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Thunderbolt (1925 roller coaster)

The Thunderbolt was a wooden roller coaster located at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. It operated from 1925 until 1982 and remained standing until it was demolished in 2000.[1] It was designed by John Miller.[2] In June 2013, it was announced that a new steel roller coaster would be constructed on Coney Island named the Thunderbolt.[3] Although they share the same name, the new coaster bears no resemblance to the old one, as the new version is made of steel and uses a completely different design.

Inactive Thunderbolt in 1995
Coney Island
Coordinates40°34′26″N 73°58′57″W / 40.57389°N 73.98250°W / 40.57389; -73.98250Coordinates: 40°34′26″N 73°58′57″W / 40.57389°N 73.98250°W / 40.57389; -73.98250
Opening date1925 (1925)
Closing date1982 (1982)
General statistics
DesignerJohn A. Miller
Height86 ft (26 m)
Thunderbolt at RCDB
Pictures of Thunderbolt at RCDB

In popular cultureEdit

It was featured briefly in Woody Allen's 1977 film Annie Hall as the boyhood home of Alvy Singer (Allen's character).[1] The house was a real residence, built in 1895 as the Kensington Hotel. The roller coaster was constructed with part of its track scaling the top of the building.[4][5]

The indie rock/slowcore band Red House Painters 1993 album, Red House Painters (Rollercoaster) features a sepia toned photograph of the Thunderbolt as its cover art. The last film to photograph the Thunderbolt was Requiem for a Dream.

In the 1998 movie He Got Game, Spike Lee features the coaster in its dilapidated state.


  1. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Thunderbolt  (Coney Island - George Moran)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  2. ^ Rutherford, Scott (2000) The American Roller Coaster, MBI Publishing Company, Wisconsin. ISBN 0760306893.
  3. ^ Marden, Duane. "Thunderbolt  (Luna Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  4. ^ "The House under the Roller Coaster by Steve Zeitlin". Archived from the original on 2002-04-26.
  5. ^ Tim Donnelly (July 28, 2013). "Life Under the Thunderbolt". New York Post. Retrieved October 15, 2013.