Coney Island (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #583 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Hollywood]

This newsreel featurette is a real slice of life from the heyday of the amusement park. Usually these kinds of films portray activities that are fun to do but lame to watch. But this one is actually quite fun to watch, perhaps because the old classic amusement park culture has disappeared for the most part. In this film it lives again, and you get to visit the sideshows, complete with freaks (check out the wonderful advertising posters for these shows), ride all kinds of common and bizarre rides, eat traditional Coney Island food such as hot dogs and frozen custard (prices start at 10 cents!) and even get a souvenir picture postcard taken of you and your friends. The place is packed and everybody seems to be having a great time. This film is one of the best pieces of nostalgia I've seen in a long time, and that's saying a lot for what is essentially just an old Castle Films newsreel featurette.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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