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Roller skating lives

Updated on October 12, 2015

Roller skating may seem to some like a silly fad that faded out with disco and the '80s.

True enough, many venerable roller rinks have come and gone; including Massachusetts' Wallex, Spinoff and Bal-A-Roue. Others have curtailed hours and/or added attractions like laser tag and line dancing to keep in business since the '80s heyday when they would attract big crowds. Roller skating films like 1980's "Xanadu" featuring an eclectic mix of Olivia Newton John, Gene Kelly and E:LO seem silly and dated. Look carefully, though, and you will still find that roller skating retains many devoted fans.

Roller skates today are hugely improved over the bone shaking strap ons some of us used as kids, and in addition to the old fashioned quads (two wheels side by side, front and back on each skate); inlines (4 wheels in a straight row) have become an extremely popular alternative, especially for outdoor skating.The Inline Skating Club of Boston goes for several tours in the city and surrounding areas several times a week, weather permitting.

The wildly popular second annual Donna Summer disco skate took place on Boston's City Hall Plaza in June of '15.

Florida transplant Forrest Welling invested a lot of time and energy into transferring the old Silver City Skate in Taunton MA to a spanking new and refurbished Forrest's Family Fun Center, attracting a huge crowd on Grand Opening night.

Adults only night, held the last Sunday of the month at Roller Kingdom Tyngsboro draws huge crowds and Skateland in Haverhill continues to attract a hardy band of baby boomer age skaters that have enjoyed the sport for 30 or more years.

Chez-Vous Roller Rink in Boston, open for over 80 years remains a community staple to this day.

You can still catch the roller derby - and while disco has largely been supplanted by hip hop and pop music, there's still occasional session with old fashioned organ music.

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    • George Sommers profile imageAUTHOR

      George Sommers 

      3 years ago from Weymouth, MA

      That's a darn good point. I had meant to mention chez vous- but forgot! I will edit it that info into the article.

    • profile image

      Derick Foster 

      3 years ago

      Great article, but don't forget about Chez-Vous Roller Rink in Boston, open for over 80 years and still a community staple till' this day!

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