Students at Adam Elementary School in Santa Maria crowded into the school cafeteria Wednesday to showcase their cardboard arcade games and other creations.

The fifth-grade project was inspired by the story of Caine Monroy, a 9-year-old boy who in 2011 spent his summer creating a cardboard arcade in the storefront of his father's East Los Angeles used auto parts shop.

When filmmaker Nirvan Mullick stopped by the store to buy a door handle for his 1996 Toyota Corolla, he came upon Caine's Arcade.

After playing the games and learning about the arcade, Mullick returned to the store and approached Caine's father, George, and asked to make a film about Caine's Arcade.

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The film went viral online, and since its release in 2012 has inspired more than 750,000 people to create cardboard arcades of their own.

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga

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