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Vintage Atlantic Beach: Capri Beach Club

Between the Atlantic Beach Club and Clayton Avenue once sat a midcentury gem, Capri Beach Club. Capri Beach Club began operations in 1950 with 440 cabanas, 800 lockers, swimming pools, restaurants, a parking field and more. Like many of the midcentury beach clubs of Atlantic Beach, Capri was a full summer experience, offering families from New York City a place to escape to in the summer months. There was something for everyone - kid's camps, teenage clubs and plenty of amenities for adults.

Limited edition "Capri Beach Club" sweatshirts | Capri Beach Club vintage ashtray

While researching Capri Beach Club, we found a few anecdotes of former members. One in particular caught our eye:

In the late 50s, my family shared a cabana at Capri with the Lowensteins and the Garfunkels. For three summers, on many hot beautiful days, Arthur Garfunkel reclined on the chaise lounge next to me. I think the girl in the next cabana, Ina, had a crush on Arthur. My mother would sit for hours playing Mah Jong. The men sat playing gin rummy and smoking cigars. Toddlers played in the sand with pails and shovels. And my sister stood in the cabana for hours swinging a hula hoop around her hips. The cabana boys flirted with the teenage girls and the newest Frankie Avalon song could be heard coming from the teen club. Memories of those lazy glorious days return every June. I think Capri was torn down and in that location are now condos. What I would give for a nice dip in the cold water of the middle pool followed by a walk to the snack bar for a delicious ice cream sandwich.

- Marjorie Palimpsests

One has to assume she meant THE Art Garfunkel of Simon and Garfunkel fame. After all, he did grow up in Forest Hills, an area of Queens known to summer in Atlantic Beach. Regardless, with Marjorie's illustrative account, it's hard to not imagine those summer days at Capri decades ago.

The Capri Beach Club burnt down in the early 1980s and was later sold to a developer. It was turned into a gated community, the Water Club, filled with less than 60 homes and private beach access. Today, the Water Club still has a nod to landmark, with it's loop affectionately named Capri Drive.



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