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FORMER ICE ARENAS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Edition of  March 28, 2013

Additions, corrections, annotations, welcome.


  Dana Shima's research started the pre 50's information.

See my list of currently operating rinks

Ronda Kalan emailed August 4, '05 regarding another rink at 5575 Sepulveda Blvd: 
"Memories of Harlan and Margaret Parker's Skating Rink (Culver City studio rink at 5575
Sepulveda  Blvd. at Jefferson, about 40' x 60'. In 2005 a FedEx Kinko's per Sylia Stoddard) come back as I remember (1953-1962) having all of my
childhood birthday parties at their tiny skating rink. When they had "shows" we needed to walk through the liquor bar next door to get around back so the audience out front would not see us in our costumes first.  My sister and I took lessons with Harlan who made us do far too many figure eights!  Buying a new skating skirt from their display behind the register was a highlight in a young girl's day!  I remember it well. Even fonder memories were my Saturday afternoons at the Polar Palace until it burned down in the early 60s.  My teacher, Mabel Fairbanks (a kind lady with red hair and gold skates) was always telling me to put more "oomph" into my flying sit spins.  One day, she told me that since I was an advanced skater she would need to raise the price of my lessons from $3.00 to $3.50 per lesson.  I thought that was very high but was proud to be considered advanced.  
   Two years ago, I finally turned in my figure skates for hockey skates and am having the most fun I have ever had skating!  If I could only find a team of "kids" my own age, we'd need to call ourselves "The Geri-hat-tricks!"  My teammates haven't realized how old I really am!"

Suzanne Shea Reed's email of Aug. 4, 2005:  (address bounced Oct 20, '08)
I used to ice skate in San Diego so it was really nostalgic to read the entries about the San Diego (La Mesa, Mission Valley) rinks!  I had taught myself to skate at a tiny ice rink that was part of Vic Tanny Gyms in San Diego.  They were the first "chain" of gyms, even before the Jack La Lanne chain.   This was around 1959 and the gym was on El Cajon Blvd not far from San Diego State College area. My dad signed up for the two year family plan.  In addition to the workout room, pool, steam room and tiny two lane bowling alley, there was also a very small ice rink.  I took to the sport right away and was soon going backwards and doing small spins etc, in that tiny space.
Valerie (Johnson) Freeman email of  March 27, 2010. "I also skated at Polar Palace in LaHabra.   I started going about 1972 when one of my friends was taking lessons from Byron Crow.  I then started lessons in Fall 1974 from Tina Parker (now McGuire) until the rink was closed in 1980.  Tina & Harland were my 2nd parents.  Friends I skated with were married at the Ritz wedding/banuqet facility in 1991.   Lots of good times and good friends were had there."


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