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Zipper, Coney Island.  Photo © brooklynnfoto via flickr

Zipper, Coney Island. Photo © brooklynnfoto via flickr

A tweet from zipperfilm, aka documentary filmmaker Amy Nicholson, made us feel happy and sad at the time: “On our way back from shooting in Honduras. The Zipper is alive and well and scaring the crap out of kids on a beach there. Viva la Zipper!”

It makes us smile to think Coney Island’s beloved Zipper ride, which was evicted by Thor Equities in September 2007, has found new life as an expat. It makes us sad that nearly three years after the Zipper was dismantled and trucked away, its spot on West 12th Street remains empty and devoid of fun. Call it Thorland instead of Coney Island because real estate speculator Joe Sitt has managed to erase amusements from the property and blight the block.

Before Thor: View of W 12th Street with Go Karts and Zipper. April 15, 2006. Photo © frankko via flickr

Before Thor: View of W 12th Street with Go Karts and Zipper. April 15, 2006. Photo © frankko via flickr

The Honduras footage will provide a satisfying coda to “The Last Day of the Zipper,” which Nicholson and cinematographer Jerry Risius have been working on for the past three years. We’ve been looking forward to their film ever since we met the duo on the last day of Coney Island’s 2007 season. A synopsis posted on twitter says “A small-time carnival operator is forced to sell his ride and vacate his lot when he becomes the victim of a power struggle over the future of Coney Island.”

On the Zipper film’s newly launched website, the intro shows Zipper operator Eddie Miranda uncannily disappearing and reappearing on the empty lot. “A story about politics, greed, land use and public policy, Last Day of the Zipper chronicles a critical period in Coney Island’s history and examines the impact of redevelopment on a place that has always provided affordable entertainment for the masses. In a market driven world, where revenue and profits often trump nostalgia, Eddie and his Zipper may only be the beginning of what is lost.”

We don’t expect THE Zipper to ever come back to Coney Island, but wouldn’t it be nice to see some kickass carnival rides including a replacement Zipper and Go-Karts on Thor’s empty lots this summer? Let the countdown till Summer of Hope 2 or Dreamland 3 begin!

Thorland, August 2, 2008. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Thorland, August 2, 2008. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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