Anyone remember Skateland?

12/13/03 - posted by P.S. Perris - psperris<at>

Does anyone remember Skateland, the indoor roller skating rink adjacent to Playland At the Beach? I used to pass it all the time while growing up but never ventured inside. (I was more of an ice kind of guy and spent my skating dollars at Sutro's.) It was a big barn of a building near the corner of Balboa and La Playa, right behind the Surf Club/Slot Car place.

While the rest of Playland seems pretty well documented in Marilyn Blaisdell's books and photos, Skateland is a cypher. I've searched the internet for photographs and information but all I found were a couple of photos at the SF Public Library's web site taken in 1972 during demolition.

I'd be interested in hearing any first hand stories about Skateland, such as what years did it operate, what kind of folks went there, was it cool or corny, did it experience any gang-related "troubles" of the type that plagued Playland in its later years?

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