New York arcade gamers rejoice, Chinatown Fair is coming back from the dead! According to the director of the independent documentary, ARCADE: The Last Night at Chinatown Fair, Kurt Vincent’s ARCADE move facebook page, the venerable venue has a new owner and the doors will re-open this Friday. The new owner, Lonnie, has been working for the past month to get the old place up and running. Kurt and his crew will be filming on location at 8 Mott street this Friday for the grand re-opening. This examiner will also be on hand to take photos of the event.
As familiar as many of the CTF (Chinatown Fair) regulars are with the arcade, there are expectations that have to be addressed. First, not all the games that were there when the arcade was shuttered will be there when it re-opens. Henry Cen has the Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition cabinets over at The Next Level, of course. Also, according to a chance meeting with the new owner, some of the old game selections will be pared down even more. Whether or not some newer games will take their places is yet to be seen.
However, it was also mentioned that the new CTF will be more “family friendly”. The only thing that runs through this examiner’s mind upon hearing family friendly is…redemption games. Let’s seriously hope that isn’t the case.
* * * * * * * * * *
In February of 2011, much of the fighting game community and fans and long-time patrons of Chinatown Fair were setting the internet on fire upon hearing the rumors that the arcade was closing. And within a couple weeks, on February 25, 2011, Chinatown Fair shuttered down for seemingly the last time. When an arcade that has been around for over 60 years closes up, it’s a big deal.
Kurt Vincent was on hand during arcade’s last days putting together a film project that will detail the story of Chinatown Fair, the gamers that played there, the subcultures of gaming in society, and now it’s re-opening. For the past year, Kurt has been holding interviews with the gaming community, researching the arcade’s history, and has had a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the project.