Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Shooting the chutes_ Luna Park_ Coney Island - 1903

Country: USA
Filmed July 3, 1903.
American Mutoscope and Biograph Co.
Cameraman, G. W. ''Billy'' Bitzer
The ride known as Shoot the Chutes was first introduced in 1895 by inventor Captain Paul Boynton at Sea Lion Park, the first enclosed outdoor amusement park in Coney Island. He billed it as ''the King of All Amusements.'' In 1902 he sold the park to a couple of young sharps, Fred Thompson and Elmer ''Skip'' Dundy. One year later the new gates opened and Luna Park was in operation.
The success of Luna Park would allow Thompson to build and open the 'Hippodrome Theatre' in Manhattan two years later. (see video of ''Panorama from the Times Building, New York'' for a view of the building)
According to historian Woody Register, Boynton was inspired by ''watching boys skipping stones across a pond,'' and the idea was born.
Recommended reading:
The Kid of Coney Island / Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusement - Woody Register

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