Monday, June 14, 2004

Astroland to Theme Cyclone As "Ferlinghetti Lamborghini"

The management of Coney Island's Astroland announced yesterday that it would be closing the famed Coney Island Cyclone for an extended period to permit its retheming as the "Ferlinghetti Lamborghini," a combined coaster and dark ride.

"All the kids these days love that beat poetry of [Lawrence] Ferlinghetti and his contemporaries," said park spokesman Stephen Graham in an exclusive ARN&R interview. "They're constantly hanging around with their berets and their clove cigarettes flying off of our Break Dance. We've been trying for years to figure out how to exploit the massive modern appeal of beat poetry, and we've heard that Six Flags has been working on an Allen Ginsberg-themed walk-through attraction called "Howl," and we wanted to beat them to the punch. Then it came to us: Ferlinghetti wrote the classic anthology of poems Coney Island of the Mind! We knew we had the right approach once we remembered that."

The ride, to be designed and installed by Premier, will maintain the classic wooden coaster's structure while adding extensive dark ride elements. In one series of scenes, Billy Graham and Elvis Presley will exchange roles seriously; in another, an enormous father figure will be shown coming home with his pockets filled with irradiated silver dollars. In a special scene included only in evening "adult-only" rides, the American Boy will take off Beauty's clothes and get on top of her.

The new ride's dramatic finale will feature the rolling stock appearing to transform into a sweet desegregated chariot swinging low and carrying riders back to Ole Virginie.

Nathan's Hot Dogs is anticipated to be closed and replaced with a new location of City Lights Bookstore.