Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, the cornerstone of the state-of-the-art Seaside Park and Community Arts Center, is an outdoor live entertainment venue opened in July 2016. The 5,000-seat covered open-air venue – the first of its kind in the Tri-State area – hosts a mix of concerts, family shows, sports, comedy, and multicultural events.
The amphitheater is located on Coney Island’s famed boardwalk and incorporates the Childs Building, built in 1923 as one of the first large-format stand-alone restaurants in the country. The exterior design, which features elaborate ornamentation, was met with widespread praise upon completion. Integrating itself into the lively Coney Island social scene, the restaurant advertised with the tagline The Rendezvous of the Elite and thrived from the large crowds that visited due to the accessibility from the subway.
As Coney Island’s Golden Era faded after World War II, business slowed and Childs Restaurant eventually closed. The Childs Building housed a candy factory for about 50 years before it was abandoned. After undergoing a full restoration, the Childs Building, a New York City Landmark, reopened in May 2017 as Kitchen 21. Featuring a full-service restaurant, Kitchen 21 incorporates the amphitheater stage, which functions as an additional performance space for the venue.