Six years after its release, Charles Denson’s award-winning 2009 film “The Prince Of Mermaid Avenue,” which documents the daily life of one of the last holdout shops of the old Coney Island, is now available to be streamed on Youtube.
The film centers around the charming Jimmie Prince and his now-shuttered butcher shop, Major Meats – located at 1516 Mermaid Avenue – capturing the sights and sounds of a typical day at the store.
Once a thriving amusement district, since the 1960s, periods of crime and neglect and a series of urban renewal projects in wiped out most of the mom and pops shops Coney Island was known for, but Major Meats, which dates back to 1932, stubbornly remained in business until 2009.
Today, all that’s left of Major Meats and Coney Island’s “good old days” is a faded hand-painted sign and mural of Coney Island on one wall, with barely legible lettering reading: “Major has been proud to serve the Coney Island Community with the best Prime Meats since 1932. We are now looking forward to the 21 century.” At the address now stands a bodega, Alex II Deli & Meat Market, who’s name conjures memories of the shop’s previous use.
The film transitions seamlessly from 60-year-old photos of Mermaid Avenue in its hey day to footage of the butcher shop’s final days, as loyal, long-time customers reminisce on camera about Jimmy, their beloved butcher shop, and another Coney Island.