“Coney Island, where a fella can have the time of his life,” exclaims the announcer in the short documentary Shorty at Coney Island. “Especially if he’s a baby chimpanzee.”
Released in 1936, Shorty at Coney Island is a lighthearted newsreel, which likely played at movie theaters before the feature presentation. Accompanied by cheesy America’s Funniest Home Videos-style narration, the film follows Shorty the Chimpanzee as he explores Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park in 1936. Shorty rides the merry-go-round, attempts to pour himself a glass of soda, steals a woman's glasses at the beach, and even climbs the Ferris Wheel like a tiny King Kong.
The goofy little film is a fun way to explore historic Coney Island and see some of the classic rides that would come to define the modern amusement park. And, with its 1930s slang and outdated humor, the film is certainly a time capsule in more ways than one. Check it out above.
Banner Image Credit: dutchmazz, YouTube