New Exhibit at the Coney Island History Project: "Inside the Shore Theater: Photographs by Charles Denson"
Never-before-seen photos of the ornate interior of the Shore Theater Building by Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson are on view at our exhibition center through September 3rd. The new exhibit “Inside the Shore Theater: Photographs by Charles Denson” is open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 12 noon – 6pm. Admission to the Coney Island History Project is free of charge.
The seven-story, neo-Renaissance style theater and vaudeville house and adjacent 14-story office building at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues opened in 1925 and operated for half a century. Both structures have been closed and sealed up for decades. The theater’s facade was granted landmark status in 2010, but the interior is not protected and vulnerable to demolition. The images provide a rare glimpse of a Coney Island treasure.
Mr. Denson is one of the few people who has seen the inside the Shore Theater in recent years. "The interior of the Shore (formerly the Loew's Coney Island) is a visual delight, a treasure trove of complex architectural details that ranks it among the finest of New York's surviving movie palaces," he said. "Below the theater's massive 150-foot dome are frescoed walls and vaulted ceilings covered with decorative nautical-themed plasterwork motifs featuring scallop shells, crabs, and squid medallions as well as wind-blown sailing ships with full sails and fluttering flags, breezing across a border of crashing waves. The mezzanine's colorful half dome ceiling is supported by a curving row of Ionic columns crowned with rows of beautiful dancing mermaids set into decorative diamonds."