Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Coney Island state of mind...

I'm chomping at the bit to visit Coney Island. I keep reading articles on Facebook about how the place is being changed forever; I want to visit it and steep myself in as much of the "original" as I can as quickly as I can. So I was heartened when I read today that although developers are obliterating a lot of the vintage, they are keeping the old Coney Island Theatre, listed in the Register of Historic Places.

Old theatres. If I wasn't writing a book about vintage amusement parks, I'd probably be doing the same for old theatres, epecially those with vaudeville, "legit" histories. I recall a grand house, the Berwyn Theatre, at the corner of Cermak and Oak Park in Berwyn, IL. I learned that a distant relative of mine had performed there in theatrical productions with a Bohemian acting troupe back in the early 1900s. I remember when they decided to tear it down, wrecking ball in action as I drove by. I could see the pink stucco interior gaping through the downed wall like flesh exposed by a fatal blow. And its soul flew up, up, up.

So kudos to the powers that be for helping the Coney Island Theatre to remain. I look forward to visitng next summer.

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