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Fascinating — Demolished Coney arcade to rise again

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The legendary Faber’s Fascination arcade will reopen in a Surf Avenue building owned by the same “developer” who tore down its original Coney Island home.

The arcade’s iconic marquee first lit up Henderson’s Music Hall at Stillwell and Surf avenues more than 50 years ago, but property owner Thor Equities demolished the dilapidated building late last year to make way for indoor attractions that have yet to be built.

But Faber’s owner Carlo Muraco will bring his gaming haven to a vacant building on W. 12th Street that’s owned by Thor.

Old-school Coney enthusiasts were delighted to hear about the ironic move.

“This is great news!” said Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA, which operates the sideshow and the Mermaid Parade.

Muraco is sub-letting the first floor of the building from Joya Funding Group, which is leasing the space from owner Thor Equities. Thor did not confirm the return of Faber’s, but a rep from Joya, who declined to give his name, told us that “Faber’s is definitely opening.”

Muraco, who also owns Beer Island on Stillwell Avenue and co-owned the bulldozed Shoot the Freak attraction, has big plans for the revamped Faber’s: he’ll install recent game crazes like Dance Dance Revolution near vintage games such as Mission Command. Muraco will also book interactive entertainers, such as celebrity look-alikes.

“You can get your dance on and still experience games from the original Faber’s,” Muraco said.

As for the marquee, Muraco couldn’t salvage the original “Faber’s Fascination” display, but will hang another glowing sign out front that reads “Faber’s Game World.”

“This looks a lot like the old sign,” Muraco said.

The return of Faber’s is a boon to Muraco, who has not been able to find a space to reopen Shoot the Freak. The paintball booth was razed by another developer — Central Amusement — to become an entrance to the Scream Zone amusement park.

Faber’s, opened in the 1960s by amusement entrepreneur Nat Faber, is a relic of Coney Island history. He named his business after the popular Fascination game, which dates back in the 1920s and is similar to Skee Ball. The Faber family operated the arcade until the 1970s, when it began changing hands before Muraco purchased it once and for all 20 years ago.

Thor did not only demolish the Henderson Building, but also the Coney Island Bank building on W. 12th Street and Surf Avenue and the Shore Hotel on Surf Avenue and Henderson’s Walk.

The company, owned by Joe Sitt, has not produced one brick-and-mortar structure in Coney Island since acquiring 12-1/2 acres in 2005. Thor later sold seven of those acres to the city, abandoning its alleged quest to create a Coney Xanadu with indoor rides and retail. Now the company appears to be focusing on retail as the city pursues the amusement parks and other attractions.

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Reader Feedback

orange from brooklyn says:
cute how u use quotes around "developer" for Thor. same way you should do that with Ratner, who'll probably unload most of his government-gifted site, undeveloped, for a handsome profit. (remember, the arena is just one small part of the giant site Ratner controls and had promised to develop and create jobs, blah blah blah. no development, no jobs).
May 16, 2011, 4:06 pm
jim from south brooklyn says:
gee, how many lawsuits were filed against Mr. Ratner? Then the young man who lived in Brooklyn a whopping 8 months beforew Atlantic Yards was announced, sell out for a cool 3 mil. Great country Maybe if there were no lawsuits, Gehry's design would have moved foward and the housing could have been built. Metrotech was 100% completed in about 15 years.
May 16, 2011, 5:04 pm
orange from brooklyn says:
without ratner, the site would have been developed years ago.
May 16, 2011, 8:53 pm
Faber’s Ghost says:
Mission Command? MISSILE COMMAND!
May 17, 2011, 2:06 am
G H from Brighton says:
Мои ямы зверинца! Это подделка! Мы все знаем что Sitt не позволит аркаде в том здании! Как раз вахта! Мы все увидим, что дерьмо упало от неба!
May 20, 2011, 1:13 am
Boggy from Bensonhurst says:
"Thor Equities demolished the dilapidated building late last year"

Dilapidated my tuchis. Henderson's Music Hall was NOT dilapidated, it was in Sitt's way because steps were being taken to have it landmarked.

Henderson's was an imprortant part of Coney Island and music history. Sophie Tucker, the Marx Brothers and many, many others got their starts at Henderson's. It should have been preserved.
May 20, 2011, 8:27 am
dc from ci says:
this thor equities bought up coney for a song ...created hype..and is reselling properties for tons of profit...he owns coney island ! and has the city and every coney biz by the !$@%.....thats why he has so much $$$...its a shame !
June 3, 2011, 1:16 pm
george from bayridge says:
is it going to be the original 25 cent games or the games are a buck each
Nov. 1, 2011, 6:38 pm

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