Coney Island

A boutique hotel and spa is coming to the former Shore Theater building in Coney Island

October 9, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

New plans for the long-vacant Shore Theater building on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island do not include a theater.

Some people are disappointed with this, but on the whole, neighborhood advocates are happy that something is finally being done with the deteriorating structure.

Plans filed by Pye Properties, which purchased the building for $14 million in 2016, show a 50-room boutique hotel, a ground-floor spa, rooftop restaurant and ground-floor cafe, according to Brooklyn Daily. The renovation is estimated to cost $60 million and is expected to be ready by 2021.

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The Shore Theater building was constructed in 1925 as the Loew’s Coney Island, and it hosted vaudeville acts and eventually movies, Brooklyn Daily said. The Brandt Company took it over in 1964 and started showing X-rated movies in 1972.

In 1978, Horace Bullard, head of Kansas Fried Chicken purchased the property and hoped to turn it into a hotel and casino. However, the state decided against allowing gambling at Coney, Brooklyn Daily reported.

While Bullard did establish one of his Kansas Fried Chicken restaurants on the ground floor, the building otherwise sat vacant and deteriorated. Bullard died in 2013, and his heirs sold the property to Pye Properties in 2016.

“The building was falling apart, and I’m thrilled that they are there restoring a landmark building,” said Dick Zigun, head of Coney Island USA. “I wish that they were restoring the theater as a theater, but there is no legal way to require them to do that.”


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