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Coney Island amphitheater looms at the boardwalk near former Childs Restaurant

"America's Playground" is about to welcome another entertainment venue to its ranks: an outdoor concert hall. The grand opening weekend for the Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk begins July 1.

Located at West 21st Street, the venue joins a minor league baseball team (the Brooklyn Cyclones), an amusement park (Luna Park) and a famous hot dog restaurant (Nathan's, of course) on the Coney Island Boardwalk.

The 5,000-seat amphitheater also features a rooftop bar, an indoor restaurant and a park area for visitors who aren't paying to see the show. The stage and indoor elements are housed in the former Childs Building, an historic Coney Island institution built in 1923 that was home to Childs Restaurant until the early 1950s.

The site is still under construction, but we got a sneak peak. Take a look around.

The Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk 2016 lineup

Live Nation is handling the majority of the
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Live Nation is handling the majority of the programming at the amphitheater. Upcoming concerts include: Ziggy Marley (soft opening, June 25), Sting and Peter Gabriel (July 3), The Beach Boys (July 4), Jane's Addiction (July 13), Dark Star Orchestra (July 31), Erykah Badu (Aug. 3), The Avett Brothers (Aug. 13), The Disco Biscuits (Aug. 20) and Willie Nelson and Aaron Lewis (Sept. 13). For the full schedule, visit: coneyislandlive.com.

300 tons of structured steel

That's the amount it took to build the
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

That's the amount it took to build the canopy structure that is above the amphitheater's seats, said Jeffrey Dewey, vice president at iStar, the company developing the project.

It looks like a roller coaster, but...

While the design mimics the Cyclone, it was
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

While the design mimics the Cyclone, it was "unintentional," Dewey said.

The stage

The stage faces west onto the beach in
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

The stage faces west onto the beach in the summer. During the off-season, sliding stainless steel doors close and performances can take place inside.

The sliding steel doors open the stage up to the audience

Six doors, each weighing 30,000 pounds, slide on
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Six doors, each weighing 30,000 pounds, slide on rails to close at night and at the end of the summer season. "There's nobody else who's doing this," said Dewey, who added that doors like this are usually used for airport hangers.

A park is part of the design

Open to the public, the park loops around
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Open to the public, the park loops around the rear of the amphitheater and provides access from the street to the boardwalk. While people walking by won't be able to see the stage, they will be able to hear the music.

The rooftop bar has views of the Parachute Jump

The amphitheater's 300-person rooftop will be decked out
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

The amphitheater's 300-person rooftop will be decked out with a bar, food and views of the boardwalk, beach, ocean and all the attractions of Coney Island.

Elements of Childs Restaurant are being preserved

The former Childs Restaurant is a well-known site
Photo Credit: Underhill Higgins

The former Childs Restaurant is a well-known site to all who have walked the boardwalk at Coney Island over the years. The building survived a fire and Superstorm Sandy, which flooded the entire first floor of the building, Dewey said. During construction of the amphitheater, much care was taken to salvage the original structure, though a side wall had to be completely rebuilt, he added. Some design elements remain and others are being recreated.

Saved terra cotta medallions

The Childs Building was an impressive structure, but
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

The Childs Building was an impressive structure, but many of the design elements were beyond saving, Dewey said. A handful of painted terra-cotta medallions, like this one, were salvageable. They are located inside the building where the restaurant will be when the project is completed.

Approximately 600 other pieces of terra-cotta that decorated the exterior of the building are being replicated to replace what had to be demolished. The ornate pieces, including arches, cartouches and medallions, are being recast in terra-cotta by artisans, then painted and heated in a kiln.

"It will look and feel like what used to be here," Dewey said.

Original painted archways

The building's designs were meant to give the
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

The building's designs were meant to give the structure the appearance of being "washed up out of the ocean," Dewey said. The exterior had to be completely stripped, he added, but the archways, which open onto the boardwalk, were able to be saved.

Food options

The food options at the amphitheater, from the
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

The food options at the amphitheater, from the venue to the indoor restaurant to the rooftop, will be managed by Legends. The vendors have not yet been announced.

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