Tucked away down an alley in Old Town Pasadena, the brand new Peek-A-Boo Gallery is such a unique destination visitors are often confused by the concept. Owner Jordan Reichek’s (fully realized) vision is a museum-quality gallery dedicated to 20th-century pop culture artifacts. He’s often asked if there’s an admission fee (there isn’t). This antique store/museum mashup is an experience, and it’s nothing like the dusty old antique stores my parents used to drag me to.
Split into 2 sections, the Gift Shop is a more traditional experience featuring an ever-changing collection of Pop, Deco, Folk, and Industrial pieces. Expect to find objects d’art, apparel, unique decor, and novelty items. The Gallery will host rotating immersive exhibits highlighting different aspects of pop culture. Limited edition specialty items based on the theme of each exhibit can also be found in the Gift Shop.
The first and current exhibit is “25¢ a Play: The Art of the Videocade.” Stepping through the entrance, I was instantly transported to the mall arcade of my youth. If you’re an 80s kid you’ll get all the feels. From Donkey Kong to Pole Position, all the classic coin-op video arcade games are accounted for, complete with a row of awesome pinball machines. While the games can’t be played by visitors they are all for sale, so remember to bring your rich uncle along.
In addition to the video games, there’s also a fascinating collection of original Atari cartridge, concept, and commercial art. Throughout the gallery, you’ll also find original art from Ian Young’s series Friendly Competition – a multi-layered tribute to popular video games of the classic arcade era. 25¢ a Play will be on display through mid-August.
The next exhibit will be “Welcome Aboard, The Friendly Skies: The Art of High Altitude Travel,” which will see the gallery transformed into the upper lounge deck of a classic 747 Jumbo Jet. Yeah, that’s gonna be all kinds of awesome. Later this fall, just in time for the midterm election, the gallery will become the White House Oval Office for “Wagging The Dog: The Art of Patriotism, Politics & Protest in America.” Maybe leave your uncle at home for that one.
Peek-A-Boo Gallery is a business but Jordan welcomes everyone to come to experience his collection, his enthusiasm and passion are apparent throughout the gallery. Stop in and enjoy this fresh take on collectibles. Make sure you grab a FREE sticker and button when you’re there! Peek-A-Boo Gallery is located at 40 Mills Place in Pasadena.