Parachute Jump

Son of Steeplechase Park's general manager, James Onorato
Michael Onorato is the son of James Onorato, who was the general manager of Steeplechase Park from 1928 to 1964 when it closed.  Michael remembers the park in vivid detail and describes growing up there.  He gives a start-to-finish account of going...
Content type: Oral History Item
First visit since 1961
Dennis brought his wife Carol for her first visit to Coney Island in the summer of 2009 when they recorded this interview. He recalls his one previous visit to Coney Island during the summer of 1961 when he was a boy. A friend's family brought...
Content type: Oral History Item
Shared their 1950's childhood under the boardwalk
Stephanie Norr and Betty Cohn have been friends since age four when their mothers registered them on the same day for nursery school on the lower east side of Manhattan. The women recall coming to Coney Island as children in the 1950's. They...
Content type: Oral History Item
Depression-era resident and survivor of the 1932 fire
Goldie Durlester, daughter of a ladies' coat and suit pattern maker, was born in 1925. In the period prior to the start of the second World War, Durlester lived in a half-dozen or so locations around Coney Island and the West End. A survivor of...
Content type: Oral History Item
Former West End resident in the 1940's and 50's
In this interview Sylvia Perlmutter Kaye, a former resident of the West End, recalls her days in Coney Island sledding down Boardwalk ramps in winter, smoking with the Vargas Girls, scrounging for free tickets at Steeplechase and watching her uncle...
Content type: Oral History Item
Artistic Director of Thieves Theatre
Nick is the former artistic director of Thieves Theatre, a theater company that worked with Coney Island USA in the late 80's to mid-90's. One of Thieves Theatre's early projects after moving to New York was to stage an Anti-Mermaid...
Content type: Oral History Item
Got stuck on the Parachute Jump
David was born in Sea Gate in 1935 and, except for his time at Brooklyn College and in the army, has lived in Coney Island or Sea Gate all his life. One of his strongest memories is getting stuck on top of the Parachute Jump for 15 minutes and using...
Content type: Oral History Item
Rode the Cyclone at 4 years old
Marion is 75 years old and tells the story of first coming to Coney Island with her grandfather and riding the Cyclone when she was four years old. She subsequently took her children to Steeplechase regularly and then five years ago, she rode the...
Content type: Oral History Item
87-year-old remembers the Nickel Empire
Joseph Albanese returns to Coney Island after seventy years to talk about his memories of growing up there. He used to steam at the Washington Baths with his family, eat at Nathan's, and go on all the rides (including the train to get there)...
Content type: Oral History Item
Bringing the 1960's back to Coney Island
Ron recalls going with both friends and family to Coney Island back in the 1960's. His family always took the same spot on the beach in front of the Wonder Wheel. He remembers amusement rides from that time in great detail, but waited until his...
Content type: Oral History Item