As we say in the amusement biz, it’s the front of the show that gets the dough! The front of Coney Island’s Eldorado, the popular disco palace of bumper cars, is famed for its lights and signage. On flickr you’ll find dozens of pix of the dazzling theater-style “Eldorado Auto Skooter” marquee and the sassy “BUMP YOUR ASS OFF!” signs by Dreamland Artist Club founder Steve Powers.
When you visit Coney Island, you can’t miss the Eldorado. It’s on Surf Avenue right across from Stillwell Terminal. On the inside you’ll find Scott Fitlin, who grew up working in his family’s business and is the Eldorado’s DJ extraordinaire. The Fitlin family also owns and operates the Eldorado Arcade on Coney Island’s Bowery.
The Eldorado was the first of Coney Island’s rides to open for business during last weekend’s balmy weather. Let’s just get it out of the way and say these bumper cars are our fave ride! We love to drive but seldom have the chance since we live in New York City and no longer own a car. It’s seriously fun not having to worry about getting a ticket for bumping into another car because that’s the whole idea!
We asked our friend Scott to tell us about the history of the Eldorado…
Eldorado was hand built by my grandfather Joseph Buxbaum, my Dad Sandy Fitlin, and my Uncle Peter Buxbaum, and a carpenter named Rafael. Opening date was March 21st 1973, admission was 50 cents and 25 cent re-rides.
Today it is $6.00 admission, $2.00 re-rides, and $3.00 re-rides on weekends.
The lighting is disco style from the Studio 54 era, and we are upgrading this year to newer LED technology effects.
Our sound is custom built, by us, and we have had professionals in from time to time, back in the old days it was Richard Long, famous for the sound at Studio 54 and The Paradise Garage. Our sound is extremely powerful yet very easy to listen to, it doesn’t hurt the ear. CRYSTAL CLEAR, lightning fast, and stunning transient response, the crack of the snare drum is scary. Our bass is tremendous, and I play dance music, the sound that has energy and life, and POSITIVITY!
Our Bumper cars are Italian made Soli cars. They look good, run fast, and bump good.
WE built the ELDORADO starting in 1971 when my family purchased the building and moved from next door. My grandfather originally had The Shamrock Irish House on Henderson Walk and Bowery, and they went out front with games in the late 50s early 60s.
The Eldorado Arcade opened for the spring of `71, the bumper cars were constructed during the winter of `72, and grand opened March 21, 1973. The FIRST record played was Cisco Kid-War!
Eldorado Bumper Cars & Arcade, 1216 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Related posts on ATZ…
October 17, 2010: Photo Album: Oct 15 Tribute in Sound & Light to Scott Fitlin
October 13, 2010: Rest in Peace: Scott Fitlin, Coney Island’s Eldorado Man
February 25, 2010: Happy Belated Birthday to Coney Island’s William F Mangels