Beloved arcade eulogized in documentary

We have a soft spot for arcades, understandably. We showed an excerpt of Kurt Vincent’s forthcoming documentary Arcade at our film festival last month and so out of the gates comes another look at a beloved arcade.

Since its opening nearly sixty years ago in lower Manhattan, Chinatown Fair was a place for people of all stripes to go and spend some coin in the name of amusement and diversion. In the past decade, the arcade gained renown for bringing in the best fighting game tournament players across the east coast. But it was also a place where strangers became friends, chickens played tic-tac-toe, and many a Friday night were spent hanging out and having fun.

Mark Hayes, a filmmaker and cinematographer based in New York, recently finished a documentary short about those who spent their time at the arcade—and what they plan to do now, since its abrupt closure in February 2011.

One participant sums up the appeal of the neighborhood spot: “Man, it was love in there.” Watch the eleven-minute film and feel the love for yourself.

-Jon Irwin