Memories of flashing lights, digitized explosions, rock music and quarters being ritually plunked into plastic coin slots have a happy place in the minds of many folks of a certain generation. Two Clevelanders want to bring those sights and sounds back to the city this summer in the form of a pop-up arcade.
is a Kickstarter project helmed by John Stanchina and Mike Scur. While arcade gaming collapsed in the 1990s with the ascension of home consoles, the duo believe putting an old-school retro arcade in a West Side neighborhood will attract people seeking to mash some buttons with a few nimble-fingered friends.
Put simply, the pair wants to create a fun, unique place to hang out away from the "barcades" that have a few arcade cabinets alongside the plentiful booze.
"The vibe is being a kid again," says Stanchina, an Ohio City resident. "It's about interacting in a different kind of space."
The $35,000 Kickstarter campaign, which ends at midnight on May 13, will fund the arcade's installation and 30-day operation in Ohio City, Tremont or Gordon Square. A large part of the cost will go toward purchase and maintenance of the arcade machines themselves.
The plan is to run the arcade for a month, but if it receives additional funding, a permanent installation is possible, says Scur of Parma Heights.
The two friends envision a community space that becomes part of the downtown Cleveland nightlife scene, just with neon lights, popcorn and rows of game cabinets instead of a bar.
"Arcades are all about the social element," says Scur. "They've always been a place to play games with people on the same wavelength."
SOURCES: John Stanchina, Mike Scur
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth