The Beginning of the End for Astroland?
Astroland, Coney Island’s premier amusement park, kicked off its season this year on March 16.
While most of Coney Island’s 20th Century institutions—from amusement parks like Luna Park, Dreamland and Steeplechase to the Thunderbolt roller coaster and Child’s restaurant—are long gone, Astroland keeps kicking more than 45 years after Dewey Albert first opened its doors in 1962.
Astroland “has survived the decades of destruction, rebuilding and destruction again,” said a visitor who called himself Byron the Traveler. “It’s survived the test of time through the decades.”
This may, however, be its final season.
Almost no one expected Astroland to re-open this year. In 2006, the Albert family sold the park to a developer, Thor Equities, for $30 million. Thor was not expected to re-open the park for the 2008 season, but ultimately decided to grant Astroland at least a one year reprieve while it settles its zoning battles with the city.
Will Astroland be open again in the years to come?
“Unless there’s an interim plan to establish Astroland here for another three to five years,” said Carol Hill Albert, Astroland’s current lessee and former co-owner, “I don’t see how we can.”
Thor declined to comment on its plans for Astroland.
Click here to watch an audio slideshow that captures opening day.