Landmark status sought for Shore Theater at Coney Island

posted by CSWalczak on August 11, 2009 at 7:45 am

BROOKLYN, NY — Both the interior and exterior of the Shore Theater (formerly Loew’s Coney Island, built in 1925) have been nominated for landmark status. Preservationists hope that the attainment of this status will eventually lead to the theater’s restoration.

Preservationists nominated the fa├žade and interior of the 1920s vaudeville playhouse on Surf Avenue for protective status in 2005, but Mayor Bloomberg’s vast redevelopment plan for Coney Island, which the City Council approved last week, jumpstarted the lingering review by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

“The architectural quality is every bit as wonderful as Broadway theaters that have received landmarking,” said Dick Zigun of Coney Island USA, the group that made the request. “The city let us know they’re sympathetic to our request.”

Read more in the Brooklyn Paper.

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Comments (4)

GaryParks on August 11, 2009 at 7:44 pm

I saw the exterior of this shuttered theatre in 2002, during the Theatre Historical Society Conclave in New York that year. It was not part of the tour, but on a free night a small group of us took the train out to Coney Island, rode the Cyclone, Wonder Wheel, and one of the carousels, ate at Nathan’s Famous…and looked longingly at the Shore, a theatre which none of us had ever heard about. Here’s hoping it is landmarked and restored. So little remains of the old Coney Island. I hope the vertical sign is kept. It is an old LOEW’S vertical, simply relettered to spell SHORE.

markp on August 12, 2009 at 5:58 am

Last saw this theatre about 10 years ago. I often said what a gem it would be be again if it were to reopen as a multi-purpose venue.

GrandValleyHoldingsLP on August 12, 2009 at 9:15 am

I looked at the Shore’s page on this site and all of the current interior pictures are gone. I’d guess that the theater is rough inside with all of the comments in the discussion section.

The owner of the place, Horrace Bullard, of fried chicken fame bought alot of property in CI in the 70s. One of which was the famed Thunderbolt rollercoaster. There were several attempts to save that ride and relocate it but there was no interest on Bullard’s part.

Ultimately, the ride was taken by eminent domain and he got paid, what I believe, a nice sum for the beachfront property for a new baseball stadium.

Unfortunately for theater preservationist, Bullard is an investor who is well aware of the value of the real estate – especially now that CI may be entering a new era of development (loss of Astroland being an example). I do not think that any of us can argue that the “highest and best use” generating the highest fiscal return for the real estate is most likely not a theater.

It would take the City of New York to get on board and make this happen to save the Shore. I know nothing about NY politics except what the media tells us. Interested residents MUST stay on top of this review and do everything possible to save the Shore.

A restored Shore could fit in nicely with a revitalized CI. It’s a destination for many. Keep up the pressure before all of CI Historic Buildings are lost!

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 13, 2009 at 11:09 am

It is in rough shape inside. Not devastated. But definitely in rough shape.

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