Cesar Rafael

Coney Island game operator

Cesar Rafael
Interview Date:
March 1 2005


Cesar came to Coney Island from California and began working for various amusement operators in 1979, running their games and rides and managing their operations. Eventually he struck out on his own with games on Jones Walk and later operated games on the Bowery. In this interview, recorded in 2005, Cesar discusses running rides in the 1980's and 90's, dealing with gangs and troublemakers and the prospect of losing everything he has built over the past quarter century as Coney Island is reshaped by the forces of development. Cesar continued operating his games on the Bowery through the 2016 season. He passed away on March 13, 2017.