July 4 Holiday Views Of Coney Island Crowded Beaches 1938, 1942 & 1955
The crowded beach at Coney Island in the late 1950s
Beaches in New York City are popular during the summer. Especially around July 4. For over 150 years Coney Island has been a magnet for those seeking relief from hot weather. Combine those three factors and you can get huge crowds at Coney Island’s beaches during the July 4 holiday break.
Some people will not actually go on the beach. Instead they’ll walk along the boardwalk, visit the new Luna Park, watch the Nathan’s hot dog gorging contest or enjoy the fireworks show at night.
If you think the beaches get crowded these days, then have a look at old news photographs of Coney Island from July 4 holidays of years past. Continue reading →
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
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.
Is There Anything You Can Do To Keep The Flies Off Of You?
In the summer if you ever go to Jones Beach in Long Island, especially the often filled popular field 6, you will notice one of two things, there are hundreds of flies swarming around and biting you or there are none at all. I have spent an inordinate amount of time swatting and killing flies as they relentlessly bite away.
So why is this?
The answer lies not in the temperature, the food you bring with you, your choice of sunscreen or fly repellant.
Dreamland Map from Jeffrey Stanton’s site http://www.westland.net/coneyisland/
Dreamland was built on a 15-acre parcel at Surf Avenue and West 8th Street and opened on May 14, 1904. It cost over $3.5 million to build. The park could accommodate over 250,000 people. Ex-State Senator William H. Reynolds was the man behind Dreamland. The original name of the park was to be the Hippodrome, as Reynolds originally wanted chariot races around a lagoon. On the architect’s plans the name was changed to Wonderland, but the name that stuck was Dreamland. With its bright lights and a dizzying array of exhibits and amusements Dreamland was an apropos name.
On the right is a map of how Dreamland was laid out.
The week before Dreamland opened, this ad in the May 8, 1904 New York Evening Sun heralded the pleasures that awaited visitors.
The defining feature of Dreamland was the White Tower built by architects Kirby, Petit and Green and modeled after the Giralda Tower in Seville. It was 370 feet high and had over 100,000 electric lights. Continue reading →
Carol Hughes, Marie Wilson and June Travis Take A Stroll On The Beach Circa 1938
Warner Bros. young stars in training, Carol Hughes (1910-1995), Marie Wilson (1916-1972) and June Travis (1914-2008) take a walk on the shore in this studio publicity photograph.
Although they never all appeared together in a film, Warner Bros. had high hopes for each of the starlets in the 1930’s and set up this photograph to showcase their assets.
But none of the women ever achieved the stardom that the studio had planned for them.
Carol Hughes appeared as a supporting player in many films beginning in 1935 until retiring in the early 1950’s.
The 5 foot 5½ inch Marie Wilson was known for her beauty and stunning figure. Her film and television career spanned from the 1934 at age 18, until her death from cancer in 1972 at the age of 56. Of the three actresses pictured here, her career was probably the most successful having starred in My Friend Irma (1950), A Girl In Every Port (1952) with Groucho Marx and Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation with James Stewart (1962).
June Travis started her acting career in 1934 and made many B-films. In 1940 she married a Chicago businessman and left Hollywood and her film career behind for good making only two more movies over the remaining 68 years of her life.