The long-awaited Coney Island Amphitheater is on track to open this summer. Officials announced Tuesday that construction on the 5,000-seat, outdoor, entertainment venue will be completed in July — in time to host the Brooklyn borough president’s Seaside Summer Concert Series.
The project, backed by a $60 million investment from the city, includes the rehabilitation of the landmarked Childs Restaurant building. The new space can be used year-round and will host a mix of concerts, family shows, sports, comedy, and multicultural events.
“Our vision for Coney Island is a neighborhood that preserves the past while building for the future, and that balances a vibrant amusement district with a growing residential community,” said Maria Torres-Springer, president of the New York Economic Development Corporation, which brokered the project deal with developer iStar Financial and Coney Island USA.
According to the New York Times, one of the sidewalls of the Childs Restaurant will be cut away and replaced by 50-foot-tall “barn-like doors” that will open in the summer for to the seating area in an adjacent lot. When the temperature gets colder, the doors will shut and the stage will rise up to align with a planned restaurant and can be used as an entertainment space or dance floor, the Times reports.
The Childs building, is one of several landmarks to be restored as part of the city’s 2009 development project for Coney Island. The de Blasio administration has also pledged more than $180 million toward infrastructure improvements to support new development in Coney Island.
“As we await further infrastructure and transportation improvements, this facility will help ignite a cultural flair and vitality the likes of which Coney has been missing for decades,” City Councilman Mark Treyger said in a press release. “I have been assured that the team in place is committed to community engagement, and will be working with local shareholders to build on the area’s tradition of free community concerts and other meaningful programming.”
The new Amphitheater might be the most ambitious recreational space taking shape in Coney Island, but it’s not the only landmarked entertainment venue in the neighborhood getting an overhaul. The Shore Theater, located at the intersection of Stillwell and Surf Avenues, was purchased earlier this year by Pye Properties, which promised to revitalize the long-neglected property for use as an entertainment venue.