Price: $310.00

    Code: 2455

    Directed by Amy Nicholson
    2012, 77 minutes
    Purchase: $ 310 | Classroom rental: $125

    A documentary about greed, politics, urban development and renewal, the award-winning Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride is an absorbing chronicle of the efforts to redevelop an iconic American landmark On a small rented lot in the heart of Coney Island's gritty amusement district, Eddie Miranda proudly operates a 38-year-old carnival ride called the Zipper. When an ambitious real estate mogul sets his sights on the lot and the surrounding property, circumstances force Miranda, his ride, and many of Coney Island's eclectic small businesses to leave.

    Behind the scenes, a high-stakes power struggle between the developer and the City of New York takes place. Both see the redevelopment of Coney Island's waterfront real estate as a lucrative opportunity. They lock horns when the City denounces the developer's glitzy vision of condos and shopping, and ironically, hatches its own grand scheme to transform the area with the promise of housing and retail.

    Four years in the making, Zipper covers the politics behind-the-scenes as the city first proposes a seaside rezoning that would set aside 15 acres for amusements -- and then months later reduces the amusement area plan to 9 acres. The film features interviews with past and present city officials such as Lynn Kelly, Seth Pinksy, Robert Lieber and Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr.

    Zipper is a fascinating documentary that examines the human cost of economic development.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    *Winner, Special Jury Prize, DOC NYC
    * Official Selection, Big Sky Film Festival
    * Official Selection, Atlanta Film Festival


    “A thoroughly enjoyable, thoroughly enraging new documentary”. - New York Observer

    "The film should please New York audiences, but will resonate with anybody who has watched some quirky favorite place be demolished by developers who don't appreciate its charm.”- The Hollywood Reporter

    “A tender elegy for Coney Island and chronicle of the deeply fraught battle among the city, the people, and the private sector to preserve its heritage.” – Village Voice

    [Starred Review] "This brilliant documentary will appeal to a wide range of New York audiences and viewers with nostalgia for a lost age." — Ellen Druda, Half Hollow Hills Community Lib., Dix Hills, NY, Library Journal

    “In capturing the end of the Zipper’s life, Nicholson has preserved a fragile moment in Coney Island’s history. The inevitability of cities is that they change. But the size, scope, and uniqueness of New York and its many mythic communities (like Coney Island) make any bout of urban evolution a particularly painful process. Zipper is an excellent document of how wrenching change can be.”- Architectural Record

    "Interviews with government officials, local residents, and those with businesses in Coney Island provide first-hand accounts of changes in the area and its short and long-term impacts. Interjected throughout the film is footage of government proceedings and town meetings documenting the numerous parties involved in the rezoning efforts. The film shows the impact of historic development on communities and those who live/work in them. Those who are interested in the interplay of such topics will find this film of value." - Christina Rieth, Anthropology Review Database