Rumors Fly About Future of Chinatown Fair Arcade

By DNAinfo Staff on February 21, 2011 2:28pm  | Updated on February 21, 2011 6:17pm

The front of the Chinatown Fair Arcade on Mott Street. Photo taken in May 2009.
The front of the Chinatown Fair Arcade on Mott Street. Photo taken in May 2009.
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Flickr/Jason Lam

Elizabeth Ladzinski

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

CHINATOWN — The Chinatown Fair Arcade, one of the few classic arcades left in New York, might be closing, according to multiple reports.

Henry Cen, one of the manager's of the arcade, told DNAinfo that the landlord refused to renew the lease on the space at 8 Mott St. a couple of years ago. Since then, the arcade owners have been paying rent on a month-to-month basis, Cen said.

Two months ago the management company that represents the building's landlord, Irving R. Raber Company Inc., stopped accepting rent money from the arcade, according to Cen.

Then, on February 16, the arcade was delivered an eviction notice, Cen claimed. He said he is now pursuing a court injunction. If he doesn't get the injunction, the arcade will close on February 28th, Cen said.

Calls to Irving R. Raber Company were not immediately returned.

Employees of the arcade are still unconvinced the space will close.

A note on Facebook from arcade employee Valentino Ventura says, "the truth is, that cf maybe relocating to williamsburg, brooklyn if disputes with the landlord are not settled," adding later that, "CF IS NOT CLOSING. sam, benny and myself genuinely love our customers (including the smelly ones) and this business."

A regular at Chinatown Fair, Arturo Sanchez, broke the news of the arcade's rumored closure via Twitter yesterday.

"I have been talking to Henry Cen for the past hour to try to get him to tell me he's lying, but he swears it's 100% true. :(," Sanchez tweeted. He acknowledged later that there were conflicting reports on that matter.

The arcade, known for its devoted following by gamers in the East Coast fighting game scene, opened in the 1950s. A mix of vintage and newer games sit in the dimly-lit hangout located on Mott Street.

The inside of Chinatown Fair Arcade. Photo taken on January 23, 2011.
The inside of Chinatown Fair Arcade. Photo taken on January 23, 2011.
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Flickr/M.V. Jantzen

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