A faded 'Jewish Disneyland': Streets of 1970s Miami Beach photographed
A faded ‘Jewish Disneyland’: The declining world of art deco hotels and sun-wrinkled retirees on the streets of 1970s Miami Beach is captured by photographer David Godlis as it slipped away from its’ 1950s heyday
- Photographs show an older generation of Jewish immigrants enjoying their retirement by Miami Beach
- David Godlis first went to Miami Beach when he was a child to visit his grandparents back in the 1950s
- When Godlis visited his grandmother in 1974 at age 22, he said magic had started to disappear from the area
Street photographer David Godlis has captured the decline of Miami Beach in the 1970s in a series of black and white photographs as the area slipped away from the ‘Jewish Disneyland’ he remembered visiting 20 years earlier.
A stunning array of photographs show an older generation of sun-wrinkled Jewish immigrants enjoying their retirement by Miami Beach.
Godlis pictured pensioners sunbathing on deck chairs, enjoying dinner at the diner Wolfie’s, and enjoying some quiet time on the beach.
The photographer first went to Miami Beach when he was a child to visit his grandparents, originally from Russia, in the 1950s – an experience he described as ‘like visiting Jewish Disneyland’, reports the Guardian.
But when Godlis visited his grandmother in 1974 at the age of 22, he said some of that magic had started to disappear from the area.
He captured the black and white photographs over 10 days to show the dream that his grandparents had lived in – and the resulting images are collected in his new book, Godlis Miami.
Street photographer David Godlis has captured the decline of Miami Beach in the 1970s in a series of black and white photographs as the area slipped away from the ‘Jewish Disneyland’ he remembered visiting 20 years earlier. A woman is pictured outside a drugstore which is offering discounts on insulin and selling cartons of cigarettes
This black-and-white photograph shows two women ordering at the diner Wolfie’s on Collins Avenue. In his book, Godlis writes: ‘Whatever I did during those 10 days in Miami Beach worked for me. I recognised that right away. Just two years later I was at CBGB photographing punks, doing the exact same thing. And have been doing it ever since.’
Two ladies are pictured enjoying the sun in Lummus Park. Godlis writes: ‘I was going to photography school in East Cambridge, Massachusetts. A place called Imageworks. I was consumed by street photography.’
Godlis pictured pensioners sunbathing on deck chairs, enjoying dinner at the diner Wolfie’s, and enjoying some quiet time on the beach. Pictured: Two women relax on Miami Beach
Godlis pictured a man waiting by the beach with a shopping bag (left) while he also pictured a pensioner holding up an ‘Impeach Nixon’ poster at Lincoln Road Mall (right)
A stunning array of photographs show an older generation of Jewish immigrants enjoying their retirement by Miami Beach. Pictured: A group of pensioners line up to cross the road by Miami Beach
Pensioners stand outside the Cinema Theatre, the oldest and largest art deco theatres on Miami beach. This theatre production featured vaudeville which became one of the most popular forms of entertainment both in Western Europe and America.
The Fishing Pier on Lower Ocean Drive is photographed by Godlis who aims to show the vanished Miami Beach
A man stands with a hand on his hip and a lit cigarette in his mouth as he holds a little boy. Meanwhile, a woman is seen taking a picture on her camera as a girl watches on
Two women are pictured enjoying the sun. One is laying back with her eyes shut on a sun lounger, wearing what appears to be a swimming costume, whilst the other is wearing a below-the-knee dress and white-framed sunglasses
A woman is pictured sanding next to a Chevrolet Chevy II Nova convertible whilst walking her dog. She is pictured wearing a leopard print ensemble with large white sunglasses
A group of women pose in front of the camera, with one holding her dog. The ladies are pictures sitting in the sun, with one enjoying an ice cream cone (pictured far right)
A man lies back on a sun lounger with an attached umbrella to give him some shade. He is pictured holding a newspaper wearing thick black-framed glasses
Godlis Miami is published by Reel Art Press RRP £29.95 / $39.99 / €33.12 For further information and full list of stockists visit Reel Art Press.
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