Convicted sex offender behind opening of arcade museum; neighbors concerned

Some Lakewood businesses trying to stop museum
Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-24 21:16:03-05

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- A quick look around the up-and-coming Arcade Museum on West Colfax in Lakewood will bring a lot of memories back for anyone who was brought up in the 1970s and 1980s.

From classic arcade games to one-of-a-kind antique pinball games, Lonny Dawson said he’s spent 30 years collecting over 100 arcade games for his proposed museum.

“I’ve collected the pieces to be rare, interesting and out of the ordinary and not just run of the mill. So the museum’s will be quite one-of-a-kind of the arcade and pinball era,” said Dawson.

Dawson said he’s using money from his late parent’s estate to build the museum.

Dawson’s parents, who lived in Parker, were killed in a plane crash, he said.

“After I got out of prison, I knew that a way to honor their memory after their passing was to create the museum that I had built a concept on,” said Dawson.

Dawson said he was in prison for 11 years after pleading guilty for two counts of attempted sexual assault on a child.

He said he’s been out of prison eight years and is trying to make the community a better place.

“Sex offenders will not be allowed in the museums and that goes for myself when it opens. So we will regulate who comes in the door,” said Dawson.

But many of Dawson’s West Colfax neighbors aren’t the slightest bit happy about the museum being in their neighborhood.

While Dawson told Denver7 the museum is set up and operated through a trust, some nearby believe he’s putting the business license in his husband's name and skirting the law.

Dawson said he’s had a restraining order filed against him by another arcade nearby and is being ostracized in the neighborhood.

The arcade had a GoFundMe page set up, but Dawson said that page is now being investigated by the crowd funding company and is unable to receive donations right now.

Dawson estimates that the arcade needs about $20,000 to $40,000 to open the doors.

Regardless, Dawson said the museum will open as soon as the donations are raised.


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