Occupy Coney Island's Shore Theater does not have quite the concise zip that its Occupy Wall Street model conveys, nor its populist underpinnings, but unofficial and self-proclaimed Coney Island mayor Dick Zigun is calling for a takeover of the towering Shore Theater at Surf and Stillwell to prevent the former movie palace's further deterioration. According to The Brooklyn Paper, Zigun called for an occupation of the theater by inspectors from a variety of city agencies and wants the City to seize the property from owner Horace Bullard through eminent domain. The property has sat unused for decades—Zigun says out of spite, after Bullard's Thunderbolt roller coaster was torn down by the city and a minor league ballpark was built where Bullard wanted to recreate the Steeplechase Park amusement center on municipally-owned land.
If the City refuses to kick open padlocked doors and start seizing people's property because he wants it to, Zigun says that he'll raise the money to buy the property from Bullard—a move that the current owner says he'd welcome. Just in case Zigun can't scrape together a likely few million dollars for the Shore Hotel in the short term, Bullard says he will have the old theater repaired and on the market within six months. A more realistic option three, anyone?
Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson has a photo exhibit on display showing the interior of the Shore Theater, the former movie palace-turned-porno theater that has been locked up for decades. The exterior of the building was landmarked in 2010, but its once ornate interior is vulnerable to decay and neglect.
· Zigun Want Shore Theater Taken Away From Owner Through Eminent Domain [BP]
· New Exhibit: Inside the Shore Theater: Photographs by Charles Denson [CIHP]
· Capturing Coney Island in Film and Photos Before It Changes [Curbed]
· Surf Hotel coverage [Curbed]