The Lost Arcade Documentary Premiering At DOC NYC Nov. 14th & 18th

arcadehero October 29, 2015 0
The Lost Arcade Documentary Premiering At DOC NYC Nov. 14th & 18th

I have mentioned the famous Chinatown Arcade on the blog before, which had a rocky history in recent times. It closed down in 2011, was pseudo-resurrected as The Next Level Arcade and then the location re-opened with a different game selection in 2012. Given that it was a long standing location that had earned a lot of fame, there was a lot of history to be found there among the people that kept it going, enough to make a documentary film about it. That documentary is called The Lost Arcade, by Kurt Vincent and Irene Chin and it will be debuting at the DOC NYC film festival on November 14th and 18th. Here is the teaser trailer:

UPDATE: I asked Irene Chin about what the most challenging part of doing this film was and she said: “The most difficult part of making the documentary- practically, was doing sound in an arcade.  Theoretically- creating a cohesive, compelling story with an ensemble cast.  We had to do a lot of balancing and rearranging with narrative- The story of Chinatown Fair, isn’t straightforward, or chronological like a timeline- the arcade was important because it was crucial to forming identity and community.” She also mentioned that the film starts off with Chinatown Fair closing and following the major players from there.

According to the press kit they sent out, the film interviews the various players that were involved in various ways to making the business what it was – Sam Palmer, Henry Cen, Akuma Hokura & Lonnie Sobel. Pre-orders for the movie are open now, which you can take care of at the official website,

Here is the press release – what do you think of this based on the preview so far?


Kurt Vincent Independent Filmmaker 614-565-1590

“The Lost Arcade” documentary to world premiere at DOC NYC
Film exploring New York City’s last arcade will debut November 14

New York, NY, October 24, 2015– The upcoming feature length documentary film, THE LOST ARCADE, will make its world premiere at New York’s prestigious DOC NYC film festival. THE LOST ARCADE is a revelatory and timely documentary about what happens to a diverse and tight knit community after their beloved arcade closes.

THE LOST ARCADE will premiere Saturday, November 14 at 4:45 p.m. EDT at IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue, New York. Immediately following the premiere, The LOST ARCADE director and producer Kurt Vincent, and writer and producer Irene Chin, will join subjects from the film on a panel to explore the evolution video game and arcade culture, and the impact Chinatown Fair had on the community that called it home.

THE LOST ARCADE documentary focuses on a group of people whose lives were greatly impacted by the arcade. Chinatown Fair was a downtown institution having first opened as a penny arcade in Manhattan’s Chinatown in 1944. The arcade was able to survive gentrification and outlast every other arcade in the city because of a unique set of variables.
Chinatown Fair owed it’s longevity and cult following to the dedication of it’s owner, Sam Palmer, and elderly Pakistani immigrant who was a father figure to the kids that found refuge at the arcade. The arcade was tucked away in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, a neighborhood which has resisted gentrification for decades. “This is a great look at NYC history and of a subculture/community that I believe our audience will embrace.” said Basil Tsiokos, Director of Programming at DOC NYC.
THE LOST ARCADE was initially funded on Kickstarter, where 498 backers pledged to support the film. The Kickstarter support and media attention garnered attention from the gaming site IGN.Com, who provided additional funding for the production.

“THE LOST ARCADE is a film that is New York to its core and premiering at DOC NYC at IFC Center in the village is a perfect fit. It means the world to us to share the movie not only with the documentary film community, but also with the characters in the film who we followed so closely. It is going to be a very special day for us” says the film’s director, Kurt Vincent.
“It’s a privilege to show our film at DOC NYC and to have shared the big screen with such greats as Werner Herzog and Errol Morris. New York is the center for documentary and independent film and we are beyond thrilled to premiere THE LOST ARCADE at DOC NYC, one of the top festivals in the city” says the film’s producer, Irene Chin.
THE LOST ARCADE is competing in the Metropolis Competition section of DOC NYC, which brings to light stories from the big city and explores New York’s vibrant diversity.
DOC NYC has been described as “ambitious” (New York Times) and “one of the city’s grandest cinematic events” (Wall Street Journal). By 2014, DOC NYC had become America’s largest documentary film festival and voted by MovieMaker magazine as one of the “top five coolest documentary film festivals in the world”. THE LOST ARCADE will screen at the following times and location during the festival:

● November 14, 4:45 p.m. EDT at IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue, New York ● November 18, 12:45 p.m. EDT at IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue, New York A teaser is available for preview at​ : ​​ . Sponsors supporting the development of the film include IGN Entertainment and Kickstarter.
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Press Contact: Kurt Vincent 614-565-1590
About The Lost Arcade documentary THE LOST ARCADE is the story of Chinatown Fair, New York City’s last great video arcade. Chinatown Fair opened as a penny arcade on Mott Street in 1944. Over the decades, the dimly lit gathering place, known for its tic-tac-toe playing chicken, became an institution, surviving turf wars between rival gangs, changing tastes and the explosive growth of home gaming systems like Xbox and Playstation that shuttered most other arcades in the city. But as the neighborhood gentrified, this haven for a diverse, unlikely community faced its strongest challenge, inspiring its biggest devotees to next-level greatness. More information is available at ​

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