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Coney's Shore Theater is a 'disgrace' of a landmark, say activists

Zigun wants Shore Theater taken away from owner through eminent domain

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The city should use its power of eminent domain to seize the Shore Theater from its disgraceful owner — who has sat on the property for nearly two decades without doing anything to it — and turn it into the palace it once was, the unofficial mayor of Coney Island decreed on Thursday.

Coney Island USA founder Dick Zigun said Horace Bullard has allowed the building where Jerry Lewis once performed to crumble, and doesn’t deserve the choice property at Surf and Stillwell avenues.

“Whether it’s through the Landmarks Commission or eminent domain, this must be done by any means necessary,” Zigun said during annual State of Coney Island Address. “The Shore Theater must be occupied.”

The self-proclaimed leader of the People’s Playground says Bullard is letting his building crumble because he’s still angry over two spats he had with the city more than 15 years ago, when the Giuliani administration prevented the property holder from recreating Steeplechase Park on city land that’s now home to MCU Park and demolished Bullard’s Thunderbolt roller coaster — a move a federal court later declared illegal. Bullard also fought Zigun’s efforts to have the building landmarked in 2010.

“There are no more excuses for Horace Bullard,” Zigun said. “The Shore Theater is a disgrace of a landmark.”

Zigun said he would complain to the city Landmarks Commission about the theater’s poor condition. He’s also considering raising enough money to buy the Shore Theater from Bullard — a move the property owner welcomed.

“When Dick Zigun has enough money to buy the building, he can do what he wants with it,” said Bullard, denying Zigun’s claims that he’s purposefully letting his own building deteriorate.

Bullard said he plans to have the Shore Theater repaired and on the market inside of six months — though there are no plans in the works to restore it as a venue for live entertainment.

But that’s not enough for Zigun, who likens his plan to last year’s Occupy Wall Street movement in Manhattan — with a bit more muscle.

“But this won’t be an occupation by the 99 percent, but by the city,” he said. “They should cut the chains, break the locks, and occupy the building with inspectors, tax assessors, and social workers for the homeless.”

The theater was once named Loew’s Coney Island Theater, and ran movies and stage shows until the mid-1960s. It was taken over by the Brandt Theater group and renamed the Shore Theater, but its heyday was clearly over.

The theater began showing X-rated movies in 1972 after failing to lure audiences.

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Reader Feedback

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Someone should tell Dick Zigun about Kickstarter so he can get money.
July 30, 2012, 8:38 am
sal from coney island says:
I don't agree with Zigun on many issues , but on this issue of saving the Shore Theater I do agree.
The City should step in & take over.
Bullard has let the building go into disrepair for too long.
Perhaps BP Marty Markowitz could take it over & build a venue for his concerts there. It could become the Mini BAM Center for the Performing Arts in Coney Island. Right in the center of the Amusement area.
Coney Island & BP Marty Markowitz , "Perfect Together."
July 30, 2012, 9:10 am
Pete from BSlope says:


Not a bad idea Sal.
July 30, 2012, 12:09 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
The city should raise property taxes and lower other taxes* so that holding onto a useless building becomes more expensive.

*Or restore MTA cuts, not lay off teachers, or whatever.
July 31, 2012, 9:30 am
GOM007 from Coney Island says:
The scaffolding around the building has been up for years making it a great place for Coney Island's homeless to set-up their new homes - tourists as well as residents are afraid to even walk near the place!! The city should get involved and fine the owner again and again for the garbage that piles up, objects falling off the building, and everything else! It's truly a disgrace!! That Kickstart idea sounds great!!!
Aug. 2, 2012, 6:49 am
ITA BULLARD from RIVERDALE NY says:
AS I POSTED LONG AGO...
I AM THE FORMER OF 35YR PLUS...TO HORACE BULLARD....
SOME PEOPLE HAVE VISION SOME DO NOT THIS PERSON DICK ZIGUN OBVIOUSLY DOES SHARE THE SAME DREAMS AS MILLIONS DO...AS FAR A CONEY ISLAND IS CONCERNED....
HORACE BULLARD HAD A VISION IN THE EARLY 1980'S...
AND STILL DOES I AM SURE....
TAKEN THE SHORE THEATER DOWN WOULD BE A CRIME....
HOPEFULLY IT WILL NOT HAPPEN....
THE BEST QUOTE I CAN GIVE TO ADD TO THIS IS....:
LOGIC WILL TAKE YOU FROM A TO Z....
DREAMS WILL TAKE EVERYWHERE...
ALBERT EINSTEIN....
WHO WOULD ARGUE WITH THIS KIND OF BRAIN...
RESPECTFULLY
ITA BULLLARD
Aug. 10, 2012, 9:51 am
ITA BULLARD from PLATTSBURGH NY says:
PEOPLE LOVE TO CRITICIZE INSTEAD OF FINDING WAYS TO JOIN AND HELP…!!!!
IN NUMBERS YOU ARE STRONG…..
IF HORACE BULLARD DID NOT ACCOMPLISH IS DREAM…
PERHAPS A LOT HAS TO DO WITH PEOPLE WATCHING AND HOPING TO SEE IT FAIL…
PERHAPS HE STILL WILL DO WHAT CONEY ISLAND NEEDS…
2013….MIGHT JUST BE THE YEAR….
SO DREAM THE DREAM WITH HIM NOT AGAINST HIM…

ITA BULLARD
Jan. 1, 2013, 10:11 am
Da TroofT from Bed stuy says:
Attitudes like this are why we don't want you as neighbors.. Fake ass "mayor"
Sept. 29, 2013, 12:56 pm

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