Back in February of this year, the Chinatown Fair, one of the last old school arcades in Manhattan, shuttered its doors at its Mott Street location after losing its lease. According to the blog “Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York,” the arcade was established in the 1950s (if not earlier in 1944). The fair’s famous game Tic-Tac-Toe Chickens (using real live poultry) was even the subject of a Calvin Trillin piece in “The New Yorker.”
But a new short documentary “Chinatown Fair” by Andres Hernandez memorializes the Fair and its last legions of dedicated gamers. At one point, says one interviewee, you could walk on any block in Chinatown and find an arcade. The Fair, however, kept its stronghold while others fell to the wayside because of its fame among gamers and its foothold with “fighting” games. While the doc shows the game machines being carted away, the memories of the “Chinatown Fair” lives on through the memories of its fans.
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