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Roller Dance and Session Skating Forum Discussions about roller dancing, jamskating, rexing, rink session skating, dance circle skating, and similar types of recreational indoor and outdoor skate dancing .

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Old April 15th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #1
Kathie Fry
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Default Memories of Closed Roller Skating Rinks

As I'm updating the roller skating rink directory at QuadSkating.com I'm realizing that a really huge number of roller skating rinks have closed in the last 10 or 15 years. I'm under the impression that at least half of the roller skating rinks that once existed have closed and it could be closer to 2/3.

If you have memories, stories, pictures, or general information to share - good or bad - about any roller skating rink that has closed anywhere in the world, please post them in this thread. If you can remember anything about a closed roller rink's history, owners, coaches, clubs, teams, skaters or location, or if you know what business replaced the rink please post that information here also. Help us preserve the memory of the great roller skating rinks of the past.

- Kathie

Last edited by Kathie Fry; April 15th, 2008 at 11:32 PM.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #2
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In SoCal, probably 90% or more of the rinks are gone. In the 70's when skating was most popular there were rinks everywhere. It used to be said around the rinks that Rollerskating, as a participant sport, was bigger than Baseball, Football, Basketball and Hockey combined. I don't know whether it was actually true or where they got their info but it seemed plausible. I don't remember the names of all the rinks that I have been to that are gone but I have included a partial list of cities where there were rinks that AFAIK are gone.

Santa Ana
Buena Park
Glendora
El Monte
West Covina-2
La Puente
Montclair
Redlands
Long Beach
Pasadena
Monterey Park
Costa Mesa
Garden Grove
Torrence
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Old April 15th, 2008, 08:48 PM   #3
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Funny how there is a Memories thread and the first one to post is someone called "Nostalgic." irony-- no?

As I said in another thread somewhere, our rink was destroyed in a tornado back in 1985.

Would it still be there today and kicking? I think so. Because the other two local rinks are still going and they sucked in comparison.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 09:45 PM   #4
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I guess fate has a sense of humor.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #5
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I have a list of roller rinks from the 60's from all around the country if this what you are looking for.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 10:11 PM   #6
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At one point, we had Three rinks in town.

Gibson Arena- Still open, and I attend every session I possibly can there. They have a sister Rink (Same Owners Family) in New Castle Indiana.

Skate-A-Way- Closed in 1992 I believe. (I might be off on the year)

Hullaballoo- Used to be a dance hall just outside of Muncie. They turned it into a skating rink for a couple of years from what my mother told me. It closed in the late 70's - early 80's

Basically, During the late 80's you either went to Gibson's or Skate-A-Way. There were a few of us that went to both. I stayed away from Skate-A-Way for the most part, as their floor ROYALLY sucked.

Skate-A-Way Started having MAJOR management issues, and started suffering maintanence problems shortly after. They had a big hole in the floor for nearly 2 years, that got worse and worse, with nothing done about it.

The rink was really small compared to the rink at Gibson arena, and there was a big rivalry between the patrons of each rink. I remeber fondly the RIP sessions we used to have between the Skate-A-Way Regulars, and the Gibson's Regulars. Some of them had Shirts printed "Skate Away from the Craters in the floor"...etc. Some Skate-A-Way Die Hards used to come to the speed team open practices just to spectate, and heckle... That sometimes caused friction... My cousin used to tell me stories of the stupid crap they would pull on Friday nights in the Gibson Arena Parking lot...

The building that housed Skate-A-Way is still standing but it is now a carpet store. The Old disco floor (Really just a raised 9'X9' lighted floor stage platform thingy) got sold to the local under 21 club, and was destroyed in a fire 2 years after the rink closed.

I never skated at the Hullabaloo, as I was really REALLY little when it closed (Building is still there, but it is a storage warehouse now).

There is Rumor that there is a rink in Gaston Indiana (Tiny little hole in the earth town a few minutes northwest of Muncie). But I have yet to get the inkling to even attempt going to that god-forsaken little town to see if it is true.

I also had another Favorite Rink that was Located in Somerset Kentucky. I used to go there when my parents would take me to see my Great Grandmother and our Aunts and Uncles that lived in Mt. Vernon. I don't remember the name of the rink, but they had a REALLY nice wood floor that was well maintained. I haven't been down that way in about 5 years, so I don't even know if that rink is still there or not. It would be a shame if it has closed. Everyone there was friendly, they played GREAT music, and the floor was one of the nicest wood floors I had ever skated on.

I might take a Drive to get photos of the locations, and the actual physical addresses of the Old Hulaballoo and the Old Sake-A-Way building to post up in here. I'll ask around to some of the other skaters around here and see if they have any photos from the heydays of the closed rinks. Outside, inside... whatever.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
have a list of roller rinks from the 60's from all around the country if this what you are looking for.
Brikkee, it would be interesting to see that list. Do you know if most of those roller rinks are still open, or have most of them closed?

- Kathie
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Old April 16th, 2008, 12:57 AM   #8
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WOW, in VA it is just the opposite, well at least in our are skating is making a come back. Of course my wife and I promote it alot in our area.

Its cheap
Its family fun
Its fanstastic exercise.

Heck we talked with a few of our friends about building one. A nice big one, with state of the art light and sound. Plenty of staff to keep it up. We even found the perfect place to build one.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 01:43 AM   #9
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Old April 17th, 2008, 01:46 AM   #10
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the george robbin's rink directory is still online http://www.netaxs.com/people/grr/Roller/index.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200304181...dex.html#rinks

Last edited by Bill; August 10th, 2011 at 07:12 AM. Reason: added archive link
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Old April 17th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #11
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Default Price Hill Rink

The Old Price Hill Roller Rink In Cincinnati Was My Favorite Rink
It Was A Small Rink 20 Lap Track
But The Fun We Had There And The Friends I Have From There.
I'ts Tore Down Now And I Only Have A Few Pictures.
God!!! I Miss That Rink.
Cap Sefferino Managed The Rink
And It Was Owned By Lou And Bud Meyer. Father And Son.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 07:16 PM   #12
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When we still lived in the Philadelphia Area (in the early 70's) My husband and I met and skated at Pike Rollarena, South Hampton Pa. Any one else ever skate there??? Bill Clark was the Organist, but, about the time I started skating he was leaving to open his own rink. Shortly after my husband and I were married Marty Dumic arrived at Pike to play the Organ!!! OMG ... we were all so young!!! I think Marty was about 20 years old and we were in our 20's too!

Pike was not a large rink, but what a "FUN" Rink... The "Fleahoppers" skated 2nd session on Saturday nights and that is what impressed me the most since I was a "newbie". There was a bunch of us haridressers that worked together and decided that we needed something "different" to do on weekends... It all started out as a joke but it didn't take long for 3 of us to become addicted!!! After all... we got all the help we needed to learn how to skate. Imagine a group of 7 or 8 Hairdressers, with "Big Blond Hair" and "tiny little Hot Pants"... The guys were tripping over each other to "help us learn"!!! hahaha...LOL.... Oh what memories!!!

We were all just stunned when we started skating on Sunday evenings too... That's when the Artistic skaters showed up... And that's when I met my husband! The memories are wonderful... the Christmas Party at session when our Son was "Rudolph"... the Junior level Dance Team that did the Flirtation Waltz and then the Continental. And then the few of us that were in the Adult Skate Class fumbling thru the Glide Waltz in our funky looking costumes!!! But it's all great memories from a rink that "used to be".

And now, all these years later my husband and I are so very proud to still be skating and still having "FUN"....

Let's hear some more memories!!!!!!!

Last edited by NaNaDo; April 18th, 2008 at 04:54 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old April 18th, 2008, 01:24 AM   #13
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Default Cleveland Ohio rinks

Looking on the pages you posted, I recognized the listings for Cleveland Ohio.
The Rollercade on Denison and Puritas Springs rink I remember my father telling me about them. They are both gone, I never got a chance to skate there.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:14 AM   #14
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Default Phoenix AZ Rinks

These rinks are not on the list.

Rollercade
Skateworld
Shadow Mountain
Tempe Skateland
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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:32 AM   #15
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Default Rink is closed

Janesville Wisconsin had a rink called Skatin Place and that closed last year it is now a Banquet Hall.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:26 PM   #16
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There's a rink on the list in Youngstown call "Rollercade". I remember skating there in middle school for school skate partys.It was a great old place. It closed and the building was bought by the Schwebles baking company. The building is still standing and being used by them. There was another place in Boardman,Ohio called "RollerWorld".I think it was built in the late 70's. It didn't last long. It was a new build and seamed to have top of the line everything. From what i heard it was bad ownership/ managment that put it under.Everything was auctioned off and my friends father how owned a rink in nearby Salem ohio bought the floor.We cut it out loaded it up and put it in his rink....What a job that was as his rink was on the second floor.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #17
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Default Cleveland Rollercade

Cleveland Rollercade Was A Huge Rink. 12 Laps To The Mile.
Nationals Was Held There A Few Times. The Last Time In 1958.
Many Records Were Set There. George Grudza Set The Record In Every Distance There. Skating Intermediate Men (now Junior Men)

Jack Dalton Owned The Rink.
I Do Have A Post Card Of The Rink.
That Is A Great Hobby For Some One Into Old Rinks.
I Have About 400 Cards And Some Are From 100 Years Ago.
Years Ago Many Rinks Were In Amusement Parks.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #18
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Man, a walk down memory lane...

In orange county California between the 57 and 605 freeways you had,

Skate ranch, skate depot, skate garden, skateway, skatopia, and a few more I cant remember the names of. Skateway had 3 or 4 rinks spread around socal I think.

I believe there were over 50 in the LA/OC area in the mid to late 70s, and maybe 25 left by the mid 80s.

The RSROA (roller skating rink owners assoc.) They said skating went in 7 year swings, in the 80s it never swung back

In the 80s there was one dirty word invented in the skate industry, "Rollerblades" lol.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TONY KISSING View Post
That Is A Great Hobby For Some One Into Old Rinks.
I Have About 400 Cards And Some Are From 100 Years Ago.
Years Ago Many Rinks Were In Amusement Parks.

My father and Grand Father both worked at Euclid Beach Park on the east side of Cleveland. The used to spend alot of time at the roller rink there as well.

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Old April 19th, 2008, 06:37 AM   #20
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Default what about almost closed?

I was checking out your IL rink list and did not see Aurora Skate Center. It opened in '55 and is still going. The latest owner is trying real hard to make it better. I've been skating there since the '70's when my older brother and I used to walk together through a cornfield to get there. It was on the decline even back then. Some even called it a "dump". In Dec '07 a corner of the roof collapsed after some heavy snows. I thought it was going to be the end but they completely redid the roof and re-opened last week. This "dump" is where I became best friends with my brother, first kissed a girl, and met the girl who years later became my wife. I'm really hoping it gets ON your list and doesn't get taken off.

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