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Shoot The Freak.  Dec. 22, 2010.  Photo ©  Rubys Host via flickr

Shoot The Freak. Dec. 22, 2010. Photo © Rubys Host via flickr

If you were hoping to take one last souvenir photo in front of Shoot the Freak on New Year’s Day, fuhgeddaboutit. This afternoon, construction workers boarded up the front of the vacant lot where the famed Coney Island paintball game has been played since 2002. Central Amusement International/Zamperla has a DOB permit for “the installation of temporary fencing and site preparation.” Workers told the photographer: “It’s the new entrance to one of the roller coasters coming into Scream Zone for 2011.”

“The back wall/fences are now gone and the stuff inside removed, but that’s it,” said Rubyshost in an email. “They were bringing in new material for fencing, poles etc – part of the wall was open so I could see the entire back.”

Shoot the Freak is one of the eight Boardwalk businesses being evicted by CAI, which has leased the property from the City. The Coney Island 8’s court date was postponed till January 10, 2011

When news of the Boardwalk evictions broke in November, New York Magazine chimed in with “Let Us Now Mourn the Loss of Coney Island’s ‘Shoot the Freak’” to remind us that city planning commissioner Amanda Burden once assured New York that she “loved” and “would vote for” Shoot the Freak. That was back in 2007. No love now! Here’s the vid of the Mayor, Burden and Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff answering a reporter’s question about the future of Shoot the Freak and other Coney Island attractions. The videographer is the late Bob Guskind of Gowanus Lounge. Bob would have appreciated the irony of this video showing up three years later in a post about the demise of Shoot the Freak.

UPDATE… December 23, 2010…11:00 pm

This afternoon, “The Coney Island 8” issued a press statement on the shuttering of Shoot the Freak. It says in part: “We are angered and saddened that, just a few days before Christmas, one of our businesses, ‘Shoot the Freak,’ has had its entrances illegally boarded up and all of its property removed. This was done without the knowledge of the owner Anthony Berlingieri.” The businesses, which are fighting their eviction in court, also launched a new website to tell their story and ask New Yorkers to call the Mayor’s office in support of the Coney Island 8. The url is www.coneyisland8.com.

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 5, 2010: Bitter Week Ahead: Coney Island 8 Summoned to Court, Shore & Henderson Demo

November 21, 2010: Goodbye (Or Maybe Not?) to My Coney Island Equivalent of Proust’s Madeleine

November 1, 2010: Out With the Old in Coney Island: Only 2 of 11 Boardwalk Businesses Invited Back

January 2, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk, New Year’s Day 2010

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