NYC's Last Great Arcade Profiled In New Documentary Out Now
You can learn about an important (and probably not well known) part of video game history.
There aren't that many old-school arcades around anymore; it's more likely that you'll see an ultra-modern "barcade" than a real arcade in most cities. But Chinatown Fair in New York City has outlasted the fall of arcade culture and has continued to survive to this day. The Lost Arcade documentary aims to tell the story of Chinatown Fair and its community, and it releases today.
Written by Irene Chin and directed by Kurt Vincent, The Lost Arcade is composed of many different oral histories from the fans who frequented it since it became a video arcade in the 1970s. This film is also a story about the variety of cultures and communities that intersected at Chinatown Fair. The film's trailer is below.
From the '70s onward, Chinatown Fair largely catered to the fighting game community, focusing on competitive fighting games like Street Fighter II and SoulCaliber. It was also iconic for having chickens that, at different times during its history, either danced or played tic-tac-toe.
When describing the documentary, Vincent said in a statement that it was attempting to answer the questions, "How does this place even exist? How did this arcade manage to break down all social barriers that usually prevent seemingly disparate people from connecting with one another?"
"It was and still is such a diverse community of friends and hope that this film is a celebration of what made that possible," he continued.
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