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Coney Island

Luna Park Seattle

Entrance to Luna Park at the Heart of Coney Island.

Frederick Thompson and Elmer (Skip) Dundy, who had created the cyclorama show called a “Trip to the Moon” at the Pan-American Exposition in 1901 at Buffalo, New York, teamed up to open Luna Park on May 16, 1903. They had also duplicated this attraction for George Tilyou at Steeplechase in 1901.

The name Luna was derived from the brightly lit green and white cigar-shaped airship “Luna” which transported people on an imaginary Trip to the Moon. The spectacular new park, on the sight of the old Sea Lion Park, featured a forest of towers and spires lit at night by 122,000 electric lights. Luna was probably the most popular park at Coney Island.

Some of the attractions included: Thompson and Dundy’s famous Trip to the Moon, Dragon’s Gorge Scenic Railway, Trip to the North Pole, Shoot-the-Chutes, Canals of Venice, a Miniature Railroad, Old Mill Ride, Hagenbeck’s Wild Animals, Eskimo and German Villages, Chinese and Monkey Theaters, Infant Incubators and a Grand Ballroom.

Surf Avenue Entrance to Luna Park at night circa 1930.

Luna Park in 1927.

Shooting the Chutes.

Looking up the Chutes at Luna Park at night.

Grand Ballroom at Luna by night.

The Red Mill and Tickler Rides at Luna.

Elephant Rides were popular at Luna Park in 1907.

The Top and Whip Rides in 1920.

Helter Skelter Slide made of bamboo wood from 1906.

The Dragon’s Gorge Scenic Railway.

Luna continued to grow and to draw the crowds until fire gutted nearly half of Luna Park on August 12, 1944. The fire started at 3:30 pm in the Dragon Gorge Scenic Railway on the west side of the midway and raced toward the rear of the park. Nearly a dozen attractions including the 125-foot high Coca Cola Tower were destroyed.

The Mile Sky Chaser (roller coaster) and the Shoot-the-Chutes were damaged, but repairable. Unfortunately, it happened during World War II and building material was strictly rationed. Luna Park did reopen for the rest of the season and charged ten cents to see the ruins.

Luna Park remained closed during the 1945 season while the mortgage holder and the owners fought in court for the rights to the insurance money. The mortgage holder sold the land in 1946 for $275,000 and announced that they would build a housing project on the property.



Coney Island


Amusement Parks in America

New York 1

Rockefeller Center

New York 2

Last updated 10-28-16

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