Documentary About Chinatown Fair Arcade Premieres at IFC Center November 14 [VIDEO]

Posted on: October 29th, 2015 at 9:26 am by
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It’s hard to believe that it’s been over four-and-a-half years since the last true gamer’s paradise in Manhattan – Chinatown Fair Video Arcade – shuttered and hauled ass to Brooklyn (i.e. Next Level Arcade). Yes, a rebooted version arrived in the spring of 2012, but it’s just not the same. It’s missing something. This iteration is a more watered-down, “family friendly” gaming spot (but we’re happy an arcade of some sort remains).

Meanwhile, Kurt Vincent and Irene Chin’s documentary on the beloved arcade has finally come to fruition. The Lost Arcade has been in the works since that 2011 closure, and is now ready take you back to the haunt, on the big screen. While it may not be able to capture the stale, BO riddled air, the 79-minute documentary will explore the origins of the arcade through the eyes of its inhabitants and owner Sam Palmer, and will examine how it became a stalwart, hole-in-the-wall institution in an ever-gentrifying city.

As an aside, we’d be remiss to not include one of our favorite memories from the dive video game haven. On our first visit to Chinatown Arcade, a pack of menacing-looking kids blocked the entrance, and were in a heated argument. It seemed like it might not be the most welcoming place, but the desire to play both versions of Ms. Pac-Man won out. Upon approaching the pack, they parted to let us by without batting an eye. Then one kid bellowed, “Dude, dude, dude – hold up. You think Voltron is easily the best superhero? There’s no way he’s better than Superman! That shit is off the hook!” 

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The “newer” version of Chinatown Fair, May 2012

The Lost Arcade will undoubtedly be filled with all sorts of nostalgia.

Take a walk down memory lane at the premiere on Saturday, November 14 at 4:45 p.m. It’s showing at the IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue. There will also be an encore performance on Wednesday November 18, at 12:45 p.m.

Immediately following the premiere, Kurt Vincent and Irene Chin will join subjects from the film on a panel to explore the evolution video game and arcade culture, and the impact Chinatown Fair had on the community that called it home.

Here’s the teaser…

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