Astroland

Grew up in Coney Island in the 1940's
Ralph was born in Coney Island on July 19, 1934, twenty-two years to the day after his mother in the same house. He lovingly describes growing up in Coney Island in remarkable specifics, including stories of local individuals, their diversity, their...
Content type: Oral History Item
Roller coaster aficionado
Bobby talks about being a young "urban explorer" in the 70's when Coney Island was "dirty and scary and rough" but still alluring. He remembers many of the attractions that no longer exist in Coney Island such as the bobsled...
Content type: Oral History Item
Model Maker and Music Producer
Roy grew up in Coney Island and, among many other ventures, makes exquisitely detailed scale models of rides like the Himalaya, at which he also worked when he was a child. He tried to get a job at Astroland when he was too young but, eventually,...
Content type: Oral History Item
First in line for a ride on the Cyclone
Erik Knapp of the rock band Mystical Children arrives in the middle of the night to be the first person in line to ride the Cyclone on opening day. He shows off his fresh tattoo of the ride's top hill.
Content type: Oral History Item
13-year-old side show worker and activist
Thirteen-year-old Coney Island activist Patrick Burns works at the Side Show, Astroland, and El Dorado. He speaks of his love for Coney Island, "one of the great world wonders," and his plans for saving the place he loves.
Content type: Oral History Item
The King of Jones Walk
Wally Roberts has been operating amusements in Coney Island since the 1940’s. He rented space in the Feltman’s Building for storage and for a candy shop that sold salt water taffy, popcorn, and jelly apples. He remembers Feltman’s hotdogs, the first...
Content type: Oral History Item
Excerpt from "Weekend America" radio program, 23 June 2007, profiling Coney Island and its uncertain future.
Content type: Oral History Item
Maintained Astroland Park's Astrotower for 25 years
Frank has maintained the Astrotower at Astroland since 1982. In this 2007 interview he describes his job and tells the story of a raccoon in the Tower which became a news story. The park closed at the end of the 2008 season and the Astrotower was...
Content type: Oral History Item
Remembers Astroland Rocket
Louis has fond memories of riding Astroland's one-of-a-kind Rocket simulator, the very first ride to arrive at the space-age themed park in 1962. On January 28, 2009, Louis, who works at the Aquarium, was excited to see the 71-foot Rocket on a...
Content type: Oral History Item