Dreamland ‘locked out’ as rent’s owed

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

“This summer will be the best we have had in decades.”

That was Thor Equities principal Joe Sitt before the start of this year’s summer season in Coney Island.

Late last week, however, the Coney Island landowner brought the hammer down on the ride operator he was counting on to pump some life into the vacated Astroland site on Surf Avenue.

“Dreamland has been locked out because it has not come close to meeting its financial obligations in many months,” a spokesperson for Thor Equities said.

According to the landlord, Anthony Raffaelle and his “Dreamland” amusement park owes Thor a half-a-million bucks in back rent.

At the time of this writing, the landlord still had hopes of resolving the issue so that the rides could be reopened this week.

Thor Equities has struggled mightily to maintain activity on the 3.1 acre site ever since it booted Astroland Amusement Park out of Coney Island in September 2008.

Last year, Thor Equities’ “Summer of Hope” ended in a cloud of disappointment and less-than inspiring inflatable rides.

This year, Thor Equities pinned its hopes on the success of “Dreamland,” the John Strong sideshows and an outdoor flea market dubbed “Festival by the Sea.”

Strong’s freak shows have earned a lot of bad press for its alleged exploitation of animal oddities, while the flea market - after prolonged issues with its tents - has failed to generate the kind of foot traffic neighboring merchants had hoped for.

Now this.

Raffaelle is reportedly crying foul over the whole situation, but sources close to the negotiations between Thor and “Dreamland” suggested that the operator might be trying to withhold payment of back rent as a way of leveraging a new contract for next season.

According to Thor, they worked well with Raffaelle last year and there were no indications of trouble this year until the bills started piling up.

Raffaelle did not resposnd to calls for comment at press time.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Hey there, Brooklyn Daily reader!

Yes, you’re in the right place — Brooklyn Paper is the new online home of

So bookmark this page, and remember check it throughout the day for the latest stories from your neighborhood — and across this great borough of ours.