If you build it, they will come, goes the often misquoted line from the Kevin Costner film Field Of Dreams. 9-year-old Caine Monroy built an elaborate arcade out of discarded cardboard and old toys — and they came to play, by the hundreds.
Caine spent his Summer vacation hanging around his dad’s autoparts shop, Smart Parts, in East LA. The precocious boy was restless, so his dad gave him a space of his own in the shop. There, Caine let his imagination run wild. He built a penny arcade out of discarded cardboard. Due to inflation, Caine charged $1 to play two turns. A $2 fun pass allows 500 turns.
Smart Parts, located in an industrial part of East LA, gets almost no foot traffic. So business was slow for Caine at first. Actually, business was non-existent. Until one day, Caine’s dad spotted someone on his shop’s surveillance camera playing one of Caine’s arcade games.
That “someone” was amateur filmmaker Nirvan Mullick. Mullick persuaded Caine’s dad to allow him to make a short film about Caine’s Arcade. The short film went viral, with over 500K views on YouTube.
Mullick also set up a Paypal account to solicit donations for Caine’s college fund. The donations began pouring in.
“First day the video was up, it raised $60,000,” Mullick told E! Online’s Jason Kennedy. “So then we raised the goal to $100,000, and now I think it’s over $120,000.”
To date, the Caine’s college fund has soared to over $134,000.
Watch the heartwarming short film below. I would advise you to have a couple of Kleenex’s on hand.