Skating Signs

(hit "refresh" to get the most recent version of this page; click on photos for larger images)

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.

Memphis, TN
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. [map]

Skate America Fun Center
Texarkana, TX
Starlite Skate Center
Sapulpa, OK
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. [map]

The Starlite Skate Center opened in 1951. The rink closed around 2002. It reopened in 2011 as the Route 66 Roller Dome. [map]

Great Lakes Skate Center [gone]
Ypsilanti, MI
Santa Cruz Roller Palladium
Santa Cruz, CA
Star Skate
Norman, OK
The Great Lakes Skate Center burned down in early 2007. The building has been demolished and I believe this sign is gone now. It apparently had neon at one time. For more, see this website. [2007 photo thanks Mark Comstock]

The Santa Cruz Roller Palladium opened in 1950. This sign might be from then. [map]

Star Skate opened in 1964 as Skateland 2020. The name and sign were changed sometime after 2008. For more, see this website. [map]

Skate Inn
Tallahassee, FL
Foothill Skate Inn
Sacramento, CA
Skate Island
Grand Island, NE
The Skate Inn opened in 1973 and this sign is from then. It is lit at night when the place is open. [map]

The Foothill Skate Inn opened in 1973. The original sign was painted plywood. The plastic panels on this sign were replaced in 2007. This photo is from 2014. [map]

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 weather vane tail was retained. The skate is lit from inside and its undercarriage is lit with blue neon. The wheels convincingly spin with white bulbs. [map]

Nampa Rollerdrome
Nampa, ID
The Nampa Rollerdrome opened in 1948. This sign and the entrance appear to be from the 1960s. The sign was repainted sometime after 2009. For more, see this website. [map]

Broadway Skateland
Mesquite, TX
San Antonio, TX
Tulsa, OK
Broadway Skateland opened in 1961. This sign must be from then. [map]

The Rollercade opened as the Northporte Rollercade in 1959. This sign is from then. The name was shortened in 1984. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

I believe Skateland opened in 1968. This sign appears to be from then. [map]

Rocket Skating Palace
Dallas, TX
Deleta Skating & Family Fun Center
Pocatello, ID
The Rocket Skating Palace is gone but this sign remains. The space is now known as the Rocket Event Center. For more, see this website. [map]

The Deleta Skating & Family Fun Center was built in the 1940s as a ballroom and roller rink by Del and Leta Holland. This sign appears to be from the 1960s. [map]

Bakersfield, CA


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 painted as roller blades. These photos are from 2012. In 2015, the sign was repainted and the woman is wearing roller skates again. The new owner is thinking about restoring the neon on the sign. For more, see this website. [map]

Jack's Skateland
Fort Smith, AR
Carousel Skate
Sioux Falls, SD
Jack's Skateland opened here in 1962. The text on the sign originally read "Roller Skating" and might have had neon. The star may have been produced by Standard Neon Supply. [map]

Carousel Skate opened in 1974. This sign may be from then. [map]

Pendleton Skate City
Pendleton, OR
Centralia, WA
Culver Ice Arena
Culver City, CA
Pendleton Skate City was previously known as Skate N Fun. This sign appears to be from the 1960s. For more, see this website. [map]

The Centralia Rollerdrome opened in 1904. This sign is probably from the 1940s or 1950s. For more, see this website. [map]

The Culver Ice Arena opened in 1962 and this sign was built then. It was originally known as the Culver City Ice Rink. This steel and backlit plastic sign is about 60 feet tall. There is also an ice skater statue here. In 2014, the Culver Ice Arena closed. The building and sign have been declared landmarks. However, that is no guarantee that the building will be preserved. The building remains vacant and the sign and statue are still there for now. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Ontario Ice Skating Center
Ontario, CA
The Ontario Ice Skating Center was built in 1957 as the Ice Bowl. This sign is probably from then. [map]

Giant Skates

More Skating Signs:
Valle Vista Skating Center: 1, 2 (Hayward, CA) [gone]
Skateland (Whittier, CA) [gone]
Skateland (Trinidad, CO) [map]
Idyl Wyld Roller Palace (Marion, IN) [map]
Circus Skate (Murray, KY)
Paradise Roller Rink (Vincennes, IN) [map]
unidentified skating rink (Farmington, NM) [gone?]
Tommy's Roller Rink (Las Cruces, NM) [map]
Rocket Skating Club (Oklahoma City, OK) [gone]
Tennessee Valley Skate Center (Knoxville, TN) [gone]
unidentified skating rink (Lubbock, TX) [gone?]

All Skate! Flickr Group (vintage skating signs)

Main SCA Article
Companion Page
Main Signs Page