Joyce Chopra

Groundbreaking filmmaker grew up in Sea Gate and on Mermaid Avenue

Filmmaker Joyce Chopra grew up in Coney Island and Sea Gate in the 1930s and ‘40s. Her grandparents were the owners of Kalina's Baths on Surf Avenue at West 33rd Street. Chopra describes how she got the acting bug at Lincoln High School while performing in a play with Lou Gossett Jr. Her family went through hard times in Coney Island, recovered, and her father eventually became a New York State Supreme Court judge. She went on to direct groundbreaking documentaries and feature films including Joyce at 34 (1972) and Smooth Talk (1985, Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival).