A popular arcade in New York’s Chinatown is making its last-ditch effort for survival by raising money on GoFundMe.
Game Over?: Chinatown Fair arcade, a beloved hangout in Mott Street, has been struggling to stay in business for the last few months. As customers stopped coming due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, the 77-year-old arcade was forced to temporarily close its doors on March 10, reports Bowery Boogie.
- Without a stream of revenue, the arcade was unable to pay the rent for months.
- To save the iconic Manhattan establishment, manager Lonnie Sobel has reportedly tried to negotiate a lease renewal.
- Sobel also launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to help pay for six months of back rent amounting to $57,000.
- “When we closed on March 10, due to COVID-19, our negotiations for our new lease renewal were basically cut off,” Sobel wrote on the campaign page.
- “Due to complications stemming from the COVID-19 shutdowns, CTF is in danger of having its doors closed permanently very soon.”
- As of this writing, the arcade has raised over $17,000 of its $57,000 goal.
- “Our customers have become close family over the years, and we have never realized this more since we have been closed,” he continued.
Historic arcade: Chinatown Fair, which opened in 1943, has been widely regarded as New York City’s “last great arcade.“
- The arcade was forced to close in 2011 due to dwindling profits, before reopening over a year later under Sobel’s new management, according to the New York Times.
- Chinatown Fair’s influence on the fighting game community has been so significant that it became the focus of a 2015 documentary called, “The Lost Arcade.”