Chinatown Fair Reopening May 5th

Photo Credit: NeoGaf

While it was revealed last month that legendary Manhattan arcade Chinatown Fair was being restored by new owners, Bowery Boogie has revealed a few new details regarding its rebirth. The once grimy enclave where the best virtual warriors in NYC once battled it out is now being repainted with a bright, Easter-esque color scheme. The new CF is meant to be a “family friendly” location, and will feature some brand-new machines as well as a card-swipe system that will replace tokens and quarters. Finally, it’s only a matter of weeks until we can step foot in the venue, as the supposed opening date is May 5th.

While CF was once a vortex for the best talent in the fighting game community, the new vision for the arcade might not attract too many top players. Let’s just hope a few classics like 3rd Strike and Capcom vs. SNK 2 get salvaged.

We’ll be at the all-new Chinatown Fair as soon as it reopens, so stay tuned for tons of coverage!

Chinatown Fair to Reopen?

While shooting some extra footage for their documentary Arcade: The Last Night at Chinatown Fair, filmmakers Kurt Vincent and Owen Strock discovered that the historic downtown game center may be rising from its grave. While original Chinatown owner Henry Cen is keeping busy with Next Level, Vincent and Strock met a man named Lonnie who was moving the old games back in and is believed to be taking over the arcade. This is HUGE news for NYC fighting game fans, as some of today’s top players were bred at Chinatown Fair. We will be sure to keep a close eye on any future developments regarding Chinatown’s reopening.

You can read the filmmakers’ full statement below:

This is a still frame from footage we shot on March 14, 2012.  Owen Strock and I were shooting b-roll for the movie around Chinatown Fair when we noticed the security gate at 8 Mott Street raised.  Earlier in the week, Sam, the previous owner of Chinatown Fair, told me someone was re-opening the arcade.  But you hear a lot of things.  I wasn’t sure how likely it was happening.  Now we know.  A group of men were moving some of the old games back inside.  One of the men introduced himself as Lonnie.  He told me they were hired to move in the games and empty the trash that remained inside.  I spoke with Henry Cen, co-owner of Next Level and integral part of the old Chinatown Fair, and he told me a guy named Lonnie was reopening the arcade at 8 Mott Street.  I am guessing the Lonnie I met is the Lonnie reopening the arcade.  It’s interesting to note that if this is the same Lonnie, it isn’t the first time he has been involved with a beloved NYC institution.  Lonnie told me he used to bartend at his uncle’s place, Max’s Kansas City.

I love how the story of Chinatown Fair keeps going.  I suspect it will never truly end.

-Kurt