Arcades are a lost paradise. Several decades ago, video game booths used to fill shopping malls, movie theater lobbies – nowadays, it’s rare to find a place where you can publicly hang with friends, drop some quarters, virtually battle some friends and get lost in the 8-bit digital fantasy.
Premiering at New York City’s documentary movie festival, DOC NYC, “The Lost Arcade” is a film detailing the history of one of the city’s oldest arcades, Chinatown Fair. The establishment, which shuttered in 2011 after 67 years due to rent hikes, was the last penny arcade of its kind in the city. Director Kurt Vincent focuses on the last week of Chinatown Fair before its reopening in 2012.
Still, the story is not about its loss – but rather, a look at what arcades meant to its diverse community and what it means to maintain one despite the challenges of today’s online gaming world.
Even if you don’t live in New York, anyone who grew up around video games will understand the emotional attachment games brought to our lives. They weren’t only escapes, they also opened us up to friendships with people who shared that mutual love.
“The Lost Arcade” premieres today at 4:45 PM at the IFC Center in New York City. Those not in the NY area can purchase a digital copy for $9.99.