Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘amusement park’

What is Joe Sitt planning for Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island 2010? Last month, ATZ said “Good Riddance to Thor Equities Flopped Flea Market, Hello Rides?” In the February print edition of the amusement trade publication Funworld, Thor Equities has a full page ad seeking amusement operators for two large open air lots at Bowery and Stillwell: “Are you ready to count cash this summer in Coney Island?”

After selling the Boardwalk half of the property to the City, Sitt appears to be playing a high stakes game with amusement operators to lease what’s left of his Stillwell lots to the highest bidder.

Thor Equities  in Funworld Magazine

Thor Equities ad in this month’s Funworld Magazine seeks amusement operators to lease the Stillwell property. The photo shows an overflow crowd at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July.

But sources say several carnival and amusement park operators have balked at Thor’s initial asking price, a cool $2 million for the two 50,000 square foot parcels. Some of the interested parties were contenders in the City’s RFP for a Coney Island Amusement Operator, which was won by Zamperla. The Coney hopefuls who put in bids for Thor’s parcels are said to be balking at the slew of onerous lease terms such as a 30-day-vacate clause.

Sideshow operator John Strong, who made a deal to lease the Thor-owned Grashorn Building for his freak museum, managed to get the 30 day clause removed. Perhaps Sitt will play let’s make a deal with one of the balking operators as we get closer to Coney Island’s opening day—March 28, 2010. At the moment, the Coney Island Rumor Mill says all bets are off for the City’s RFP winner Zamperla and runner-up Amusements of America to lease Thor’s Coney parcels.

Or maybe not…. Jane Baxter Vivona, an independent ride operator who is married to A of A’s Phil Vivona, is said to be eager to park her Space Roller in Coney Island for the season. Here’s a vid of what we’ll be missing if A of A has indeed dropped out of the picture…

Glenn Geren of Geren Rides, whose carnival has supplied the rides for Sitt’s Dreamland for two consecutive seasons is still in the running. Last summer, Geren purchased a Schwarzkopf Wildcat Coaster, Reverchon Himalaya, Watkins Swinger and Tempest in anticipation of a third season in Coney Island (“Coney Island 2010? Carnival Gambles on Roller Coaster,” Aug 8, 2009). Perhaps his gamble will pay off.

Geren Rides Trabant in Coney Island, Labor Day 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Geren Rides Trabant in Coney Island, Labor Day 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Funworld is a trade magazine published by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the largest amusement industry association in the world. Sitt’s ad appears to be trying to take a page from the CIDC’ s playbook. In November, the CIDC successfully pitched the City’s Coney Island Amusement Operator RFP to attendees at IAAPA’s trade show in Las Vegas.
.
But Thor Equities advertisement touts visitor stats for Coney Island’s season that are as over-inflated as Sitt’s rents and cites five million more visitors than the City’s estimate for an entire year. According to the ad copy, “Coney Island, Brooklyn’s famous entertainment destination, expects 10 million thrill seeking visitors this summer and your business can be right smack in the middle of them!” The Coney Island Development Corporation’s RFP Fact Sheet says, “Currently, approximately five million visitors come to Coney Island every year. With its signature events and its iconic attractions, Coney Island ranks among the must-see destinations for both the more than 8 million New York City residents and the estimated 46 million visitors who come to New York City each year.”

The City’s five million figure includes the New York Aquarium’s 750,000 year round visitorship. The majority of amusement rides and attractions are currently open from Palm Sunday through Columbus Day, with daily operations from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend.

The best estimate of what an individual amusement operator can expect in Coney Island this summer is provided courtesy of Alberto Zamperla, the CEO of Zamperla, in a recent article about their new Luna Park: “For the first season we have estimated the presence of 400 thousand visitors and we are confident it will grow in the future,” Zamperla told the the Italian newspaper Il Giornale di Vicenza.

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

January 31, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Freak Museum to Lease Coney’s Oldest Building

January 26, 2010: Scoop: Zamperla’s $24M Coney Island Park to be Named Luna Park!

November 23, 2009: The Contenders from A to Z: Coney Island Amusement Operator RFP

August 8, 2009: Coney Island 2010? Carnival Gambles on Roller Coaster

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

One of the new rides we expect to see in Zamperla-landia Coney Island in 2010 is the Vertical Swing. The tower ride is Zamperla’s version of the Star Flyer prominently featured in the CIDC’s renderings since November 2007. According to the company’s website, the Swing comes in both a 125-foot park model and a 102–foot portable model (top decoration included) that takes only half a day to set up.

We also found this spectacular 190 foot (58 meter) Vertical Swing (Kettenkarussell) in a vid of Wunderland Kalko amusement park in Germany. New for 2009, the ride is sited within the cooling tower for a proposed nuclear power plant which instead became an amusement park after widespread protests! The Vertical Swing is crowned with the park’s mascot Kernie. As you can see in a second video, the ride offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. Can’t you just imagine yourself swinging in the sky over Coney Island’s Beach and Boardwalk this summer!

Reithoffer Sky FlyerZamperla’s first portable Vertical Swing, pictured at left, was sold to Reithoffer Shows. It debuted at last year’s Florida State Fair where it was among the top ten grossing rides. The carnival calls it “The SkyFlyer.” The lighting scheme looks more colorful than our Parachute Jump! Other top carnivals that have purchased the new ride are Ray Cammack Shows (RCS) and North American Midway Entertainment (NAME). According to Zamperla’s website: “What makes the portable ride unique is the rotation made with the entire tower (instead of a rotating center only). It reaches a maximum speed of 12 r.p.m. The setup is easy and takes about half a day. Hydraulic extension: no cranes needed!!!”

The cost of the ride– $700,000 (park model) and $790,000 (portable model)– illustrates why Zamperla had an advantage over park and carnival operators going into the Coney Island Amusement Operator RFP. As the world’s largest manufacturer of rides, Zamperla doesn’t have to get financing to buy new rides or wait months for them to be built. If the ride is not already in stock, Zamperla can ramp up production in one of their factories around the globe. We expect the company to rotate the ride line up over the ten year lease, bringing in new pieces to keep Coney Island’s midway thrilling and profitable. As we wrote in “The Contenders from A to Z” (November 23, 2009), we also expect Zamperla to try out prototypes in Coney Island, an exciting prospect that calls to mind the heyday of Coney when the first models of any new rides would come here.

The Tower Swing Ride Was Prominently Featured in the CIDC's November 2007 Renderings of  the new Coney Island Amusement Park

The Tower Swing Is Prominently Featured in the CIDC's November 2007 Renderings of the new Coney Island Amusement Park

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

August 29, 2010: Video: Grand Prize Winner of Luna Park Coney Island’s Film Contest!

February 15, 2010: Steeplechase Express: Will Zamperla MotoCoaster Pony Up for Coney Island?

January 26, 2010: Scoop: Zamperla’s $24M Coney Island Park to be Named Luna Park!

January 14, 2010: Zamperla Ride-O-Rama: Rock the Disko Music Video

Read Full Post »

While we wait for the City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to announce the new Coney Island Amusement Operator, we’ve been going overboard watching Zamperla ride vids on YouTube. In “The Contenders from A to Z” (November 23, 2009), ATZ noted that the Italian ride manufacturer is considered the front runner by other CIAO bidders. Now the Coney Island Rumor Mill is sayin’ Zamperla is one of the finalists and will be the one to win the job. Next question: Does that mean Zamperla’s rockin’ and spinnin’ Disko ride will come to Coney Island?

ATZ’s Disko playlist includes Zamperla’s original promo vid for the Giant Disko, a surrealistic Disk’O TV commercial from Chile’s Fantasilandia, Crazy Surfer (aka the Disko) from Germany’s Movie Park and a Rock the Disko music vid from blastaman..

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

January 26, 2010: Scoop: Zamperla’s $24M Coney Island Park to be Named Luna Park!

January 24, 2010: Zamperla-Ride-O-Rama: Swing in the Sky over Coney Island

December 18, 2009: Ciao Coney Island! Will Ruby’s, Shoot the Freak, Astrotower & Other Oldies Survive?

November 23, 2009: The Contenders from A to Z: Coney Island Amusement Operator RFP

Read Full Post »

Texas-based sideshow operator John Strong has launched a new website replete with photos to announce he’s booking his 2010 season. Coney Island is clearly at the top of his wish list. A one-page proposal on the site outlines Strong’s pitch to return to Coney Island in 2010 with shows similar to his “Strangest Girls in the World” ten-in-one circus sideshow and his Oddity Museum.

July 2, 2009: John Strong Sideshow in Coney Island. ©2009 Norman Blake. All rights reserved by NB Photo Flash via flickr

July 2, 2009: John Strong Sideshow in Coney Island. ©2009 Norman Blake, All rights reserved by NB Photo Flash via flickr

The flamboyant showman’s traveling museum boasts dozens of live and preserved freaks of nature, including Double Trouble the Two Headed Rattlesnake, a Four Tailed Iguana and a Five-Legged Puppy. Nope, it’s not the adorable-looking, headline-grabbing 5-legged Chihuahua mix that was “saved” from being sold to Strong’s freak show last year. It’s a Yorkie and she’s looking forward to being in Coney Island and written up in the New York Times.

Strong’s two shows were booked into Thor Equities-owned Dreamland Park on the former Astroland site in 2009. Now he hopes to be able to book the same locations with the City’s soon-to-be designated amusement operator. At the end of 2009, the City paid $95.6 million to purchase 6.9 acres of Thor’s property in Coney Island and issued an RFP for an amusement operator for the parcels. “Contingent on the award of the NYC Contracts and negotiation with the Amusement Operator, the current John Strong Shows Proposal for Coney Island 2010 has three primary components,” according to the proposal on Strong’s website.

Night Shot of Banner Painted by Jorge Rivero and Takeshi Yamada for John Strongs Strange Girls Show. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Night Shot of Banner Painted by Jorge Rivero and Takeshi Yamada for John Strong's Strange Girls Show. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The third part of Strong’s pitch is “A Cirque-style/Las Vegas class, choreographed, Circus Sideshow production…. with fire eaters, family friendly dance revues and similar live amusements with a definite plot and thematic development.” Strong and his friend Butch Butler of Butler Amusements jointly own the equipment (seats, lights, etc.) for the 2000 seat, 1-ring circus. Last summer Butler brought four rides all the way from California to Coney Island’s Dreamland, including Michael Jackson’s Dragon Wagon from Neverland Ranch.

The proposed site for the Cirque is Thor Equities tented property on Stillwell Avenue where “For Lease” signs went up last week. “Joe Sitt, Digna Rodriguez and Sam Sabin of Thor Equities have been very supportive of this use of Thor’s tents and properties on Surf,” Strong says in his proposal.

ATZ has already committed to hoping for rides and more rides and even more rides on Stillwell to replace the demolished Bumper Boats and bulldozed Go Karts and the long vanished Tornado roller coaster and Bobsled ride. But we do look forward to seeing John Strong’s drop-dead gorgeous Strange Girls and Mermaid and Giantess sideshow banners once again.

UPDATE April 29, 2010:

John Strong’s deal to rent the Grashorn is off! We’re sorry that rumors of Joe Sitt’s plans to demolish historic buildings which we reported in last week’s post “Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings” (ATZ, April 21, 2010) have turned out to be true. This is one time we would have preferred for the rumors to have remained just rumors.

Today, in response to a flurry of queries from reporters about Sitt’s still unleased empty lots and vacant properties, Thor Equities pr flack Knickerbocker SKD issued a press release announcing Sitt’s intention to begin demolishing the buildings and to replace them with other structures by May 2011. According to the release, “These structures will be replaced with more attractive, retail-friendly and up-to-code shops for the type of retailers Coney is famous for.” See “Thor’s Coney Island: Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt Is Baaack Playing Games!” (ATZ. April 29, 2010)

Translation: More Bull-Sitt from Thor Equities. More deliberately created empty lots.

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

April 29, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Joey “Bulldozer” Sitt Is Baaack Playing Games!

April 21, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings

January 31, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Freak Museum to Lease Coney’s Oldest Building

August 24, 2009: Coney Island-O-Rama: John Strong Packs Up, Geren’s Rides “Sitt” It Out

Read Full Post »

Good riddance to the tube socks, cellphone accessories, shoe stores and automative supplies of Thor’s Flea in-fest-ation of last summer! Welcome back amusement rides on Coney Island’s Stillwell Avenue? We hope so….

New Sign on Stillwell. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

January 7, 2010: New Sign on Stillwell. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

On Thursday the Coney Island Rumor Mill was abuzz as new signage advertising the property “For Lease” was going up at Thor Equities flea market on Stillwell behind Nathan’s. Photographer and ATZ contributor Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 snapped a photo as dusk fell over the wind-ripped tenting that housed Joe Sitt’s flop of a flea last summer. “Maybe the second highest bidder for city land would be interested in this parcel,” Handy speculated. “Gets a lot of traffic from Nathans and the subway.”

Our guess is that several bidders, including the soon-to-be designated winner, have already made inquiries about leasing Thor’s Stillwell property. During the reply period for the City’s RFP for a Coney Island Amusement Operator to bring rides and attractions to land newly purchased from Joe Sitt, potential bidders asked the City about the adjacent vacant lots. The contact info for Thor Equities and Horace Bullard was posted on the City’s Q & A for all potential bidders to see.

NYCEDC map

Land for Lease by Thor Equities: The Stillwell parcels north of the city-owned Parcels B & C and south of the Bowery. Parcel A is the former Astroland, which is now owned by the City and was up for bid in the RFP. NYCEDC Map.

The timing of Thor’s signs couldn’t have been better. The short-listed respondents to the City’s RFP were reportedly in the City yesterday and today for meetings with the NYCEDC. If the bidders who didn’t make the short list have fire in their belly to come to Coney Island, now is the time for them to deal with Sitt or Bullard. Given Thor Equities’ history of sky-high rents and onerous lease terms, we think the parcels will go to the most highly motivated bidder.

We think the winner of the City’s 10-year lease on their newly acquired 6.9 acres will want to get control of all of Stillwell and keep other amusement operators from gaining a foothold in Coney Island. Joe Sitt sold approximately half of his Stillwell property to the City. But what good is half a sandwich? It’s not enough if you’re an amusement operator with ambitions of becoming the City’s single operator in Coney Island at the end of the 10-year lease.

At Thor Equities Flea by the Sea, Tons of Fun = Lots of Schlock. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Summer 2009: At Thor Equities Flea by the Sea, "Tons of Fun" = Lots of Schlock. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

A RECAP OF THOR’S UNAMUSING FLEA IN-FEST-ATION

After we reported “Memorial Day Weekend Mania: Thor Equities Coney Flea In-Fest-ation Is a Flop” (May 27, 2009), Thor brazenly went back to calling the so called fest “Flea by the Sea,” both on their website and ads. And why not? “Festival by the Sea” was indeed a flea market by the sea. Even though the permit was for a “temporary fair” because the original application for a flea market was disapproved by the DOB, the City did not enforce its own zoning against the illegal flea market in the amusement zone. “Tons of fun” it was not. A salsa band playing two sets on Saturday and Sunday was the sole entertainment at what was wrongfully billed as “A uniquely entertaining and amusing flea market in Coney Island.” We are not exaggerating. If you can stomach it, please view our complete flickr set of Thor Equities Flea Market.

We were not amused by auto supplies at Thor Equities Flea Market in Coney Island.  Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

May 31, 2009: We were not amused by auto supplies at Thor Equities Flea Market in Coney Island. In the background: Shuttered Balloon Racing Game in Thor-owned Henderson Bldg. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Yet we saw police towing away ice cream carts belonging to vendors who lacked licenses. The little guys get their businesses shut down while Thor gets this incubator project for his shopping mall. To people who say to us, the tents are pretty or it’s better than an empty lot, we say Thor Equities deliberately created the empty lots on Stillwell in 2007, when they evicted or bulldozed thriving amusements. Remember the batting cages, go karts, bumper boats, mini golf, and climbing wall? Let’s bring ’em back to Coney Island in 2010.

Shoes Galore at Anchor Store # 7 at Joe Sitt's Flea by the Sea.vPhoto © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

July 12, 2009: Shoes Galore at Anchor Store # 7 at Joe Sitt's Flea by the Sea. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Share

Related posts on ATZ...

March 3, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: What Stillwell Looked Like Before Joe Sitt

February 10, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Amusement Operators Balk, Money Talks at Stillwell

June 4, 2009: Coney Island Ride Count: Veteran Ride Ops 40, Joe Sitt 10!

May 27, 2009: Memorial Day Weekend Mania: Thor Equities Coney Flea In-Fest-ation Is a Flop

Read Full Post »

Brooklyn Borough Prez Marty Markowitz and Borough Historian Ron Schweiger on the Cyclone’s Opening Day of the Season. After Labor Day, the Cyclone is open weekends through Sept 20. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Brooklyn Borough Prez Marty Markowitz, Borough Historian Ron Schweiger and Erik Knapp’s Tattoo on the Cyclone’s Opening Day of the Season. After Labor Day, the Cyclone is open weekends through Sept 20. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

UPDATE: This is a post from September 2009! Please see report from September 13, 2013: “Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round” here.

After Labor Day, Coney Island’s beach “officially” closed for the summer, the Ringling Circus left for Europe and Thor Equities’ on-again, off-again “Dreamland Amusement Park” with its dozen rides became an empty lot again. Contrary to popular perception, the rest of Coney Island remains open. The amusement area still has over 40 operating rides including the City-owned Cyclone roller coaster, open weekends through September 20, McCullough’s Kiddie Park (12 rides), open weekends through September, and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park (22 rides) and Eldorado Bumper Cars open weekends through October. Weather permitting of course. Call ahead for hours.

Eldorado Auto Skooter. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Eldorado Auto Skooter. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

What’s more, Coney’s quirky performers and cultural entrepreneurs have dreamed up some unique events to lure you to our sandy shore. This weekend’s calendar includes the 1st annual Coney Island Performance Festival, the 2nd annual Beard and Moustache Competition, and a Pat Benatar Tribute at the Dreamland Roller Rink. Check the Coney Island Fun Guide for details of upcoming events such as the Coney Island Tattoo & Motorcycle Show (Sept 20), Shakespeare’s The Tempest on the Beach (Sept 26-27) and the Coney Island Film Festival (Oct 2-4). True to the spirit of the People’s Playground, the events are free or reasonably priced, so come out to “the Island” and have some post-beach season fun!

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPT 12-13
Meet me by the Jellyfish Tank in the Aquarium for Parachute: The Coney Island Performance Festival.
Poet and festival organizer Amanda Deutch has lined up a talented array of Brooklyn-based writers and performers for the first annual event. Africasso, Patricia Spears Jones, John Ventimiglia from The Sopranos reading Henry Miller, Eileen Myles (“the rock star of modern poetry”), former Brooklyn Poet Laureate Dennis Nurkse and Coney historian Charles Denson are among the scheduled readers. The free event begins at 6:30 pm. Prior to the performance, visitors can stop by the Coney Island History Project under the Cyclone from 2-6 pm to pick up a festival program, have a free cup of Stumptown coffee, view photos of Astroland circa 1964, and ring the century-old Dreamland Pier Bell.
Parachute: The Coney Island Performance Festival, New York Aquarium, 6:30 pm, FREE. Surf Ave @ West 8th Street, (718) 265-FISH.
Coney Island History Project, 2 – 6 pm, FREE. 824 Surf Ave under the Cyclone, (718) 266-0012

Halston & Donny Vomit. Photo © ci_moustache via flickr

Halston & Donny Vomit. Photo © ci_moustache via flickr

SATURDAY, SEPT 12
The hairiest event of the season at the Coney Island Circus Sideshow is undoubtedly the Coney Island Beard and Moustache Competition. Hosted by the sideshow’s moustachioed m.c. and performer extraordinaire Donny Vomit, the Variety and Awards show features Albert Cadabra the Great Deceiver and special guest performer Jennifer Miller the Bearded Lady. Prizes will be awarded for best natural and best styled beard or moustache, best in show, worst in show and best female fake beard or stache. The Coney Island Circus Sideshow remains open weekends through the end of September. Special events are scheduled in October.
The Second Annual Coney Island Beard and Moustache Competition, Sideshows By The Seashore Theater, 6 – 9 pm, $10. 12th Street @ Surf Ave, 718 372 5159

FRIDAY-SUNDAY, Sept 11-13
Shadows of the Night! Pat Benatar Roller Skating Tribute Party at Lola Staar’s Dreamland Roller Rink. $12 admission/$10 with “80s Rock n’ roll glam attire.” Skate rentals available for $5, Free skate rentals before 8:30 pm. The Dreamland Roller Rink in the terracotta palace known as the Childs Building on the Boardwalk will be open weekends through the end of September.
–Every Friday Night: Funk-Gospel-Soul Skate Party, 7 -11 pm, $10
–Weekly Family Skate on Saturdays, 2 – 6 pm, $10
–Every Sunday: Retro Disco Skate at Dreamland Roller Rink, 3- 7 pm, $10
Dreamland Roller Rink, 3053 W 21st St on the Boardwalk, 800-362-5116

Dreamland Roller Rink

Lola Staars Dreamland Roller Rink. Photo © Bruce Handy (Pablo57) via flickr

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s open year round…..Nathan’s, New York Aquarium, the Coney Island Museum (Sat-Sun), Williams Candy, Coney Island Beach Shop. Visitors may tour the area 365 days a year with the Coney Island History Project’s free audio/video tour of “The Amusement Area: Past and Present.” The tour is downloadable to iPods and other portable players and may be listened to live via iPhone. The free download and a map are available on the History Project’s website.

Cotton candy is a summer treat, but the NY Aquarium is open year round.  Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Cotton candy is a summer treat, but the NY Aquarium is open year round. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Share

Read Full Post »

When I was the littlest carny kid, my job was picking up darts and replacing busted balloons in Mom’s dart game. My parents paid me 25 cents a night and all the pennies. Pretty soon I was working with my Dad in his Spot Game. Is it any wonder that in Coney Island my camera and I gravitate to the carnival games? Here are some of my midway faves from this season…

Target the Coney Island Cat in Jimmys Balloon Dart on the Bowery. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target the Coney Island Cat in Jimmy's Balloon Dart on the Bowery. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target the Cat’s human is Manny Cohen, owner of the Coney Island Arcade. The (now) world famous Coney Island cat’s territory is the Bowery between 12th Street and Jones Walk, especially Jimmy’s Balloon Dart. Last month I wrote about Target and his shy sister Targeretty here.

Boy wins his first prize of the season at Water Race Game on Jones Walk, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Boy wins his first prize of the season at Water Race Game on Jones Walk, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Coney Islands Jimmy Prince plays Skin the Wire on Jones Walk. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Coney Island's Jimmy Prince plays Skin the Wire on Jones Walk. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

After his first day as “Distinguished Historian” at the Coney Island History Project, Jimmy Prince tried his luck at Benny’s Skin the Wire game on Jones Walk. As one of Benny’s agents likes to say, “A very challenging game, like Operation.” Or as Benny likes to say “You’se can do it!” or “Win a Calipoli!” Only one person has ever asked “What’s a Calipoli?” Benny replied, “I have no idea.” You can win a big piece of plush, a Betty Boop doll, a digital camera, or anything else on display. Except Chuckles. The animatronic clown is NOT a prize. But go right ahead and take his photo.

Krazy Kans, Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Krazy Kans, Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Recession Buster: 100 Shots for $2.00 on Coney Island's Opening Day. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Recession Buster: 100 Shots for $2.00 on Coney Island's Opening Day. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Half of the photos in this album were taken on Palm Sunday, opening day of the 2009 season. Only 22 more days left to go!

The next shot was taken on the Fourth of July. My fave photos of Shoot the Freak never show the freak. I remember seeing Shoot the Freak before it ever arrived in Coney Island. The game was originally at the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy. It wasn’t until the game was brought to Coney Island that it became world famous.

Shoot the Freak on Fourth of July, Coney Island Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Shoot the Freak on Fourth of July, Coney Island Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Spin-N-Win at Eldorado Arcade, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Spin-N-Win at Eldorado Arcade, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Trade Up in Dreamland. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Trade Up in Dreamland. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

November 5, 2009: Museum Piece or Obsolete? Old Carnival Games, Stick Joints on eBay

November 3, 2009: Coney Island’s Shoot Out the Star Still Open… Players Wanted!

September 24, 2009: Photo Album: Coney Islanders and Carnies at San Gennaro

June 22, 2009: A Judge’s Photo Album of the 2009 Coney Island Mermaid Parade

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: