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The Shore Theater, formerly the Loew's Coney Island, is up for City landmark designation. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The Shore Theater, formerly the Loews Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Five years ago, the 1925 Shore Theater, formerly the Loew’s Coney Island, was nominated for New York City landmark designation by Coney Island USA. On Tuesday, February 9, at 9:35 a.m., the long vacant building owned by Horace Bullard is expected to be put on the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s calendar for a public hearing. This is the first step in the landmark designation process.

If you wish to attend Tuesday’s public meeting, don’t be late because the calendaring is expected to take a mere five minutes! The Shore is on the schedule from 9:35-9:40 a.m. Sources say the LPC staff will present a PowerPoint on the building’s history and then there might be a brief discussion among the commissioners. They are likely to vote to calendar the building.

The public hearing is typically scheduled one to six months after the calendaring. According to the Commission’s FAQs about the designation process, the public will get to have their say at the public hearing and may submit written statements at that time.

Much has been written about the Shore Theater in recent months. Vanishing New York’s photo essay on the theater’s history and probable future and “The Shore Theater: A Sure Part of Coney Island’s Future?” by the Municipal Art Society‘s Melissa Baldock are required reading.

Baldock says the Shore represents the optimism for the future of Coney Island at the dawn of the “Nickel Empire” and is one of Coney Island’s most striking buildings: “Its theater sat nearly 2,400 people, and above the theater were several stories of office space intended for the entertainment industry, which the developers hoped would flourish in Coney Island.”

We hope the building can be renovated and restored so that art and entertainment will again flourish in this once grand movie and vaudeville venue. Although the calendering does not list the building’s interior, we’re told the LPC may consider the interior at a later date.

The Shore Theater is also the first of six Coney Island buildings nominated for landmark designation by Coney Island USA. The others are Nathan’s Famous, Coney Island USA Building (former Childs Building), the Grashorn Building (Coney Island’s oldest), the Henderson Building, and the building that housed the B & B Carousell. Coney Island’s four designated City landmarks are the Cyclone Roller Coaster, the Wonder Wheel, the Parachute Jump and the Childs Building on the Boardwalk.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission is located on the 9th Floor of the Municipal Building at the corner of Centre Street and Chambers Street, across from City Hall, in Manhattan. More information, including a link to a form to nominate a building for landmark status, is available on the LPC’s website.

UPDATE FEB. 9, 5:30 pm…The Municipal Art Society reports that this morning the LPC voted unanimously to calendar the exterior of the Shore Theater, including the rear portion of the building (shown in photo.) Says MAS, “The next step in the landmarking process will be a public hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. We encourage the public to voice their support for the designation of the entire Shore Theater building at this hearing or through sending letters and emails. The final designation steps will be the Commission’s vote, followed by a City Council vote.” Courier Life’s Joe Maniscalco reports that the public hearing date for the Shore theater designation has been set for March 23 and the calendaring of the Coney Island USA Building on February 16.

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