009.
It was only taken out of storage in February 2018 and brought to his Main Street office in Cortland, where he ran his new age psychic business, Experience Psychic Fair.
His wife, Lenore LeFevre, a Cortlandville town judge and attorney, found pinball a stress reliever. Soon after buying the machine, Lenore LeFevre was hooked. The couple would frequently visit the office after dinner to play.
With the two not liking to take turns to use the machine, Clyde LeFevre bought his second machine in May 2018, with an Austin Powers theme.
“I always wanted the Austin Powers machine since it came out in 2001,” as he loved its style, LeFevre said.
As their love of pinball kept growing, Clyde LeFevre kept buying more machines.
In December, he got the idea to create a pinball and meditation lounge.
He contacted David Yaman of Yaman Real Estate, who owned the building Clyde LeFevre’s office was in, and leased space at the Cortland Commerce Center.
His store unofficially opened in June, though people coming for the pinball have been the
“It’s nice having this here. For me the closest one (pinball arcade) is here,” said Pete Indick of LaFayette.
Indick distracted himself briefly from the Austin Powers machine to say the game helps him focus.
“You have to focus in because so many things are going on. If you want to play well, you have to be on top of your game,” he said.