Coney Island on July 4 in the 1930s

2 Historic Photos Show the Enduring Popularity of Coney Island

This is what Coney Island looked like in the 1930s:

Coney Island July 4, 1934

Coney Island July 4, 1934

Million Turn Out At Coney Island

Here’s part of the 1,000,000 New Yorkers who visited Coney Island, a summer resort, on July 4 to get away from the heat of the city, as they disported on the beach, many of them shirtless. Credit line: Acme -7/4/34

Many of them shirtless, imagine that! Don’t you love the old news captions?

While Coney Island doesn’t get a million visitors a day any more, it still gets crowded during summertime. One thing you might notice: there are probably lifeguards present in their high perch chairs to watch over the throngs of swimmers, but I cannot see any in this photograph.

Below – Coney Island Beach three years later in 1937.

Coney Island July 4, 1937

Coney Island July 4, 1937

Elbow Room At Premium Here

New York, July 4 – Elbow room was at a premium as thousands of Independence Day celebrating New Yorkers jammed Coney Island beach. This was just one of the numerous New York beaches that were crowded. Pools, too, were crowded. Note the one, lower left. Associated Press Photo – 7/4/37

In this aerial view of Coney Island the beach appears slightly less crowded than it was in 1934. The main differences between then and now? Two thriving real amusement parks Stepplechase and Luna Park entertained New Yorkers. There were also dozens of game stands, restaurants, and bathing houses, hotels and beach clubs The current version of Luna Park is nothing like the previous one and pales in comparison.

The lone surviving ride from the 1930s is the world famous Cyclone roller coaster.

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