Caine had big dreams that his arcade would be an attraction in the industrial neighborhood, so he devoted his entire summer vacation to building and assembling the games and displays, collecting the toys. He waited for customers to come, and waited, even refusing to close up shop early in case a customer arrived.
The cardboard arcade would have been only the stuff of photo albums until filmmaker Nirvan Mullick stopped by the East Los Angeles shop for a car part and became Caine's first customer. A very loyal one at that.
Mullick was impressed with Caine's arcade and his spirit, and took him up on the offer for a $2 "Fun Pass," which scored him 500 turns. With Caine's father's permission, Mullick decided to make Caine's story into a short film. Determined to make this boy's dream of a booming arcade business a reality, Mullick spread the word about Caine's arcade on Facebook and organized a flash mob of customers to visit as a surprise.
Mullick captured Caine's joy on camera in a mini-documentary, which has gone viral online this week, racking up over 1 million views since Monday.
"This film is a collaboration between all of my friends who chipped in, as well as all of the folks online who got behind the idea of helping to make Caine's day," Mullick says on his website. "After the flashmob, at the end of the day as Caine and his dad drove home, Caine turned to his dad and said, 'Dad, this was the best day of my whole life.'"
Caine's Arcade is open for business. The Facebook page has over 25,000 Likes. Mullick has also set up a scholarship fund to send the young entrepreneur to college. Over $73,000 have been raised so far.
"He doesn't really understand how big this is," Caine's dad, George Monroy, told ABC News. "He sees himself on the screen and he laughs. He doesn't understand how everyone is just pouring their hearts out to him."