"I was open for about eight months, but because of zoning I couldn't open a (full blown) arcade," he says of the store's demise.
But he won't let that get him down. Greatwich is as passionate as ever about pinball, and he definitely doesn't want to keep the fun all to himself.
For the past year, Greatwich has hosted monthly pinball parties at his home. The most recent took place on Aug. 31, and provides pinball owners and players the opportunity to enjoy their hobby with like-minded people. He charges a fee to those who don't own machines, and is still selling machines to interested buyers.
"We get up to 15 people who show up. Some are other collectors, some own their own machines, others just want to play," he explains. "Pinball machines are like campers, RVs and boats. There's a select market getting into it. It's good family entertainment, and people my age (49) or older remember the heyday of arcades when they came out."
Like anyone with a passion for their hobby, Greatwich knows the ins and outs of pinball. He became intrigued with the mechanics of the machines at a young age, and has never looked back.
"I think the reason people enjoy it is that it's more of a mechanical type of game, not a person against a computer. It's not rigged to a pattern, it's random and requires some skill," Greatwich says. "You see the balls in play, and you are still in control...A computer can cheat you with an algorithm."
He is more than happy to share his vast knowledge of the history of pinball and how it allowed the video game industry to develop. His voice takes on a melancholic tone as he describes how legalizing slot machines led to a dip in pinball manufacturing.
"WMS used to be Williams Pinball, and they were losing money for years on gambling and the pinball part of the business kept them alive," Greatwich says. "Slots took off, pinball was on the decline, so they closed it all down and walked away. Also, a lot of pinball designers and artists moved into the slot industry."
However, the climate is now changing and Greatwich believes pinball machines are on the verge of experiencing a major comeback.
"I think there's going to be a resurgence...There are builders coming on to compete against Stern Pinball, who were the world's only," he says. "Now there's Jersey Jack Pinball and other plants around the world starting up."
In addition, younger generations are being exposed to virtual pinball on their computers and portable devices. Greatwich said many now want a chance to play the "real McCoy."
They can do that during HalCon from Nov. 8 to 10, when Greatwich once again hosts the Eastlink free pinball arcade room.
"It draws huge interest, and this year I'm promoting new games I sell by having tournament play," he says.
Interested pinball owners or players can contact Greatwich via email,email@example.com.