Deno's Wonder Wheel Park
This Coney Island amusement park is named for the 150 foot tall Ferris wheel that towers above it. The wheel was built from 1918 to 1920, when it opened to the public. The Wonder Wheel is on the National Register of Historic Places. The park features 25 different rides, 2 arcades, live shows and an old-fashioned sweet shoppe.
The park features a classic dark ride called the Spook-A-Rama. The ride was built in 1955 by the Pretzel Amusement Ride Company. The Company closed its doors in 1979 and the number of dark rides built by them continue to dwindle in number. Half of the stunts (the term used for the animatronic or stationary figures or scenes in a dark ride) are original to the ride. Inside, riders will encounter skeletons, a gigantic alien beast, a mummy, devils and other things designed to chill and thrill them.
Originally the Spook-A-Rama was designed as the largest Pretzel dark ride. It consisted of two buildings with track leading riders from one house to another. In the early 1980s, the park came under new ownership. It was unfortunately decided at this time to shorten the ride and the smaller of the two dark ride buildings and the tracks leading to it were removed.
The 2008 American kaiju film Cloverfield had its final scene shot at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. Shot in a cinéma vérité style, the film has the point of view of a video camera being held by the characters. At points the "tape" cuts to footage taken weeks prior to the main story events. This "taped over" footage involves a trip two of the characters make to Coney Island. When the primary footage finally cuts out at the end, the Coney Island footage returns, showing the characters of Rob and Elizabeth on the Wonder Wheel. As they talk, the something can be seen falling from the sky and into the ocean behind them. This is presumably the origin of the film's monster.
The Warriors, a 1979 action film about fictional gangs in the New York City Area, begins and ends at Coney Island, with the Wonder Wheel being a very recognizable landmark in the scenes. The film centers around a street gang from Coney Island who become framed for murdering an influential gang leader. They have to fight their way back home from the inner city as every other gang is out to kill them. The film was redone as a video game in 2005.
Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park has also been used in the films Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Romeo is Bleeding and Enemies: A Love Story.