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Coney Island (Thunderbolt)

Anita Chernewski


The Thunderbolt was one of three classic wooden roller coasters constructed at Coney Island in the 1920s. Built on the Bowery in 1925 above the late nineteenth-century Kensington Hotel, the Thunderbolt was featured in Woody Allen’s film Annie Hall, in which the character Alvy Singer lived in the former hotel under the roller coaster. The Thunderbolt was closed in 1983 and demolished in 2000 together with the house, which was occupied until the end. The site remains empty today, next to the new KeySpan Park. The Tornado, the second of the signature roller coasters, also on the Bowery, burned in 1977, while the third, the Cyclone, has been a New York City Historic Landmark since 1991. KeySpan Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team, opened on the site of Steeplechase Park in 2001 and was part of longtime efforts to rejuvenate Coney Island.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver print
DATES 1987
DIMENSIONS sheet: 5 13/16 x 7 3/8 in. (14.8 x 18.7 cm) image: 3 5/16 × 4 3/4 in. (8.4 × 12.1 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed in pencil in lower right corner of recto: "Anita Chernewski"
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed in pencil in lower left corner of recto: "Coney Island 1987"
CREDIT LINE Gift of the artist
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Anita Chernewski (American, born 1946). Coney Island (Thunderbolt), 1987. Gelatin silver print, sheet: 5 13/16 x 7 3/8 in. (14.8 x 18.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist, 87.200.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 87.200.2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 87.200.2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © Anita Chernewski
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