One summer, Caine Monroy, a 9-year old Californian boy, crafted an elaborate cardboard arcade in the back garage of Smart Parts Aftermarket, his dad’s auto parts shop. When we say elaborate… this thing has a claw machine, tickets, prize booth, you name it.
He called it Caine’s Arcade.
The customers, however, were few and far between. Boyle Heights wasn’t bustling, and the auto shop was quiet. But what happened on October 2nd, 2011 changed the path of Caine’s life (and his cardboard arcade) forever.
Caine Monroy spent his entire summer vacation building an epic cardboard arcade. His dad’s auto parts shop supplied all of his cardboard box and construction needs, providing the perfect place for his carnival wonderland.
He started off with a cardboard basketball game. Once his finished building that, Caine experimented with more complicated and complex games: Soccer with Army Men Goalies, Rock, Paper, Scissors, even a Claw Machine made out of cardboard, string, and a metal hook.
Caine spent months preparing building his arcade. He perfected each game; He designed a prize display; He even fashioned out a custom-security check for returning and new clientele.
With his arcade finally finished, he was ready for customers.
But no one came.
Through it all, Caine never gave up. With his Dad firmly supporting his quest for fun (and profit), Caine woke up early every Saturday and attempted to get stragglers to come in and give his games a whirl. As the Manager, Marketing Director, Technician, and Mascot, Caine was working just as hard as anyone. And the kid never missed a shift!
One day, a customer made a stop at Smart Parts Aftermarket and decided to buy a Fun Pass to Caine’s Arcade. He was Caine’s first customer ever, and he was hooked after just one afternoon.
Nirvan Mullick, Caine’s first customer, made it his mission to turn Caine’s story into a short film. Rallying good samaritans from around the internet, a horde of Californians got together to “flash mob” the arcade. The goal was to make it a day Caine would never forget. The day when his DIY arcade became a success.
Now Caine’s story has reached hundreds of thousands. Within three days of posting his short film, $100,000 has been raised for Caine’s Scholarship Fund.
If you’re in the LA area you can check out Caine’s Arcade yourself. It’s open from 8am-5pm on Saturdays, and Sundays by appointment.
Do yourself a favor and buy the Fun Pass.
–Aubree Bowen, CBS Local Los Angeles–
[Source: Caine’s Arcade]