Caine Monroy is a 9-year old boy who spent his summer vacation building an elaborate DIY cardboard arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store.
Caine dreamed of the day he would have lots of customers visit his arcade, and he spent months preparing everything, perfecting the game design, making displays for the prizes, designing elaborate security systems, and hand labeling paper-lunch-gift-bags. However, his dad’s autoparts store (located in an industrial part of East LA) gets almost zero foot traffic, so Caine’s chances of getting a customer were very small, and the few walk in customers that came through were always in too much of a hurry to get their auto part to play Caine’s Arcade. But Caine never gave up.
One day, filmmaker and director, Nirvan Mullick, walked into Smart Parts Auto looking for a used door handle for his ’96 Corolla. What he found was an elaborate handmade cardboard arcade manned by a young boy who asked if he would like to play. Nirvan asked Caine how it worked and Caine told him that for $1 he could get two turns, or for $2 he could get a Fun Pass with 500 turns. Nirvan got the Fun Pass.
Since the release of the video on April 9th, 2012, and with the support of Reddit, people have donated over $145,000 to Caine’s Scholarship Fund.
Nirvan’s short film tells Caine’s story extremely well. There’s really nothing else more I can say except to just enjoy the story. It gave me hope for the future of humanity.
If you want to learn how you can donate or stay tuned for upcoming shirts that will also go towards Caine’s Scholarship Fund, visit cainesarcade.com.
UPDATE 4:12PM Pacific:
We’re pretty sure Caine will have a busy weekend. I’m gonna try and head over there in the morning.