So we all more or less know the dilemma: The Cyclone, Wonder Wheel, magnificently greasy fries from Nathan’s, and all at once kitschy yet compelling sideshow curiosities (a rabbit-pigeon? No way!) were what made Coney Island like nothing you’ve ever seen before. But now, in an epic act of contracting that could potentially revive Brooklyn’s favorite beach, luxury hotel and condo developers are pushing to redesign the island to look like, well, pretty much everything you’ve ever seen before. Director J.L. Aronson documents the ongoing debacle between the developers, preservationists, and the surrounding community in his documentary Last Summer at Coney Island. The film premieres tonight as part of the Brooklyn Close-Up film series, with Aronson appearing for a Q&A after the 6:50 showing. After hearing all sides of the debate, you can decide for yourself what should become of America’s iconic playground and the 150-year-old legend on the line.
Mon., Aug. 9, 4:30, 6:50 & 9:30 p.m., 2010