June 11, 2007

tillie_photobooth.jpgAs we remarked about a few months ago, a photobooth that spent many years entertaining beachgoers in Asbury Park, New Jersey, has been on its way back home after 15 years at a store in Vermont.

Bob Crane from Save Tillie was kind enough to let us know that the booth is back just in time for summer and is being enjoyed by a new generation of beachgoers. The photobooth, a black and white Model 14, is located at the Shoppes at the Arcade in Asbury Park. For more information and photos, check out

the page on Save Tillie’s website about the return of the booth.

The photo booth from Asbury Park, New Jersey’s historic Palace Amusements has been returned to the Shore community, 15 years after it was sold to shop keepers in Vermont, and is now a major attraction at a Cookman Avenue store.

For over three decades, the Palace’s photo booth produced strips of four black and white wallet sized photos of visitors to the Shore side amusement park. Now refurbished by the Save Tillie preservation group, the booth is installed on the lower level of The Shoppes at the Arcade, 685 Cookman Ave.

At a time when so much of the amusements history of Asbury Park is fading into memory, we’re thrilled to be able to bring back one of the Palace’s favorite attractions,” said Save Tillie president Bob Crane. “Photo booths are a timeless treat, and this one especially so for with everyone who enjoyed it at the Palace.”

The booth entered the Palace in the late 1950s and remained in operation there until the Shore’s largest indoor amusement park closed in late 1988. For a time thereafter, it operated at Sandy’s Arcade on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, and eventually was sold to Slim and Pamela Smith, a Jersey Shore couple who had moved to Burlington, Vermont where they operated a clothing store. The Smiths operated the booth in stores in Burlington and Bristol, before donating it to Save Tillie last winter.

Save Tillie member Dan Toskaner refurbished the operating mechanisms of the booth over the winter and spring, giving it a new strobe light and making other mechanical improvements. In appearance, however, Toskaner said the booth will be completely familiar to those who used it at the Palace, down to a collage of very old photo strips including pictures of employes of the Palace and Sandy’s Arcade.

Save Tillie was formed in July of 1998 by fans of Asbury Park, of the Palace and of Bruce Springsteen to save Palace artifacts, including three iconic wall murals, from the wrecking ball. By directive of the State of New Jersey, 35 Palace artifacts, removed when the National Register of Historic Palaces building was demolished several years ago, are in storage and must be reused on a new building that eventually will rise on the Palace lots.

We’re also happy to report that the Palace photobooth is also our first entry for the state of New Jersey. We look forward to more contributions this summer from Jersey Shore-goers out there. Thanks to Bob Crane and Dan Toskaner for the great news and for the photos of the booth and Tillie himself!

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