It’s a sad day for lovers of underworld history, as an important slice of gritty “old New York” just faded into dust: the last video arcade in Chinatown has closed its gates. The iconic and beloved Chinatown Fair arcade perfectly embodied the cool, seedy downtown culture of Taxi Driver/Warriors-era NYC, and offered a futuristic escape from reality for teenagers and misfits from all boroughs. The arcade was minorly famous for its “tick-tack-toe chicken” booth game, which allowed customers to play an electronic game of tick-tack-toe (sometimes losing) against a live chicken. NYC The Blog offers great photos and a farewell:
Rumors started flying around New York City blogs last week that Chinatown Fair, one of the last traditional arcades left in the city, was closing. Those rumors became reality yesterday when Chinatown Fair locked its doors for good at 8 Mott Street yesterday at 12:48 am. It was in business since at least the 50s, first across the street and then at its current location for almost 30 years. Some games were removed before the last token was dropped and the space was nearly empty by yesterday afternoon. The end of Chinatown Fair unfolded with players battling each other in fight games until the very end.