Two Of The Last Great American Arcades (Might Be) Closing Down

Illustration for article titled Two Of The Last Great American Arcades (Might Be) Closing Down

Fans of arcade gaming in the United States might be on the receiving end of a one-two punch, with both New York's Chinatown Fair and California's Arcade Infinity in danger of closure by the end of the month.


For different reasons, both were seen as two of the finest arcades left in North America; Chinatown Fair for its rustic charms and Arcade Infinity for its wealth of rare and imported Japanese cabinets.

Chinatown Fair's owner, Henry Cen, wrote over the weekend on his Facebook page that "after decades of business" the arcade had "lost its lease". While sounding grave, it's not confirmation that the arcade is definitely gone, so New Yorkers can hold out hope that something can be done to save the place.

If you've never had the privilege of soaking up the ambience of Chinatown Fair, this recent set of photos from a New York City film scout give you a great look at why the place is so dear to many gamer's hearts. Or, for something with a little more Wu-Tang, you can check out this 1995 video for Ol Dirty's Brooklyn Zoo, which was partly shot inside the arcade.

As for Arcade Infinity, its fate is sadly a lot more certain, with a definite closure coming at the end of the month after a months-long battle with L.A. County officials, who have finally and conclusively decided to shut the arcade down after a dispute over business licenses. It's last day of trading will be February 26.

Arcade Infinity Closing This Month [SNK Capcom] [image credit]



I wonder if there's any way (and a sufficient reason) to revive the concept of arcades.

What do you guys think? With all the possibilities of today's at-home entertainment, is there ANY reason at all to bring back old-school arcades (with new games, natch)? And if so, how would that be done?