|Location||Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
|Closed||September 7, 2008|
|Area||3.1 acres (1.3 ha)|
Astroland is an 3.1-acre (1.3 ha) abandoned amusement park in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City that first opened in 1962. It was located at 1000 Surf Avenue (at the corner of West 10th Street) on the boardwalk. It ceased operations on September 7, 2008.
Astroland was first built as a "space-age" theme park when it opened in 1962, although in later years "a visit [was] more like stepping into the past than the future." Some of the later rides were similar to regular carnival rides, but others offered a kitsch experience that was lacking in modern amusement parks.
In 1955, Dewey Albert and his friends Nathan Handwerker, Herman Rapps, Sidney Robbins and Paul Yampo formed a corporation called Coney Island Enterprises. In 1957, Rapps and Albert announced they would build Wonderland. Through a series of acquisitions, together they built what is today known as Astroland, with rides including the Tower to the Stars or Astrotower gyro tower, the Cape Canaveral Satellite Jet emulating a trip to the Moon, the Mercury Capsule Skyride carrying patrons in bubble cars across the park to the boardwalk, and the Neptune Diving Bells, a duplicate of an Atlantic City ride that took patrons 30 feet down into a tank to watch porpoises and fish. In June 1975 Astroland was chosen to be the new operator of the Cyclone, the famous wooden roller coaster, which stood on Parks Department land. On July 12, 1975, an early-morning fire wiped out much of the park, but they were able to rebuild.
On November 28, 2006, Astroland was sold by the Albert family for US $30 million to Thor Equities, which planned to redevelop the area as a $1.5 billion year-round resort. Under the agreement, the Alberts would continue to operate the Cyclone. At the time, the Alberts hoped to relocate attractions like the water flume and the Astrotower to another part of the neighborhood.
After the sale, opposition to the relocation plan emerged. Efforts supporting the extension of Astroland's existence for the 2008 summer season were established. Astroland celebrated the 45th anniversary of its opening on April 1, 2007.
It was announced on October 24, 2007, that the Albert family and Thor had reached a deal, and that Astroland would re-open March 16, 2008. However, after a few months when no agreement between the two parties could be reached, Astroland closed on September 7, 2008. It was replaced in 2009 by a new park called Dreamland Amusement Park. A new amusement park called Luna Park, named after Brooklyn's original, well-known Luna Park and other Luna Parks from the early twentieth century, opened for the 2010 season on May 29, 2010, at the former site of Astroland.
The co-founder of Astroland, Jerry Albert, died on March 15, 2012, after years of battle with Parkinson's Disease.
On July 2, 2013, Luna Park was evacuated as a precaution due to a problem with the Astrotower swaying. The FDNY responded to the park after concerns regarding the structural integrity of the former operational ride, which was situated in the center of the amusement area. Because of the potential risk to other rides in the area of the tower, those attractions were closed on the Fourth of July. An initial portion of the Astrotower was taken down beginning the night of July 3, 2013. Demolition crews worked through the night into the morning of July 4 to remove part of the Astrotower, and Luna Park reopened to visitors at 3 P.M. (EDT). By July 6, 2013, the Astrotower had been reduced to a four foot high stump, and the pieces were sold to a local junkyard for scrap.
Rides and attractions
- Musik Express (MONAE) (operated in 2008 only)
- Power Surge (until mid-2006) (Sold to Australia) (a power surge is at the current Luna park)
- Top Spin 2
- Coney Island Cyclone
- Water Flume (Arrow)
- Pirate Ship
- Bumper Cars
- Dante's Inferno
- Break Dance relocated from Lincoln Park in Massachusetts. Reopened in 1988
- Astrotower gyro tower (Not in use since 2010)
- Scrambler currently operates at the neighboring Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.
- Enterprise (Replace for Top Spin added)
- Super Himalaya (Mack) (Replace for Power Surge added)
- Wave Swinger (Replace for Pirate Ship added)
- Rainbow (Replace for Break Dance added)
- Bayern Kurve (Replace for Super Himalaya added)
- Round Up (old Astroland)
- Paratrooper (old Astroland)
- Satellite Jet (old Astroland)
- Diving Bells (old Astroland)
- Mercury Capsule Skyride (old Astroland)
- Pirate Jet
- Mini Tea Cups
- Frog Hopper
- Motorcycle Jump
- Fire Engines
- Big Apple Coaster
- Mini Trucks
- Popeye Boats
- Circuit 2000
- Kiddie Roller Coaster (Replace for Big Apple Coaster)
- Dune Buggy Jump
- More than ten games of skill
- Three arcades
- Two Coney Island-style restaurants
In popular culture
Astroland was in the 1979 movie The Warriors and features in the 2003 movie Uptown Girls. The 21st episode of season 3 of CSI: NY, aired in April 2007, featured the park as a location, and referenced a $30 million sale to condominium developers. A scene in the 2009 movie Thick as Thieves takes place there. It was also the location of the music video "Summer Girls" performed by LFO. It is mentioned in the song "Brooklyn" by Woodkid.
- Astroland, Fodor's, Archived June 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. at the Internet Archive.
- Jeffrey Stanton, Coney Island - Astroland, 1998.
- Associated Press, "Coney Island's Astroland Amusement Park sold to developer", USA Today, November 28, 2006.
- Local petition to extend Astroland through the summer 2008 season, archived on May 2, 2009 at the Internet Archive.
- Mike McLaughlin, "Astroland is Truly Dead", The Brooklyn Paper, September 5, 2008.
- Rich Calder, "Brooklyn’s Top 10 stories of the decade", The Brooklyn blog, New York Post, January 5, 2010.
- Jotham Sederstrom , "Dreamland amusement park to take place of Astroland at Coney Island", Daily News, April 8, 2009.
- "Coney Island's Luna Park Evacuated Due To Stability Worries At Astrotower". CBS New New York. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- "Astrotower to be partially dismantled, some closures on the Fourth". WABC TV. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Luna Park To Begin Removing Portion Of Astrotower Wednesday". NY1. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Luna Park to reopen after Astrotower demolition". WABC TV. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- Famous Astroland Rides and Attractions, Astroland.com, updated 2012, retrieved January 15, 2013.
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