This pic was taken during a heat wave on the 4 of July, 1940. Keep in mind, most NYC residents......
did not own a car. The beaches out on Long Island or down on the Jersey Shore were not an option as a result. The Coney Island beach was easily accessible to all the residents of all the five NYC boroughs for the price of a Subway ride, which was only 5 cents in 1940. I've been to Coney Island many times during the '50s and '60s and I never encountered crowds of the magnitude shown in this photo.