THE LOST ARCADE

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First show: August 05

Q & A with director Kurt Vincent after Fri, Aug 5 and Sat, Aug 6 shows!

“Kurt Vincent and Irene Chin’s very sweet documentary employs the history of a clapped­ out games arcade in lower Manhattan as a way to talk about the cultural homogenisation of big cities and capitalism’s incompatibility with diversity. “ ­ David Jenkins, Little White Lies Magazine

 

LostArcade_Player by Jesse Garrison

Written and produced by Irene Chin and directed by Kurt Vincent, THE LOST ARCADE, is an intimate story of a once-ubiquitous cultural phenomenon on the edge of extinction, especially in New York City, which once had video arcades by the dozen. These arcades were as much social hubs to meet up and hang out as they were public arenas for gamers to demonstrate their skills. But by 2011, only a handful remained, most of them corporate affairs, leaving the legendary Chinatown Fair on Mott Street as the last hold-out of old-school arcade culture. Opened in the early 1940’s, Chinatown Fair, famous for its dancing and tic tac toe playing chickens, survived turf wars between rival gangs, increases in rent, and the rise of the home gaming system to become an institution and haven for kids from all five boroughs. But as the neighborhood gentrified, this haven for a diverse, unlikely community faced its strongest challenge, inspiring its biggest devotees to next­ level greatness. A documentary portrait of the Chinatown Fair and its denizens, THE LOST ARCADE is a eulogy for and a celebration of the arcade gaming community, tenacity, and Dance Dance Revolutionary spirit.

Directed by Kurt Vincent and Written by Irene Chin, USA, 79 min

the chickenDIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

I wanted to make a movie that gave you the feeling of being in Chinatown Fair because that’s what inspired me to make the movie. The Lost Arcade is about staying up all night with your friends in a hot, loud, and packed arcade. At Chinatown Fair, Irene and I found the most diverse community of friends we have ever seen and this movie is a celebration of that and what made it possible. That’s what this movie is really asking: How did this place ever exist? How did this arcade manage to break down all social barriers that usually prevent seemingly disparate people from connecting with one another?

 

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THE LOST ARCADE: Upcoming Showtimes