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NEW YORK CITY -- The venerable arcade known as Chinatown Fair is back. Occupying a storefront at 8 Mott St., in the heart of lower Manhattan's Chinatown, the arcade was a haven for countless generations of schoolchildren playing hooky, as well as pinball aficionados. For more than five decades, through the height of the fight-kick-punch videogame era in the 1980s, the popular arcade flourished.
Now the venue, which shut down last year amid a rent dispute, has reopened; a renovated sign out front proclaims its rebirth.
The New York Times has reported, however, that missing from the resuscitated arcade is the fondly remembered tic-tac-toe playing live chicken. According to the Times, the chicken unit -- housed in a skill-crane type cabinet and offering players the chance to win a bag of fortune cookies by vanquishing the canny fowl at a game of noughts and crosses – vanished from the scene more than a decade ago. It has been replaced by a variety of new state-of-the-art redemption games, such as the Wizard of Oz pusher.
"I remember that chicken machine," said Frank Parisi of ParSal Vending Supply LLC, manufacturer of the All American Chicken Machine. "My uncle Michael used to take me to that arcade when I was seven or eight years old. It was a good, fun machine, but the All American Chicken Machine is even better. For one thing, you don't have to feed the chicken, which cuts down on overhead."