Pre-Show Featuring History, Trivia & Prizes from Coney Island History Project

Join us on Monday evening, August 8th, for a free screening of Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" at the Coney Island Flicks on the Beach Series. The Coney Island History Project is co-sponsoring this week's pre-show, which begins at 7pm with a Coney Island and "Annie Hall" trivia contest for which we've provided some quirky questions. There will also be a Woody Allen impressionist contest organized by Rooftop Films. If you're interested in participating, you can e-mail woody@rooftopfilms.com. Prizes include Coney Island History Project T-shirts, autographed copies of History Project Director Charles Denson's "Wild Ride: A Coney Island Roller Coaster Family," and tickets for our popular Sunday Walking Tour of Coney Island. Stop by CIHP's tent on the Boardwalk to say hello, pick up a free copy of our History Puzzler, and learn about our exhibit center and oral history archive.

"Annie Hall," which screens around 8:40pm, chronicles the romantic relationship of neurotic New York comedy writer Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) with the charmingly flaky Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) in 1970s Manhattan. Some of the scenes from Alvy Singer's childhood were filmed in Coney Island. You'll have to brush up on history to correctly answer our trivia questions! Stan Fox, who works with the Coney Island History Project, will share his memories of the 1976 filming of "Annie Hall" at Monday's pre-show and at CIHP's booth. Fox operated the Playland penny arcades in Coney Island from the 1940s through the 1980s. One of his never-before-told anecdotes is about how the Parachute Jump almost played a starring role in "Annie Hall."

Also on Monday night's program is Charles Denson's photographic tribute to the late Andy Badalamenti, who operated Coney Island's Himalaya, Bobsled and Tornado. Around 8:30 pm, Rooftop Films will present the short film "Bottle," a film animated on location at a beach, in snow, and underwater about a transoceanic love affair and messages in a bottle. Films are shown at dusk on a jumbo 40-foot screen on the beach at West 10th Street every Monday night through August 29. The free summer series is presented by Epix, Verizon FiOS, NYC & Company, Rooftop Films and the Coney Island Development Corporation. For info about upcoming films, visit the Coney Island Fun Guide.

posted Aug 5th, 2011 in News and tagged with

The Coney Island History Project announces a series of themed history weekends to pique your interest and jog your memory.Throughout the summer visitors are invited to record their memories for our Oral History Archive. Stop by for an interview with historian Charles Denson, Amanda Deutch or Natalie Milbrodt.

SCHEDULE

Selected interviews will be made available on our website as part of our Coney Island Voices exhibit, a record of visitors and their stories during the 2011 season. Interviews are available at the History Project's FREE public exhibition center on W 12th St under the Wonder Wheel.The center is open on Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 12-6pm, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, as well as by appointment. You may schedule an in-person or telephone interview in advance by emailing info@coneyislandhistory.org.

July 23 & 24, Childhood Days... Carousel and kiddie ride memories, being tall enough to ride the Cyclone or Parachute Jump for the first time, your very first memory of Coney Island.

July 30 & 31, Under the Boardwalk and On the Beach... Favorite memories, Outings with family & friends, first trip to Coney Island--even if it's today--because memories are in the making.

Aug 6 & 7, Neighborhood Coney Island... Did you grow up here? Have a summer job in the amusement district or work year round in the neighborhood?

Aug 13 & 14, The Taste of Coney Island... Are you a fan of Nathan's hot dogs, Mrs. Stahl's Knishes, Philip's salt water taffy? How about Ruby's Bar & Grille, Totonno's Pizza or Williams Candy?

Aug 20 & 21, Thrills & Chills!... Coney Island's rides, funhouses, games and arcades are world famous, but which ones are your personal favorites?

Aug 27 & 28, Romantic Coney Island! Did you meet your true love in Coney Island, go on your first date or fall in love here?

posted Aug 1st, 2011 in News and tagged with
posted Jul 31st, 2011 in News and tagged with
andy_2610

Andy called me last Sunday, the day before he died, to tell me about the Himalaya ride in New Jersey that he wanted to buy. He was in serious pain that even morphine couldn’t alleviate, but all he could talk about was the ride, how he wanted to buy it and bring it back to Coney Island. The ride had sold to another operator, and I told him that there’d be others. He wouldn’t stop. “I almost hocked my house to buy it,” he told me, “it’s electric drive, one of a kind, all the others are hydraulic.” He felt that his Himalaya ride, with himself as DJ, playing all the old Motown tunes, was the thing that Coney needed most. He was a true believer.

Coney Island was Andy’s life and obsession. In the 1970s Andy was a fixture in Coney Island, operating the Tornado Roller Coaster, the Bobsled, and his great love, the Himalaya. He was an expert ride mechanic whose love of animals led to his job at the police stables in Brighton Beach. In recent times he had a thankless side job, working for Horace Bullard as the guardian of Coney’s decaying relics, the Thunderbolt, the Shore Theater, and Playland Arcade. He always dreamed of restoring them to their former glory and never fully recovered after the illegal demolition of the Thunderbolt.

I will miss his smile and laughter and his intensity and optimism. We shared many Coney Island moments together. He was a good friend for many years and a main character in my books, "Coney Island: Lost and Found " and "Wild Ride: A Coney Island Roller Coaster Family." He left us too soon, but his legacy will live on.

—Charles Denson

andy.playland.7579

andy and cd.4858

 

posted Jul 26th, 2011 in News and tagged with

Stop by the Coney Island History Project's FREE exhibit center at 3059 W 12th St at the entrance to Deno's Wonder Park. View historic artifacts, photographs, maps, ephemera, folk art and films of Coney Island's colorful past. Open from 12 noon - 6 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.

Delve into the fascinating history of the People's Playground by joining the Coney Island History Project's Sunday Walking Tours! Our unique tours are based on stories from our oral history archive and CIHP director Charles Denson's award-winning book "Coney Island: Lost and Found." Advance purchase of tickets through our event reservation website is recommended since tours are limited to 10-12 people. If a tour has not sold out, the remaining tickets will be available for cash purchase on the day of the tour when the History Project opens at 12 noon.

posted Jul 18th, 2011 in News and tagged with

The Coney Island History Project Presents Free Movie Screenings in the Community. The program will be shown at two venues:

Wednesday, June 29th, 7pm at South Brooklyn Youth Consortium,
2811 Mermaid Avenue (at w 28 St), Coney Island. Phone 718-449-1356
D, F, N or Q to Stillwell Avenue

Thursday, June 30th, 2pm at the Coney Island Library,
1901 Mermaid Avenue at (W 18 St.), Coney Island Phone 718-265-3220
D, F, N or Q to Stillwell Avenue

"The Prince of Mermaid Avenue"
A documentary feature by Charles Denson (2009, 60 minutes)
Starring Jimmy Prince and a cast of Coney Island Community Members

The film tells the story of Jimmy Prince, owner of Major Meats on Mermaid Avenue, who retired after 60 years as an anchor of the community. He transformed his meat market into the soul of an earlier era, a cordial oasis of tradition and hope, a throwback to what Coney Island was and what many dreamed it could be again one day.

"The Prince of Mermaid Avenue" documents Prince's decision to retire and the painful process of leaving the Coney Island community that he loved and supported for so many years.

The film project began with historian Charles Denson's daily visits to Major Market and his audio recordings for the Coney Island History Project's Oral History Archive. The film premiered and was awarded Best Documentary Feature at the 9th Annual Coney Island Film Festival in 2009.

We will also be screening some vintage film clips of the original Luna Park, Steeplechase Park, and Astroland, which we show at the Coney Island History Project's free public exhibition center at 3059 W. 12 Street at the entrance to Deno's Wonder Wheel Park.

For additional info contact the Coney Island History Project. Email: events@coneyislandhistory.org Phone: (347) 702-8553

Funded in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

posted Jun 20th, 2011 in News and tagged with

 

Coney Island and Astroland tells the story of Coney Island's evolution by exploring its changing architectural streetscape through never before seen images from the Astroland Archive, the Coney Island History Project Archive, and his personal collection. The book is part of Arcadia's Images of America series and was released on June 13.

 

Signed copies of Coney Island and Astroland (128 pages, $21.99) will be available for purchase at the Coney Island History Project exhibition center and via our website. On Saturday, June 25, Charles Denson will be at the Coney Island History Project for a book signing event. The event is scheduled for 2 - 5 pm at our exhibition center at 3059 West 12th Street, just off the Boardwalk.

posted Jun 16th, 2011 in News and tagged with

Steeplechase Horse

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EXHIBITION CENTER...Opening Memorial Day Weekend for the 2011 season! The Coney Island History Project's  exhibition center at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park.  Located on West 12th Street, just off the Boardwalk, our public exhibition center is open from 12 noon - 6 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays  from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Admission is Free!

View historic artifacts, photographs, maps, ephemera, folk art  and films of Coney Island's colorful past. This year's opening exhibition will commemorate the Dreamland Fire Centennial with historic images of Dreamland before and after the fire juxtaposed with the site as it is today. Our popular Steeplechase horse from the legendary ride that gave Steeplechase Park its name will be on display again, along with a rare Mangels "Fairy Whip" car.

The exhibition center is open year-round by appointment for schools and groups. Send inquiries to info@coneyislandhistory.org

SUNDAY WALKING TOURS...The Coney Island History Project is pleased to announce walking tours of the historic landmarks and current attractions of the amusement district. Our tours are based on CIHP Director Charles Denson's award-winning book Coney Island: Lost and Found, the oral history interviews in our archive and other primary sources. Tours will be offered on Sundays at 12:15 pm from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend as well as to groups by advance reservation. Tickets are $20. Advance purchase of tickets through our event reservation website is recommended since tours are limited to 10-12 people. If a tour has not sold out, the remaining tickets will be available for cash purchase on the day of the tour when the History Project opens at 12 noon.

posted May 27th, 2011 in Events and tagged with
Rabbi Abraham Abraham

Yesterday we were saddened to learn of the death of Rabbi Abraham Abraham, who died on May 18. He was the leader of the Ice Breakers Winter Ocean Swimmers of Brighton Beach, a group that broke away from the Polar Bear Club in the 1990s. "The Rabbi" was a Coney Island original and will be missed.

A graveside funeral will be held today, May 19, at 2 pm at Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, Queens

posted May 19th, 2011 in News and tagged with Rabbi Abraham Abraham, In Memoriam, obituary,...

Dreamland
The Coney Island History Project is pleased to announce a series of walking tours of the historic landmarks and current attractions of the amusement district. Beginning on Memorial Day Weekend, tours will be offered on Sundays at 12:15 pm as well as to groups by advance reservation. All tours will begin at the History Project's new exhibition center under the Wonder Wheel's iconic entrance sign on Denos D. Vourderis Place (West 12th Street), just a few steps off the Boardwalk.

We're launching the season with a special walking tour in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Dreamland Fire on Friday, May 27, at 12:15 pm. This tour will be offered again on Sunday, May 29, at 12:15 pm. Led by Charles Denson, historian and director of the Coney Island History Project, the tours will also preview the History Project's exhibition on the Dreamland Fire Centennial, set to open on Saturday, May 28, at 12 noon.

NYU Grad School Group Toured Coney Island & History Project Exhibition
NYU Grad School Group Toured Coney Island & History Project Exhibition
Advance purchase of tickets through our event reservation website is recommended since tours are limited to 10-12 people and are expected to fill up early. If a tour has not sold out, the remaining tickets will be available for cash purchase on the day of the tour when the History Project opens at 12 noon. The 1-1/2 hour Sunday walking tours begin at the History Project and include a talk on the Dreamland exhibit. Tickets are $20.

Throughout the season, walking tours will be led by Charles Denson or Coney Island History Project staff. Our tour guides are professionals who live, work or play in Coney Island and have a long association with the History Project. Our tours are based on Charles Denson's award-winning book Coney Island: Lost and Found, the oral history interviews in our archive and other primary sources. For the walking tour schedule and additional information, please visit the online reservation website.

If you have a question not addressed in the FAQs on the tour reservation site or to arrange a group tour, please e-mail events@coneyislandhistory.org.

posted May 16th, 2011 in News and tagged with