CONEY ISLAND – At its Tuesday, March 12, meeting, the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission greenlighted the way to the redevelopment of the long boarded up Shore Theater. The commission had sent the developer back after initial hearing to revise a number of elements to better capture the spirit of Coney Island. They liked what they saw and approved the newly proposed design elements.
Coney Island Theater, that later became Shore Theater, was designated an Individual Landmark in 2010, thus requiring developers to ask for approval of their plans to “alter facades and rooftops, replace windows and storefront infill, remove fire stairs, and install canopies and signage”.
Originally an office building with a theater in neo-Renaissance Revival style, it was designed by Reilly & Hall and built in 1925 by the prolific Chanin brothers, developers behind the Chanin Construction Company. It was promptly leased to Loews to operate the theater portion.
In 1964 it became Brandt Shore Theater, and 1970s brought adult entertainment and bingo hall, with assorted offices above.
Current owners, Pye Properties, are planning to turn it into a hotel with a spa and ground floor retail, though few details have been shared with the public.
Here is what the building looks like now:
What it looked like before closing and falling into disrepair during the late 1970s:
The final proposal moves the entrance from the center to the left on the buildings Surf Avenue facade:
The new signage will be more in keeping with original Loew’s and Shore, and it will light up with lots of bare bulbs. The current fire escape will be removed, but the wall will keep it’s shadow – literally painted on the wall, with some metal reminders of the original staircase, reminding passers-by that once there was a movie theater here:
There will be another storm, and we shall see flood barriers like this deployed along the storefronts on the ground level:
Coney Island History project has more photos of the historic interior from a tour of the building with Eduard Yadgarov of Pye Properties.