HomeCommunityPopular Chinatown Fair Arcade faces eviction in NY

Popular Chinatown Fair Arcade faces eviction in NY

The Chinatown Fair in New York, known for its mechanical chicken and video games, may be evicted-another casualty of the coronavirus.

A Go Fund Me campaign launched has raised $16,000 to save the Chinatown institution which originally opened in 1943.

“Due to complications stemming from the COVID-19 shutdowns, CTF is in danger of having its doors closed permanently very soon. Our customers have  become close family over the years, and we have never realized this more since we have been closed.”

The arcade closed like so many businesses in March due to COVID-19. It is now $57,000 behind in rent. It’s only been shut down one other time since its original opening, but after 18 months reopened in 2012.

So many people have such fond memories of the arcade, Irene Chin and Kurt Vincent produced a film entitled The Lost Arcade in 2015 to document the Chinatown Fair.

Chinatown Fair Dancing Chicken
The mechanical dancing chicken has long been a popular feature of the Chinatown Fair.

“It is a place where teens were hanging out and they were really happy,” said Chin. “You don’t see many places like that in New York. That age group is not old enough to go to bars, but they needed a place to hang out with their friends.“

RELATED: The Lost Arcade: A Documentary on NYC’s Chinatown Video Game Enclave

Manager Leo Platero says when his business shut down in March, all negotiations for a new lease came to a halt. His goal is not only to reopen, but to expand the arcade.

“I have been in this industry literally ALL of my life. After being closed for 1 1/2 years, with Leo’s help and others, we decided to bring CTF back to life in 2012,” Lonnie Sobel said on Go Fund Me.

According to the documentary, the Chinatown Fair was once owned by Sam Palmer, an elderly Pakistani immigrant.

The Go Fund Me campaign has a goal of raising $57,000.

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