Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, the cornerstone of the state-of-the-art Seaside Park and Community Arts Center, is a new outdoor live entertainment venue opening in July of 2016. The 5,000-seat covered open-air venue – the first of its kind in the Tri-State area – will host 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. Now designated as a New York City Landmark, the Childs building is currently undergoing a full restoration after suffering decades of neglect.
Once renovated, the interior will be transformed into a multi-purpose space, including a restaurant, box office, backstage area, and a stage, which will also function as the performance space for the venue.