Huffpost Good News

Caine Monroy, Star Of 'Caine's Arcade,' Given Pinball Machine

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CAIN MONROY
YouTube: nirvan

Caine Monroy, the nine-year-old star of "Caine's Arcade," is about to get a new addition to his cardboard arcade: a real pinball machine.

TMZ reported on Thursday that the youngster had been given a vintage pinball machine by the owner of Pins and Needles, a pinball club in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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Molly Atkinson, the club's owner, told The Huffington Post that she decided to give Caine a pinball machine after watching the video on Tuesday morning, which, coincidentally, was final day Pins and Needles was going to be open.

She and her boyfriend, pinball world champion Keith Elwin, were forced to shut down the club for financial and permitting reasons.

"I was bowled over," Atkinson said, describing her reaction to the video. "I was so sad to be losing everything that I had with my arcade, and just to see his enthusiasm and pluck made me feel so great. I couldn't believe it."

"I can't afford it, but I've got to get this kid a game," she recalled thinking.

"Caine's Arcade," which has been viewed nearly 3.5 million times since Monday, tells the story of Caine Monroy, who last summer built an arcade made of cardboard boxes in his father's East Los Angeles used auto parts shop.

Nirvan Mullick, the film maker who directed the 11-minute film, was one of Caine's first and only customers -- until he organized a flash mob that's documented in the film.

So on Tuesday, Atkinson invited young Caine to come to Pins and Needles to play pinball and hang out with some of the members of the Los Angeles pinball league.

When Caine arrived that night, he needed no introduction -- everyone already knew of him after having seen the video.

"It was like a celebrity sighting," Mullick, the film maker, told HuffPost. "It was a bunch of older arcade-loving guys looking down at this kid in awe, and they were kind of nervous talking to him. It was pretty sweet."

Even though Caine had never played pinball before, he was a natural, Atkinson said. And while he sampled a few of the machines at the club, Atkinson said he was drawn to Big Brave, an electro-mechanical machine from the mid 1970s that she had purchased for $100.

So as he was leaving, Atkinson told Nirvan and Caine's Father, George, that she'd like to give Big Brave to Caine.

"It's pretty cool to have my own pinball machine," Caine told The Huffington Post on Thursday.

But a pinball machine isn't the only the gift Caine has received. Viewers of the film have been contributing to a college fund for Caine, and so far it's reached a whopping $140,000, according to CainesArcade.com.

Update: Caine's college fund is now at $150,000. Caine will be presented with a cardboard check for the amount.

Click over to TMZ to see more pictures of the pinball machine he'll be receiving. And if you haven't yet seen "Caine's Arcade," check out the video below.

PHOTO: Caine plays Big Brave while Molly Atkinson, owner and operator of Pins and Needles, looks on: