California Bear

Roll Play: Our Favorite Roller-Skating Rinks

In the 1970s, roller skating was synonymous with carhops at drive-ins, glittery disco balls, teased feathered hair, hot pink leotards and the BeeGees. Though popularity and prevalence has waxed and waned over the years with the introduction of rollerblades, motorized scooters and hefty rink lease fees, the once dwindling pastime is here to stay. Here’s where to get your skate on. 

Photo courtesy of Pigeon’s Roller Rink 

Pigeon’s Roller Rink

Opened in 2021 by Shayna “Pigeon” Miekle, an avid skater on Beach Cities Roller Derby’s Allstar team and owner of Pigeon’s Roller Skate Shop, the retro-inspired rink in Long Beach is marked by a vintage travel trailer camper at the entrance, and throwback touches like a tufted velvet sofa, salvaged church pews, a 1970s-esque striped wall decal and an old black Volkswagen Bug hood installation by set design company RetroCetra. “I truly believe in investing back into your community, and what better way than providing a physical place and a safe space for everyone to further enjoy the skates after they leave the skate shop,” says Miekle, who has traveled the world teaching skating and skate maintenance. “Originally the venue wanted us to be a three-month pop-up, but after we brought in thousands and thousands of people, we got an extension that has lasted almost 3 years. People want to roller skate, and we proved that.” 

Photo courtesy of Moonlight Rollerway

Moonlight Rollerway

Originally built in the 1940s and operated as an airplane manufacturing facility for World War II, the iconic rink—first launched as Harry’s Roller Rink in 1956—features an original two-and-a-half-inch tongue and groove maple wood floor, a snack bar with goodies like funnel cake and pizzas, and walls lined with multi-colored lights. Appearing in films such as The Buddy Holly Story and Lovelace, the roller rink offers skating lessons for adults and kids, themed skating nights, and a pro shop for skate rentals, accessories, and equipment. 

Photo courtesy of Skateworld San Diego

Skateworld San Diego

Set within a massive dome lined with yellow, blue, and red beams, the mega rink (the city’s only indoor rink), features skating sessions from Barbie & Ken Night to Disney Night. Want to take home a helmet, knee pads, or a pair of custom-designed skates? Head to the on-site gear store, Fritzy’s.

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