Chinatown Fair Arcade closing Wednesday? + Ground Kontrol goes 3.0 (UPDATE)

arcadehero February 21, 2011 4

(From inside the Chinatown Fair arcade, GameSetWatch)

UPDATE: Both Joystiq and Kotaku have ran stories about this and found out that the closure isn’t completely true – there are some issues with the landlord that they are having and if those aren’t resolved then they will move. If they are resolved, then they will stay put. Either way this is much better news than an outright closure so we are happy to hear that.

Also Slashdot has picked up on the story (Thanks Joe!)

OLDER PART: Nick over at Arcade Hunters tipped us off to some possibly not-so-great news – the famous Chinatown Fair Arcade in NYC will be closing it’s doors on Wednesday, Feb. 23rd after moving all the games out on the 22nd. I say “possibly” because they might be moving to Brooklyn, according to the rumors (not sure who is spreading them of course). If that turns out to be the case then it wouldn’t be all bad news except to those who lived closer to the Chinatown location. But until there is some sort of official confirmation, it looks like CTF will be closing up, which makes for two high-profile arcade closures this year already, the first being Arcade Infinity in California.You can read more about CTF’s closure here at Arcade Hunters and if we hear anything else about the future of CTF we will be sure to keep you updated.

Here is something to blunt this bad news with as we have some good news about a location renovating their venue, adding more games and re-opening. I have a press release that I overlooked last week from a location on the other side of the country from CTF – Ground Kontrol now known as Ground Kontrol 3.0 (at the Couch St. location). You can read the details about that after the break. My apologies to GK for the delay on this.

Ground Kontrol unveils “3.0” upgrade
PORTLAND, OREGON – 2/28/11 – Portland is home to the West Coast’s most prominent classic arcade, Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade. On February 17th, Ground Kontrol is unveiling its newly remodeled space lovingly dubbed “Ground Kontrol 3.0”. Ground Kontrol was established in 1999 as a classic arcade stocked with the most popular video games and pinball machines from several generations. Recently, Ground Kontrol’s location at 511 NW Couch St. has been off limits to the public while undergoing a full remodel. Much anticipation has been building for the unveiling of GROUND KONTROL 3.0, the most significant change for the arcade since beer & wine service began in 2005.

Ground Kontrol’s dedicated upkeep of vintage games and modern approach to the iconic 1980’s game room has earned the arcade a loyal fan base in Portland and beyond. This was recently proven by the results of the second annual 2010 “Save the Arcades” contest presented by Stride Gum. Ground Kontrol was the winner of the nationwide contest, created to raise awareness of American arcades and award a $25,000 cash prize to the arcade whose fans could earn the most points in the online game Cowbots 2010.

Ground Kontrol used the prize money to bring a load of newly renovated games to the arcade floor and boost the already unique and classic atmosphere of the arcade and lounge. Designers Jessica Helgerson and Emily Knudsen of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design designed the new look and feel of Ground Kontrol, inspired by vintage video game artwork and the TRON films, and Brad Lackey of Lackey Construction oversaw the construction. Among the numerous enhancements to the arcade will be a comfortable new seating area, food service, brand-new bathrooms, more games, an eye-catching DJ booth, and soon to come: expansion of the bar to full liquor service.

About Ground Kontrol

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade celebrates and preserves arcade gaming’s “golden age” by operating over 100 of the best video games and pinball machines from the ‘70s through today. Nighttime entertainment includes a beer and wine bar, food, DJs, and Rock Band. Ground Kontrol also refurbishes and sells vintage home videogame systems such as the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, and Atari 2600.
For more information, visit:
Art Santana, Manager
(503) 796-9364 · Cell: (971) 533-8278
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  1. igo February 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Sad news! I am glad I had the chance to visit chinatown fair while it was still open. It was a great arcade and huge in the competitive fighting scene.

  2. igo February 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    One thing I just dug up:

    Ventura further specified in a Facebook post that “[Chinatown Fair] may be relocating to Williamsburg, Brooklyn if disputes with the landlord are not settled” — a notable move for an arcade that’s been in operation on Mott Street in Lower Manhattan since at least the 1950s. But Ventura’s not worried. He says that “the place makes plenty of money,” and makes sure to point out, “We love our customers.”

  3. editor February 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Just to give the situation some perspective – I ran a feature back in 2009 on the NY amusement scene – I visited a number of amusement venues, though the classic (old School) venue was Chinatown. That said all the venues from GameWorks too ESPNZone and D&B all saw strong revenue.

    The word on the street is that Chinatown has had to upgrade to survive and is looking at a new bigger venue but needs some help to achieve this.

  4. igo March 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm - Reply

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