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|The photos on this page were moved here from my Signs section to accompany an article I wrote for the Society for Commercial Archeology's Journal magazine.|
Skateland opened in 1955. In 1963, this roller rink moved across the street to a smaller location. The rink's neon signs were reinstalled on the new building. The letters spelling out "Skateland" originally arched over the original location's curved roof. A slight bend can still be detected in the metal scaffolding that supports the letters. Each letter is about four feet tall. The full line of text runs about 32 feet in length. The skate above the letters is about thirteen feet tall. Its neon wheels were animated to create the illusion of spinning.
Skateland's "Roller Skate for Health" sign had also been installed on the front of the original building. When the business moved, this sign was tucked away on the back of the new building where it is visible from Sam Cooper Boulevard. There were two slightly smaller neon skates displayed on the front of the original building as well. In 2008, one was still on display (photo on right above). By 2011, both skates were gone.
Skateland closed in 2006 after a devastating fire. In 2007, County Glass moved into the building and chose to keep the rink's signs above the entrance. The signs' neon had stopped operating long before the fire. There are no plans to restore them. The "Roller Skate for Health" sign will probably be sold to a local historic organization. The original light-up board that displayed messages such as "Couples Skate" and "All Skate" is still on display inside the building. The rink's hardwood boards were removed and recycled into floors, end tables and kitchen tables around Memphis. For more, see this website.
|Skate America Fun Center
|Starlite Skate Center
The Skate America Fun Center has been here since at least the 1980s. My guess is that this sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s.
The Starlite Skate Center opened in 1951. The rink closed around 2002. It reopened in 2011 as the Route 66 Roller Dome.
|Great Lakes Skate Center [gone]
|Foothill Skate Inn
Grand Island, NE
The Great Lakes Skate Center burned down in early 2007. The building has been demolished and I believe this sign is gone now. It must have had neon at one time. [2007 photo thanks Mark Comstock]
The Skate Inn opened in 1973 and this sign is from then. It is lit at night when the place is open.
Skate Island opened in 1966. This twenty foot tall sign was there from the beginning. Originally, the giant skate revolved. However, high winds kept stripping the motor's contacts. This led to the sign's conversion into a weathervane. A tail was added to back of the skate at that time. At some point, the skate had a pom-pom or two. In 2010, the sign was completely refurbished for about $11,000. These photos are from 2012. The original frame was used while the sign's acrylic panels were replaced with more durable flex face. Although the skate is now stationary, the weathervane tail was retained. The skate is lit from inside and its undercarriage is lit with blue neon. The wheels convincingly spin with white bulbs.
The Nampa Rollerdrome opened in 1948. For more, see their website.
Star Skate opened in 1964 as Skateland 2020. The name and sign were changed sometime after 2008. For more, see this website.
San Antonio, TX
The Rocket Skating Palace is closed but this sign remains. The space is now known as the Fiesta Palace, a catering hall. For more, see this website.
Broadway Skateland opened in 1961. This sign must be from then.
I believe Skateland opened in 1968. This sign appears to be from then.
|Skateland opened in 1955. This rooftop sign had neon until around 1960. The tubing was removed after it was damaged by vandals. The sign's skaters were modeled after an unidentified couple from a photograph submitted to the sign shop. The sign is about 29 feet long and skaters are about eleven feet tall. It has been repainted about four times in the original colors. Around 2000, the woman's roller skates were repainted as roller blades. For more, see this website.|
|Ontario Ice Skating Center
|The Ontario Ice Skating Center opened in 1957 as the Ice Bowl. For more, see their website.|
|For Giant Skates, see this page.|
More Skating Signs:
Culver Ice Arena: 1, 2, 3 (Culver City, CA)
Valle Vista Skating Center: 1, 2 (Hayward, CA) [gone]
Roller Palladium (Santa Cruz, CA)
Skateland (Whittier, CA) [gone]
Skateland (Trinidad, CO)
Paradise Roller Rink (Vincennes, IN)
Great Lakes Roller Rink: 1, 2 (Ypsilanti, MI) [gone?]
unidentified skating rink (Farmington, NM)
Tommy's Roller Rink (Las Cruces, NM)
Skateland (Norman, OK)
Rocket Skating Club (Oklahoma City, OK) [gone]
Carousel Skate (Sioux Falls, SD)
Tennessee Valley Skate Center (Knoxville, TN) [gone]
unidentified skating rink (Lubbock, TX) [gone?]
Centralia Rollerdrome (Centralia, WA)
All Skate! (vintage skate signs, Flickr group) (various cities)
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