Remember Roller Skate Newington in New Hampshire?
Let’s go back in time to 2011.
Lots of big things happened that year, like the royal wedding, the release of the latest Harry Potter movie, and Queen B herself, Beyonce, announcing her pregnancy at the MTV Video Music Awards.
But for many of us here in New Hampshire, this was the year we lost a staple of the Seacoast region: Roller Skate Newington.
Originally called Happy Wheels Newington according to Forgotten ice rinks of the pastthe rink opened in 1983 and remained open for almost 30 years until it closed in 2011.
This rink was the place to be. Not only was the floor spacious, but you could rent skates if you didn’t have any, grab pizza with friends, play fun arcade games (remember the scary one with the zombies?), and organize birthday parties.
So naturally we were devastated when it closed.
Here is a POV video of one of the final skates.
Watching this feels like stepping back in time. Remember how liberating it was to zoom in on a pair of skates?
How about the special skates they would do, like hokey pokey and backwards only? Could you keep your balance?
You remember skating to the DJ, grabbing the counter to avoid a fall, and making requests for songs like Kesha’s Tik Tok, LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem, Cascada’s Evacuate the Dancefloor, and other hits from that era ?
For some kids (including yours at the time), it was their first exposure to mainstream pop music, and it was exhilarating.
Today, the ice rink building houses habitat for humanity, an organization that sells used furniture and other home goods. They also partner with different organizations to further their admirable mission of “eliminating poverty housing in southeastern New Hampshire.”
But what’s unusual about the current situation is that when Habitat for Humanity moved into the space, they didn’t do much to change its interior.
So when you visit Habitat, the place still looks like Roller Skate Newington but with a ton of furniture on the floor.
Entering the building is like traveling through a slightly warped time capsule, and for those who have inhabited the rink for so many years, it’s a very strange feeling to be there.
Everything from the walls to the floors remains virtually unchanged.
You can still see where the DJ booth was.
In 2012, less than a year after the rink closed and Habitat moved in, these skaters returned to skate among the furniture in a mini “flash mob” commemorating the past.
Whatever the future of the roller skating world, Roller Skate Newington will always have a special and sentimental place in our hearts.
As we take a trip down memory lane, here are some nostalgic reminiscences from Yoken’s restaurant in Portsmouth.
These items will make you nostalgic for Yoken’s restaurant in Portsmouth
Take a look at these Yoken’s family restaurant items, from the menu to the famous treasure chest and “Thar She Blows” whale sign.
10 Things You Totally Remember If You Lived In New Hampshire In The 1980s
If you lived here in New Hampshire in the 1980s, there’s no way you wouldn’t know about these events, people, and places. They were part of our lives and some still are. Unfortunately, a few are no longer with us, but enjoy this list. I know I liked remembering all those things from back then.