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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, 08:53 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 16th, 2008 at 12:32 AM.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 09:39 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, 09:48 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, 10:45 PM   #4
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I guess fate has a sense of humor.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 11:07 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, 11:11 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 16th, 2008, 12:27 AM   #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 December 6th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolRinkRat View Post
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.

wow we had a skate a way in our area here in KY that closed about that same time. What a coincidence. They have reopened it just this past september. I guess I never really thought about there being another one some where elses.
sorry to get off topic this just surprised me.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 02:51 AM   #9
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Default re contact #of tom

hi it seems that you are well versed with the southern rinks. well i was training at skate ranchwith grady. was a participant at the world championships 2. would u have the contact # of tom peterson 1980 world champs. i am really looking for him with . tjh cacoa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
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 November 22nd, 2008, 04:13 PM   #10
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Has anyone approached the roller skating gurus and found any such to open?
I would be curious, if anyone in the last 20 years has opened one.


thanks
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 08:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cacoa View Post
hi it seems that you are well versed with the southern rinks. well i was training at skate ranchwith grady. was a participant at the world championships 2. would u have the contact # of tom peterson 1980 world champs. i am really looking for him with . tjh cacoa
Sorry but I have never met him. Try some of the people search engines if you know enough about him to weed him out of the other search results. Zabasearch and peoplefinders are two of my favorites.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 01:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by cacoa View Post
hi it seems that you are well versed with the southern rinks. well i was training at skate ranchwith grady. was a participant at the world championships 2. would u have the contact # of tom peterson 1980 world champs. i am really looking for him with . tjh cacoa

Hi tjh
have you tried you question in the Artistic Forum? There are many former and current National and World Champion that post there. I am sure you could get some results there !!!
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Old December 5th, 2008, 11:15 PM   #13
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Skatervideoguy -
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Coachlite South, I-435 & Reo Ave. in Overland Park, Ks. I Met my wife of 23 yrs. at this one.
Threw me off a little when I tried to find a rink off of Reo. I skated a few times at the one where you met your wife. KC apparently is the headquarters for Applebees and they took over that building at I-435 and Roe as their base some years back.

There are very few rinks that have that 70's color palette in their carpets and wall paint, but Coachlite was one of them. Unfortunately, the Coachlite's didn't seem to weather the rink famine like the Skatelands and Skateworlds. There is a similar Coachlite rink in St. Louis, Mo that I believe is still operational and has kept the old designs. Maybe you and your wife can visit that one as the surrogate for your old KC location.

As indicated by Skatervideoguy's list, KC took a big hit, but KC had a ton of rinks at one time. So even now, there's probably at least 8-10 roller rinks in the surrounding KC area. Compared to areas like NY City and San Fran, which are barely able to muster up a handful of rinks, little old KC is doing just fine IMHO.

Here's another one that died in the midwest:

Saints Olivette Rink, St. Louis, Mo
1168 N Warson Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63132
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Old December 6th, 2008, 01:13 AM   #14
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Hi diagetus,

Sorry about the type-o. It should have been "Roe". Inspite of close to 50yrs. of practice, I still can't type worth a crap, or spell either. Nor is my proof reading much better.

Thank God I can at least Roller Skate.

That CoachLite is likely one built buy Ken Saseck (SP) and family. They built 2 in Topeka, Ks. (still open) 3 in the KC area (2 still open) Then in St Louis & Chicago. He died recently and his wife, and mostly his daughter & son-in-law, still run one there in St Louis.

His son owns and operates what is now "Skate World" in Overland Park, Ks., one of the Rinks I skate in. I've known the family since they first moved to Topeka, Ks. and built their Rink's there - way back. Topeka is my home town.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 07:42 PM   #15
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Default san francisco's skate land at the beach

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathie Fry View Post
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
One of the great ones was SKATE LAND AT THE BEACH many old time skaters still lovingly talk sbout it even though it's been gone for over 30 years, labor day 1971 it must have been a one of a kind experience.both art and session skaters still talk about it.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:18 PM   #16
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One of the great ones was SKATE LAND AT THE BEACH many old time skaters still lovingly talk sbout it even though it's been gone for over 30 years, labor day 1971 it must have been a one of a kind experience.both art and session skaters still talk about it.
My wife, only my partner at the time, and I skated there in 1957 , we were skating Nationals at Oakland and went there to practice, I remember it as a very nice rink. Two things I remember were the cigarette machine, made in our home town, Haverhill, MA. a DuGrenier, and they played Old Cape Cod at the session, we later lived there for 32 years. Last time we were in San Francisco there had been built a housing developement where the park and rink stood
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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:56 PM   #17
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Default Closed rinks in MA

My wife and I met, skated together and then got married in the 1950's, our rink was Skateland, Haverhill, MA. Skateland has had a couple of other lives, but has been brought back to life by the Pyche family and it is a great facility' Some of the rinks we skated at in those days now all closed I am sure were, Bedford Grove, NH, Wal-lex in Waltham, The Old and Newer Rolland in Norwood, MA, Seaview in Salisbury, Hi Hat in Lowell, Canobie Lake Park in Salen, NH, Maple Arena in Brocton, Bal-a-Roue in Medford, Lincoln Park In North Dartmouth Rialto in Springfield, Revere Arena in Revere.

We got back on the skating scene on the 1980's and became teachers at a rink built for us, Pro Skate in Hyannis, 3 years later that was gone and we moved to in Marshfield Rink, then we were invited to teach at Lincoln Park in North Dartmouth, two years later that was down the tubes and on to Starwheels in Seekonk, MA a beautiful converted ice rink. We retired from teaching there after a couple of years and it closed down shortly after that.

Other rinks I remember that our kids competed in the 1980's now gone Amesbury, Whalon Park Fitchburg, Cape Skate in Hyannis and the Bourne Rink Bourne, Ma,

When we visit Massachusetts in the Fall we visit The Carosel rinks in Fairhaven and Whitman, Ma that the Conways have done a wonderfull job of bringing back to life Silver City in Taunton and the Haverhill Rink. Nice to know that there still a few left that seem to be doing well.

We now reside in SW Florida and there aren't many rinks down here, fortunately Generations is in Fort Myers only ten miles away and we have two artistic sessions in the winter Tuesday and Thursday mornings and one all summer on Thursday morning. HH

I have some old old videos on utube Lincoln Park, Skateland and Bal-a-roue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoCF2arBkrg

Last edited by SAGEBRUSH; May 18th, 2009 at 12:56 AM.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 03:40 AM   #18
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sagebrush what a great video. you talk of many rinks that have closed, i have skated at half of them anyhow if not more. i remember when hyannis opened and closed and went there sat nites with my brother in law. also use to skate at the bourne rink, nice and large with a good floor. those were fun days for sure. enjoy
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Old May 19th, 2009, 03:52 AM   #19
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I grew up in a town called Livingston in Northern NJ. I was Googling recently, trying to find out about the rink I used to skate at as a kid (now long gone) and found a NY Times article about it:

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/16/ny...ects/S/Suburbs
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Old August 26th, 2008, 11:58 AM   #20
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I keep a historical website for the great Chicago area rinks that closed.

Visit here: www.orbitskate.net and click on The Hub

Last count, we had about 1600 roller rinks nationwide left.
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