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.
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