Thunderbolt (1925 roller coaster)

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Inactive Thunderbolt in 1995
Coney Island
LocationConey Island
Coordinates40°34′26″N 73°58′57″W / 40.57389°N 73.98250°W / 40.57389; -73.98250Coordinates: 40°34′26″N 73°58′57″W / 40.57389°N 73.98250°W / 40.57389; -73.98250
Opening date1925 (1925)
Closing date1982 (1982)
General statistics
DesignerJohn A. Miller
Height86 ft (26 m)
Thunderbolt at RCDB
Pictures of Thunderbolt at RCDB

The Thunderbolt was a wooden roller coaster located at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. Designed by John Miller,[1] it operated from 1925 until 1982 and remained standing until it was demolished in 2000.[2][3]

In June 2013, it was announced that a new steel roller coaster would be constructed on Coney Island named the Thunderbolt.[4] The steel coaster opened in 2014 and uses a completely different design.[5] The demolition was controversial, as the property owner Horace Bullard was not notified, nor had any formal inspection been done on the structure.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

It was featured briefly in Woody Allen's 1977 film Annie Hall as the boyhood home of Alvy Singer (Allen's character).[2] The house was a real residence, built in 1895 as the Kensington Hotel. The roller coaster was constructed with part of its track scaling the top of the building.[7][8]

The indie rock/slowcore band Red House Painters 1993 album, Red House Painters (Rollercoaster) features a sepia toned photograph of the Thunderbolt as its cover art. The last film to photograph the Thunderbolt was Requiem for a Dream.

In the 1998 movie He Got Game, Spike Lee features the coaster in its dilapidated state.


  1. ^ Rutherford, Scott (2000) The American Roller Coaster, MBI Publishing Company, Wisconsin. ISBN 0760306893.
  2. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Thunderbolt  (Coney Island - George Moran)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  3. ^ "End of the line". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. South Carolina. Associated Press. November 19, 2000. p. 10A.
  4. ^ Marden, Duane. "Thunderbolt  (Luna Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  5. ^ Brown, Stephen R. (June 14, 2014). "Coney Island's new Thunderbolt roller coaster officially opens". NY Daily News. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  6. ^ Dan Barry (October 4, 2003). "About New York; Giuliani Razed Roller Coaster, And the Law". The New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  7. ^ "The House under the Roller Coaster by Steve Zeitlin". Archived from the original on April 26, 2002.
  8. ^ Donnelly, Tim (July 28, 2013). "Life Under the Thunderbolt". New York Post. Retrieved October 15, 2013.