Disclaimer: I know this project is a little insensitive. However, once I had the idea I couldn't get it out of my head. All pre-emptive apologies willingly tendered here.
Let's start this project off as though I was going to build a MAME cabinet, OK? I don't want a MAME cabinet and I don't play arcade games, but I'll explain that later.
After a short search, I got my hands on an old cocktail arcade cabinet courtesy of long-time friends of Free Geek Vancouver, The Hackery. (They're just up the street from Free Geek; if you haven't been in, check them out sometime.) Here's how it looked:
This is Space Zap, circa 1980 or so, from Midway. If you're curious about this game, there's a pretty thorough video on Youtube featuring a working example.