The Lost Arcade, a new documentary film by Kurt Vincent and Irene Chin, tells the story of the legendary Chinatown Fair.
On Mott Street since 1944, the arcade owners lost their lease in 2011 and made plans to move to Brooklyn.
New York Daily Photo
"Its very existence was an anachronism," said The Verge; "the lone hold-out of a culture that had been long since overshadowed by the meteoric rise of home consoles." The arcade managed to re-open in the same spot, but it wasn't the same. Co-owner Lonnie Sobel called it "a cross between Dave & Busters and Chuck E. Cheese."
"But as the neighborhood gentrified," the filmmakers write, "this haven for a diverse, unlikely community faced its strongest challenge, inspiring its biggest devotees to next-level greatness."
See The Lost Arcade at its world premier November 14 and 18 at IFC Center as part of DOC NYC. Click here for tickets.
Exclusively for Vanishing New York, the filmmakers have put together a clip featuring the history of Chinatown Fair--and the story of its famous dancing and tic tac toe-playing chickens:
The Lost Arcade (Exclusive Clip) from ArcadeMovie on Vimeo.
For more on the arcade's history and those chickens, check out:
DeNiro, Streep, Chicken