CONEY ISLAND — A nest of wood-eating beetles found in the ceiling of Coney Island USA’s recently landmarked 1917 building is threatening the continued operations of the organization, which sponsors the Coney Island Circus Sideshow and the Mermaid Parade.
Emergency repairs to the famed Coney Island attraction are necessary to prevent the building’s second floor from collapsing. The space often hosts performances by fire-eaters, sword-swallowers, snake charmers and other sideshow performers.
The beetles have since moved on, but their damage requires emergency reconstruction. Dick Zigun, founder of the sideshow, says, “We’re calling on all supporters of Coney Island USA and the nation’s last permanent 10-and-1 Sideshow to help us fix the theater and get it ready for the summer. Coney Island USA has a temporary solution in place and would never invite audiences into a dangerous space, but the long-term consequences are serious.”
People can help by making a tax-exempt donation or by joining Coney Island USA’s membership program at www.coneyisland.com and help Coney Island USA ensure that Coney Island’s 2012 season includes the Sideshow.