- ANAHEIM, Glacier Falls Ice Arena. 211 W. Katella, Built by George Baney, local contractor in approximately 1960. It was converted to ice hockey in the late '70's by a trio of doctors.I believe one of the doctors bought the others out and used it for his daughter's practice rink until it was converted to a 'warehouse'of some sort with a different entrance. Willi Kall (Kalinyak) had been the manager for many years. It was very popular for public skating. Since I lived within four miles I skated there a great deal. We played hockey at night before the conversion but we had to use a foam rubber puck made from the floor mats. Willi and Bill Kall, Fred and Guy Hildebrand, Evy Scotveld, the Chiaverinis were among those of us who had a ball, a wide open skating game on Sunday evenings. We did not always have goalies, the lights were not very bright and the nets were very light so we could lift them easily over the low dashers. The 'puck' even hit the low ceiling at times.
Click on the thumbnail pic, then when it loads slowly click on the pic. Bill Kalyinak emailed me the pages of the program and came through even bigger than I have them 'scaled down' some.Glacier Falls Reunions website has names, pictures, details for their reunions every year in Orange County
- Bakersfield Ice Chalet (more info needed)
- Bakersfield Ice Palace
3737 Rosedale Hwy.
Bakersfield, CA 93308
no longer listed
- BIG BEAR LAKE, 40679 Lakeview, corner of Badger, Ice Chalet, open from 1963-1978. I have received numerous dates on when it's roof collapsed. I consider the following quote the most reliable; "collapse would have been in early February of 1969, the same time that Holiday Market (now Lakeview Market on top of Red Ant Hill) collapsed from the snow/rain weight." After refrigeration failed it was used as a roller rink. Has been a large antique mall on which the sign says "Going out of business". I took these pics Sept. 14, 2009
- Outdoor ICE GARDENS, Big Bear Lake, opened December 2009, closed February 2010.outdoor refrigerated rink, corner of Pine Knot Ave and Village Drive, east end of The Village, 110 by 48 ft, uncovered. Operator was Gary Stevens with equipment from his La Quinta rink which closed August 2009. Dismantled and moved March -April 2010.
- BREA, Ice Capades Chalet at north end of Brea Mall. Opened in early '80's, closed in about 1987 for expansion of the mall. Moisture from the ice would have required some $$ improvements also.
- CANOGA PARK, Topanga Plaza, Topanga Canyon & Vanowen CANOGA PARK, Topanga Plaza, Topanga Canyon & Vanowen
& Victory. It is now the food court in the current Westfield Topanga Mall. Some one emailed that they played hockey there and in 1973, Bob Pulford (Played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Coached the Kings) was their Pollywog coach.
- CATHEDRAL CITY, Ice Garden 68307 E. Palm Canyon Dr. Cathedral City, CA 92234 760-770-7046
- COSTA MESA, Klondike. 95 by 212 ft. Built by George Baney on Paularino Avenue, bounded on the north by South Coast Plaza and the San Diego Fwy, on the east by the Newport Fwy and on the southwest by the Corona Del Mar Fwy. Opened and closed in the '70's but was not put to alternate use for a long time.
- COSTA MESA, Ice Chalet
Mesa Verde Center
Bilbo Baggins nearby
2701 Harbor Blvd, approximately 1970-2001
Demolition pictures July 2003
- CULVER CITY, see my Currently Operating Rinks link at the top of this page for the rink at 4545 Sepulveda Blvd. Long ago there was a roller rink which may have had an ice surface, on Washington Place which ran parallel and in between Venice and Washington Blvd off Sepulveda Blvd.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!"
- FRESNO (since S. California teams played there). An article on Ice Skating in the book,"Fresno County in the 20th Century From 1900's to the 1980's Volume 2." by Charles W. Clough with several co-authors, available at the Los Angeles Public Library.
" A storage plant and icehouse in the vicinity of South Elm Avenue near Easton served as the first makeshift ice skating rink in Fresno during the winter months of the 1930's.
Plans for a new ice skating rink northest of the corner of Olive and Fresno streets began in 1940, and interest was generated over a local hockey team organization in addition to other sporting activities. The building design included a trussed, barrel-type roof structure and slab-covered side embankments for tiered seating. The Fresno Bee noted the official opening of the Fresno Ice Rink on February 5, 1942.(at 2545 Olive.Street)."...............
"The rink closed in 1943 because of World War II, and the ice arena was converted into a defense plant occupied by a Fresno branch of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation for assembly of military plane sections. It again became an ice arena after the war."...............
"The Ice Arena was torn down in 1956 because of fire hazards, and the old Camp Pinedale Theater building on Harrison was leased by Beverly Jones and Clifford Paige for a new ice skating rink. Three weeks after the equipment was moved into the building it burned to the ground. A rink was rebuilt at the same site in 1957 and was called Iceland. This facility was sold to Bill and Julie Barrett in 1962, who operated it until 1975. Ice skating then moved to Icelandia at 2455 North Marks in 1976."
Chuck Collins brought the following information to my attention in March 2004. Gateway Ice Center, 2473 N. Marks Avenue was built about 1995, adjacent to the above cited Icelandia rink. The Gateway management group took over Icelandia and later converted it to roller hockey.
- GARDEN GROVE, Westbrook Ice Arena, 10131 Westminster Ave. Opened in mid '70's and was converted to a bowling alley within about two years before the public ever knew it was there. Excellent facility. Apparently a Sharks practice arena. Garden Grove Americans published a flyer announcing minor hockey program. Contacts were Larry Mann, Phyllis Kepple, Mary Johasson, Garvin Ibbotsin. I played 'pick up' there a few times. Mike Yoder emailed me in Dec '04 that he played at Westbrook in 1974-75 for the Garden Grove Americans Bantams. He said it was fun and he misses the rink. He recalled playing in Norwalk, Costa Mesa, West Covina and Torrance.
- HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, Skate Zone was a converted warehouse, 16091 Gothard St. Closed on March 31, 2007. per Kevin Stockdale whose broomball group played there 5-6 years after playing at Ice Capades Chalet, Costa Mesa from '85 till it closed.
Photos by Dave Monshaw as it closed, ice still in, arcade machines and Zam trucked off.
- IRVINE, Irvine Ice Arena, 3400 Michaelson Drive. In 2000 this very successful, popular, very attractive modern rink was closed and converted to a synagogue under questionable circumstances.
- LANCASTERThe team associated with GLAMHA was named "Antelope Valley Roadrunners" . The program produced a number of teams in the early and mid 1970s at least two of whom won division and regional championships with GLAMHA. I know this because I was on the '72-'73 Roadrunners team that beat Van Nuys in the Division and San Diego for the Southern California Championship. Yes, it was a small rink , but we made an impression when we were able beat several established teams. We were known as the country boys “hics” because of the rural roots. The teams that participated were traveling teams that evolved from a local YMCA house league. The history was short lived and not as established as most of the other hockey communities. Definitely think being on a small rink was a plus in many ways, because we were forced into more of a skill game of stick-handling and passing and using teammates. Our biggest issue was adapting to wide-open play and endurance. Since it was a fairly small community (probably under 20,000 at the time) all of the kids grew up in the same neighborhoods and schools and "lived" hockey in all their spare time. Very few alternative distractions in those days. Also helped during the late '60s -early '70s that the YMCA was prominent in youth sports marketing and starting house leagues by offering hockey within the schools. Those house league teams eventually had a group of All-stars that developed into the travelling teams for GLAMHA. It wasn't until the community grew and AYSO soccer was getting a foothold that hockey began its downhill spiral losing local prominence. This entry courtesy of Kurt Gunzel,SkatePlex USA, December 2010
Melody Ice Gardens, Trevor Avenue, Lancaster. Building was sold about 1981 and the use changed a couple times to auto body repair in 2010.
- LAGUNA HILLS ICE GARDENS was proposed late '70's but was never built. Site was chosen near intersection of Moulton Parkway and Ridge Route per a conversation I had about that time with Biff Reddin
- LA QUINTA ICE GARDEN closed August 2009. It was on Dunes Palms off Highway 111 in La Quinta California. The operator, Gary Stevens moved the equipment to Big Bear Lake California, outdoor rink, corner of Pine Knot Ave and Village Drive, east end of "the Village" which only lasted a few months, although very popular it succumbed to equipment failures.
- LAKE ARROWHEAD-BLUE JAY area. In the early 1930s, an outdoor rink was built among the pine trees on Highway 189. That rink was torn down in the late 1970s and a new one was completed in 1983. Lake Arrowhead resident Carol Probst, who had skated with the Ice Follies, was approached by the Blue Jay Village Co. to build a bigger and better rink, a unique structure open on three sides to give an outdoors aspect. The only rink in the country designed to let in fresh air and sunshine. It was called Ice Castle, a large ice skating rink opening in 1983. After three days of snowfall, on Feb. 14, 2001, the entire roof collapsed due to the weight of the snow.
As it was.
looking at rink from front door.
Warm room end from front door.
The entrance with parking lot in background.
Demolition pictures, July 2002 by Dave Monshaw
Besides a professional-size ice rink, the 30,000-sq.ft. building contained offices, lockers, restrooms and concession areas. Built in 1982, the building's superstructure was a pre-engineered metal frame of tapered steel beams spaced 25 feet apart on center and spanning the width of the building.
see my page for currently operating rinks for the Ice Castle International Training Center, Lake Arrowhead, CA
- LONG BEACH, Polarink, 645 W. Anaheim Blvd opened March 17, 1939 next to CRS (California Refrigerated Services). Both are still located there in March 2001, however the 'rink' is used only for cold storage. How long it lasted is now 'the question'. Our guesses are not longer than the mid '50's, at best.
Polar Palace has a separate page on this site.
- UCLA Hockey History goes back to 1926
- On April 5, 2012 Brian Burns emailed me this photo of the Hollywood Millionaires for whom his grandfather Cecil Daley played, fifth from left. Internet Hockey Data Base for defenseman Cecil Daley: 1926-27 Regina Capitals 31 games, 1930-31 Oakland Checkers and 1931-32 Duluth Hornets. My guess is the photo is early 30's. You can google Hollywood Millionaires and see that they played in the professional California Hockey League. Cecil was from Pembroke, Ontario, as was another player on the Millionaires.
- Sonja Henie Westwood Palace of Ice, originally called the Tropical Ice Gardens and was the first home of the All Year FSC (now at Culver Ice Arena). Jim Parsons speed skater, reports this is where he spent some of the most enjoyable times of his youth in the '40's and states the rink was located in Westwood Village just north of Wilshire Blvd between Veteran Ave and Westwood Blvd. Photos and the whole fascinating history on Sylvia Stoddard's 'Square One' site.
- No name 'rink' which started life as an open air rink with a roof added after WWII.., I found a building via directions from the late Art Guiney which he said had housed a small ice surface at one time. I recall vaguely it was on Hollywood Blvd, east of La Cienega and was a dark wooden structure with the grade sloping away from the road. In the 70's my guess it was into some sort of floral or art shop. I know Art said it had been open at one time and not suitable for ice hockey.
- Ice Skating Palace, 1041 South Broadway per the Los Angeles Examiner December 23, 1916
" Old Skaters Renew Youth at Ice RinkHow I used to skate" back East and up North was the chief topic of conversation last night at the Ice Skating Palace, 1041 South Broadway, (6 blocks south of Staples Center if you go down 11th Street) which was opened for an "invitational try-out." Hundreds of Los Angeles folk glided, skidded and otherwise disported themselves on the glassy surface to the music of a band. Many who had "not skated for years" took a chance and "came back," even though they knew there would be some sore muscles in the morning. Barney Goss, the assistant manager in charge, saw that everybody got a chance to try the big sheet of real ice, which is 65x210 feet and "smooth as glass." The new rink, which opens to the public at 2 o'clock this afternoon, is one of a chain of five owned by Joseph Patrick."
- 1925, the Palais du Glace on Melrose almost a block east of Vermont in a low area, near the Braille Institute and Los Angeles City College, which today is likely zoned residential but was formely commercial. Possibly also called Winter Garden. Cary Adams added that the low area was subject to flood and every so often the water would rush through the rink during a rain storm. Dana's research found that a Mack Sennett silent movie was made there in 1926. Most likely used at least to the mid 1930's by college, pro and semi-pro hockey. Possibly filmed there was a Turner Classic Movie, an early Robert Taylor, mid-30's, "Times Square Lady" with a hockey scene between the L.A. Giants and Glendale Greyhounds from the short lived Intercity League. Photos and more on Sylvia Stoddard's site
- Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on the L.A. Public Library site a 1959 photo of installation of the ice floor. Opened in 1958-59 on the grounds of the Coliseum, home of college and pro football. If it still has an ice surface I have no knowledge of it being used. The ice surface was below ground level and it was a good facility, used also for exhibitions and basketball.
- Mack Sennett studio an ice rink in mid -30's. Located at 1712 Glendale Blvd., between Aaron and Effie Streets.
- PAN PACIFIC AUDITORIUM, Melrose Ave, L.A.
In about 1970 I witnessed the preparation of one of the last ice surfaces for a show. Sylvia Stoddard sent the photos and wrote; "I'm enclosing four photos of the wondrous Pan Pacific. One is vintage with great old cars. You can see how huge the place was. The other three were taken in the mid 1970s by my father when it had been repainted (and the
"Pan Pacific" letters knocked down) for use as an NBC studio in the film FUNNY LADY. The last ice shows I saw there were the 1961 Ice Follies and Ice Capades. The LA Sports Arena opened then and the ice shows all went there--a terrible move as there was never a house as dark as the Pan Pacific. The Sports Arena had zillions of doors on all levels and you could never get the place very dark. I think Holiday on Ice played a couple of times at the Forum. The pipes at the Pan Pacific were permanent, so there could have been a champions' tour or some such put on there after that, but I still have the program for the 1972 post-Olympics tour, and it was at the Sports Arena."
End of L.A. city list
- NEWBURY PARK, Conejo Valley Ice Skating Center. Bill Ruggiero emailed that he started skating there in 1987 and he thinks it closed in 1993-94. His daughter Angela went on to the 1998 Olympic Team and son, Billy, the Moncton Wildcats-QMJHL. Jan 2007 Leesa Johnson Large emailed her memories of the rink. " I skated at the Conejo Valley ice skating center from 1976-1986. The rink was a huge part of my childhood and produced a lot of great skaters. I loved that dirty, disco rink. I have fond memories of the roof leaking everytime it rained, battling the hills during figures on the end patches, and skating with my friends. I am very thankful each day that I had such a great rink to skate in. It may have been dirty, freezing, and leaky, but it was a great environment for kids. I
don't have any bad memories there. I learned valuable life lessons, and pass them on to my skaters today. I am now a coach at the most beautiful rink in America. My current rink my be a beautiful building with a lake view, but it doesn't have the warmth and feeling of family that Conejo had
for me. I maybe romantizing my childhood but the parents and coaches did a great job not letting us kids know about any of the typical club bs that happens. The last time I saw the rink it had become a home depot. Very sad."
- NORTH HILLS Iceoplex, 8345 Hayvenhurst Place, NORTH HILLS, CA, closed in 2001 due to the 'energy crises', unknown status whether ever will re-open
- NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Ice Capades Chalet, Laurel Plaza, Laurel Canyon & Oxnard was destroyed along with it's end of the shopping mall when the Northridge earthquake struck. The May Co. at the other end of the mall survived, but was closed for years. It is all that remains of the shopping center on Laurel Canyon Blvd.
- NORTH HOLLYWOOD,Schramm's was located on Vineland just north of Vanowen or Sherman Way. It closed down for years and then later re-opened as the "Valley Gardens" with wrestling events and boxing, but apparently not ice skating. Marty Tryon emailed that in approximately 1960-63 he learned to skate there. Sylvia Stoddard wrote; "Schramms was a hoot--a real barn of a place. April Schramm drove a 1959 Chevy convertible entirely covered in glitter. Really! I used to see
her occasionally at Pickwick after Schramm's closed."
NORWALK ICE ARENA , 14100 Shoemaker Ave.,NORWALK, CA, Closed March 2008 after serving for probably fifty yeas as a home for local hockey teams, curling competitors and competitive skaters. This is the full size picture. I don't have a larger one.
- PALM DESERT, City Skate of Palm Desert closed in 2001, a small Ice Capades Chalet rink, home to the Desert Hockey Association. Was replaced by stores. Westfield Shoppingtown 72-840 Highway 111 , PALM DESERT, CA. Gary Stevens managed to replace it with a smaller one which had a hockey program.
- PASADENA, From the February 1941 "Southwest Builder and Contractor" , a defunct trade journal, the article "Ice Skating Rink Attests Value of Complete Planning", about . the newest ice skating rink in the state, the Pasadena Winter Garden. Apparently it was built by Cliff Henderson of the Pan Pacific. The article has several interior and some exterior front entrance pictures. The journal is available in the archives of the Los Angeles Public Library. My boys Mites team played one of their first games at the Winter Garden on Green Street, a huge surface with iron guard rails and no dashers. The rink closed about a year later in 1967 for a new Post Office whose workers discovered the perma frost in the ground would not go away. The cold affected postal workers so badly, the facility eventually closed and became a storage facility. Apparently about 10 years later the current rink opened in the same area."Just wanted to mention that the old Pasadena Wintergarden rink you mentioned offered alot of fun and excitement to my brother and myself back in late 50's, early 60's- had a disco ball in the center that would reflect when they had "couples only" or "backward skating only" periods during public skate time. Lights would dim and the ball came on and we couldn't wait to go on the ice. Spent alot of time around the circular raised gas firepit to warm up. It was a great place to skate! Loved reading your Bygone Rink web site!!!!!!!! Genie Stevens"
- RIVERSIDE--Friends told me years ago that there was an artificial surface open sides and covered completely with a roof not far from the old Mission Hotel. Jim Vance emailed me the postcard photo below in May '09 that he came across in a family photo album; "Orange Belt Ice Gardens in Riverside". Clearly of the late 30's, the time period of reports of some my age (born 1932) who skated at what they described as a bit of an imitation of the 'Dutch' farmers building in Paramount, next to Zamboni's property. These farmers had refrigeration running for processing and storage of their dairy operations so running pipes for an artificial surface was an easy adjunct operation. My guess is a roof was added to extend the season. Lights were obviously for evening skating after the sun had gone down.
- RIVERSIDE, Olympic Ice Gardens, 11070 Magnolia Avenue, full scale hockey practice rink, whirlpool and all. Opened and closed in early '80's. Built by Biff Reddin of Newport Beach.
- SAN BERNARDINO, Daryl Wright emailed in Feb '05 that there was an ice surface in the old Swing Auditorium on the Orange Show Fairgrounds. He went to a hockey game there in the late '50's with a school friend whose family took them. From Wikipedia: "Swing Auditorium was an indoor arena located on E Street in San Bernardino, California. Named for Senator Ralph E. Swing, the arena was constructed in 1949 at the grounds of the National Orange Show."
The following news archive research by Dana Shima.
Covina Argus, January 10, 1930
Camp Seeley, Winter Carnival, in San Bernardino Mountains, article, Jan 18-19, 1930
Finishing touches are also being put on a large oval ice-skating rink, on which hockey matches and skating exhibitions will be staged.
Arcadia Tribune, Arcadia CA, January 20, 1933
Ice Hockey to Be Featured at Orange Show
Hockey is fast gaining popularity in the Southland, and there are several new skating arenas proposed for Southern California. The newest addition to the winter sports family is the new ice hockey arena at the San Bernardino Orange show. The Orange show games will initiate the arena at its opening. Amateur as well as professional games will be played every day during the National Orange show, beginning Feb 16, 1933.
Captain and manager of the Orange Belt Wildcats, as the San Bernardino team will be known, is Jerry Mooney, one of the most famous hockey players on the Pacific Coast.
(Hockey data base has for "Jerry Mooney 1929-30 Los Angeles Millionaires of the California Hockey League". Team is listed for 1929-30 only.)
Covina Citizen, Jan 20, 1933
It is a long cry from ice to oranges, but the National Orange Show introduces this year for the first time, an ice-skating rink which will not only be open to the public, but will feature ice hockey games by champion teams of the Pacific Coast and Canada.
- SAN DIEGO. Pat Lesh emailed in May 05; "A rink infamous for water on the ice, fog, etc., was Glacier Gardens located on Harbor Drive, at the foot of (if I recall) 5th or maybe 8th Avenue. Dutch Miller was the rink manager at one time, and his daughter, Marlene, trained there before becoming Richard Dwyer's first skating partner in the Ice Follies. The San Diego Figure Skating Club was founded there over 60 years ago, and it was also home to the Skyhawks hockey team; several touring shows, Ice Cycles (a "minor league" Ice Follies) and a couple of Sonja Henie shows performed there, and at least one wedding was held on its ice. (JN note; guys I practiced with in Norwalk CA played senior games at this rink and told tales of 'uncertain' ice conditions.) When it was torn down in the early 50s, a tiny ice studio on Midway Drive became the only local ice surface in the area until the rink opened on Lake Murray Blvd. in La Mesa. I have not been able to find out when it was built. During the first part of the 70s, an ice rink opened in El Cajon on Johnson Ave, in a metal warehouse-type building. Rene Daisy was the pro there. It wasn't in operation very long, and the building is now, naturally, a warehouse."
LA MESA was an old rink in the late 50's and closed in approximately 1964. Had been owned by Leonard Bloom, a local orthodontist who also invested in
several unsuccessful local sports teams (not the Gulls). Located at the corner of Lake Murray Blvd. and Dallas Street, now a postal facility. In January 2005 and Oct 208 Jim Sperber emailed information which contributed greatly to this write up. When his family first started to skate,about 1961, his mother drove them to the La Mesa facility. They lived in western San Diego (Point Loma) so as soon as the new facility in Mission Valley Center West opened, c. 1963, they used that rink and stopped going all the way to La Mesa. The La Mesa rink closed a year or two later.
MISSION VALLEY Ice Arena, Mission Valley Center West, Route 80. Mission Valley Center Mall opened in 1961 but the skating rink was a later addition in about '63 or' 64. It was west of the Montgomery Ward store, was free standing, and not physically attached to the shopping center. There was a food court outside the rink and customers could sit and eat at tables clustered outside. The rink had removable windows on the south side (skate rental and snack bar and offices were on the north side), in cooler
weather the windows were removed and you could sit almost rinkside, enjoy a meal (bought from an outside food vendor) and watch the skaters. The rink had a simple snack bar with hot chocolate, hot dogs, burgers, etc. Mission Valley sometimes dyed the ice different colors; Jim distinctly remembers pink ice. So for awhile Mission Valley rink was only one left in the county. Jim wrote "Mission Valley's rink closed in the early 1970s (possibly 1970 or 71) and became Moskatel's, which was a crafts/decorating store (not unlike Stats or Michael's). Mission Valley had a birthday lunch area, you could bring your own food and cake and reserve the section for your party." Joe Nix remembers it from the day he watched Peter McNab's team at a 3 on 3 type game with a goalie at only one end of the small rink.
HOUSE OF ICE was built near the corner of Lake Murray Blvd. and Interstate 8 in about 1967 or 1968 and closed circa 1978. It is now a Church. So after Mission Valley closed it was the only rink in the county other than the Sports Arena downtown. Jim distinctly remembers a high school ice skating trip (sponsored by a service club) in 10th grade, 1971-72, and they were obliged to go all the way out to House of Ice.
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.
One day my dad brought home some second-hand Rydell skates for me. Someone he had done a real estate job with had given them to him. He also found out about that ice-rink out in La Mesa on Lake Murray (I believe it was called, "IceLand"). He took me out there and I signed up for classes. I was soon in the advanced classes and zooming around like crazy. I LOVED everything about skating. The exercise, the music, the performing, the outfits! Ha. I loved it all. I'd get so excited to get out there my legs would shake when I was putting on the skates. As other places opened up I'd go and skate there as well, Mission Valley and House of Ice.
I had always enjoyed singing too, so for my 13th bday, I got a guitar to accompany myself. I took to guitar as fast as I had to skating so it soon captured my attention. But I was still skating as well, at least for the next couple of years. Soon, though, my parents tired of the expense of skating and driving back and forth to ice rinks ..so they encouraged my guitar-playing and singing instead, something I could do at home. I started going less and less to ice rinks and more and spending more time at the Coffeehouses singing on "Hoot" nights.
I ended up singing professionally for 25 years, but I still have such fond memories of skating. Thru the years I'd skate now and then., first about 10 times a year, then 3-4, then a few years not going at all. Up until about age 40 or so I could still zoom around the rink a bit.. I went out last year at 55 ,. and tho it was fun, it was a bit hard on the ole joints! Still love to watch the skating events tho.
I have a big regret that in all my skating years, no one got a photo of me skating! At the time I didn't think to ask anyone to take photos.wish I had though. I got good at the sport but I never got involved in any skating clubs at all. If I had I suppose I would have had the opportunity to have some photos! Ah well.
Vicki Haney inquired Oct 19, 2008; "I am trying to find out if anyone remembers a small ice rink in Pacific Beach Ca that was active in the mid 1950s. It was located on Ingraham Dr." Pat Lesh responded; "In the mid 1950s there was a small studio-size rink in a storefront on Midway Drive, I think near Kemper Street, in what is now the Sports Arena area. After Glacier Gardens closed, it was too small for serious skaters, so many members of the San Diego Figure Skating Club drove up to L.A. on weekends to continue their lessons, etc. Since Midway Drive becomes Mission Bay Drive when it crosses Mission Bay, then becomes Ingraham Street in Pacific Beach, most likely that little rink is the one referred to by Vicki Haney. Hope this helps."
- SANTA BARBARA, Ice Patch, 1933 Cliff Drive. Built in 1975, closed sometime in 1983-4. Some history via email (edited by me) as follows:
From: "Tim Fahringer"
To: "'Joe Nix'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002
"The owner who originally built the rink had a figure skating daughter so that activity was the focus of the arena's design. It had hockey dimensions but no glass. The top of the boards was covered with carpet, and the cinder block walls at the north and west ends were painted an 'ocean' collage of dark and light blue figures. Nets were drawn around part of the rink for hockey matches and play stoppages were common in the south end from the puck flying into the locker rooms. The rink did have a very sophisticated scoreboard for its time, with two penalty clocks for each team.
The hockey program there was pretty much restricted to in-house with a travelling team that played some AHAUS teams like Burbank and Conejo. I played both in-house and travel from 1975 to about 1978. My dad was one of the larger sponsors and actually had the "Fahringer Cup" which was given to the champions of the Bantam Division. It also had a Junior B team, the Santa Barbara Islanders. I tried to locate the Fahringer Cup several years ago but had no luck.
I attended the first ever hockey camp during the summer of 1975, which went from 8 a.m. to
4 p.m. every week. I lived in Ventura at the time, and John Field, who lived in Ojai, would drive down Highway 33 to pick me up and take 101 north to the rink. The local newspaper did a photo shoot, including a shot of everyone involved in the rink and the camp. ..........I am sure you would recognize many of the faces and names in the picture, like Steve Kostichuk, Dal Daibold, Vic Mori and others. I kept a copy of the article, although it is not in great shape today.
Later that summer was the Butch Goring Hockey Camp. This was quite a thrill because in 74-75 the Kings were pretty good and Butch was quite the character. He stayed at John Field's house in Ojai and so I was able to ride up and back a few times with Butch.
I had heard that the rink closure was due to the fact that land yields in Santa Barbara were very attractive, and that particular location was very desireable for office space. Thus, the owner converted or razed the structure for commercial office development and use.
I hope this helps. Tim"
Ellen Schipper emailed in June 2010, the following:
"The original owner of the Santa Barbara Ice Patch did not have a skating daughter. They were about the 3rd owner or so. The same building still stands. The inside has been remodeled to office spaces. Santa Barbara's very first ice rink was in the Vic Tanny's gym in 1959."
- SANTA MONICA, Ice Capades Chalet opened in 1966 and closed prematurely in 1983. The building is still there at 500 Broadway at 5th. The surface was 85 by 201.5 feet with a very low ceiling featuring a mirrored disco-ball in the middle, Pete Lemoine, manager. Art Guiney's equipment business started there as the skate shop. It was the 'home rink' for my oldest son in 1969-70 (and we always lived in Anaheim). Tai Babalonia & Randy Gardner, and Ken Shelley & Jojo Starbuck practiced there. Sylvester Stallone took Talia Shire out for a spin on the ice in the first 'Rocky' movie (although the script pretends its in Philadelphia). From Charli from Philly, "after some research this rink is the famous one used in the Film Rocky, the date scene with Adrienne and Rocky."
- Iceon Skating Center Ice rink, (closed May 2004)
12385 San Fernando Road
Sylmar, Ca. 91342
- TARZANA, Valley Ice Skating Center, 18361 Ventura Blvd. Smaller than regulation with a 'quonset hut' roof which caused dripping condensation and the infamous 'Valley Fog' near the ice surface. Tim Hutcheson emailed in Feb '05, "I was fascinated to run across your website with the early rinks of Southern California and immediately looked to see if the Tarzana rink was represented. I skated and taught figure skating there 1967- 1973. I recall it being close to full size, having resurfaced it by hand many nights. It was owned and operated by Ron and Sheila Priestly, both remarkable figure skaters and show performers of their time. Ron was, as I recall, a British champion who skated a famous routine called "The Phantom" and collaborated on the design of the famous Phantom skating blade that was well regarded. I used it myself for most of my skating career."
- Westminister Ice Palace, cg shut down Sept 8, 2008, moved operations to Glacial Gardens , Lakewood. Was at 13071 Springdale Westminster CA
- WEST COVINA Ice Arena, 85 by 185 ft, 2235 E. Garvey. Email from Nanette Varela: "Free standing building built around late 60's off the 10 fwy. Had a lifesize statue of a woman on top of the building near the entrance in skating attire and skates doing a spin on glaciers see two 2005 pics at it's location on the front of the Culver City rink ).
Many top skaters trained there one Olympic pairs team of Peter Oppergard and Vickie Heasley. Her mom, Joan Heasley was my coach there. John Nicks also coached there from time to time. Home of the West Covina figure skating club. In the mid 80's the rink was sold by the long time owner Joe Ursetta."
Debbie Gallant Leibert emailed me: "I am the daughter of one of the four partners who owned the ice rink. The business was purchased from Joe Setta with a month to month lease. The building was NOT part of the purchase. At that time, the owner already had plans to demolish the rink and develop the property. We expected the rink to be open about 4 months after the purchase. The developer was held up in the planning phase of his project, so the rink was able to remain open for about a year and a half after Joe sold it. The rink was extremely profitable until the day it closed."
From Denise Schreiber: "Joe Ursetta, my cousin passed away August 1 in the early morning from heart failure. He was 82. He loved skating so much from his early days of the Ice Capades until he retired. Not only did he teach at the rink but he also taught family members including me.
We live in Pittsburgh, PA, Joe's hometown. He passed away in Highland Ranch, California where he's lived for the past 6 years or so, having been in California since the early 50's. He managed the rink in Culver City for a while because we visited him there. His knees were so
bad that he had to retire after surgery but he always had his fingers in the business in some way. He was always the showman. Growing up in the South Oakland section of Pittsburgh, one of his closest friends was Johnny Warhola. They still are close. Johnny's little brother was Andy Warhol. Well Johnny would have to keep an eye on him when they went out to play so he always tagged along. Joe said he was strange even as a child. One day Andy sketched my Aunt Pauline, Joe's mother and Joe kept it. So he had an unsigned Warhol."
Joseph John Ursetta, 01/01/1926 -8/1/2008 82, of Highland, CA.,passed away on Friday,August 1, 2008 in Highland. He is survived by his wife Pat, sons, Mark of Ashland,OR., Chris of San Juan Capistrano,CA and Paul of Costa Mesa, CA. He was preceded in death by his son,Joseph,Jr. Pat and Joe had a combined family of 8 children, 25 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Source: Bobbitt Memorial Chapel San Bernardino CA.
- WHITTIER-LA HABRA, Polar Palace, Whittier Blvd, just east of Beach, technically 'in' La Habra. By email Oct '04 from Kari (Crocker) O'Dell, "opened in the spring of 1969. I took figure skating lessons there from Harlan Parker. He had previously been at Glacier Falls. I skated at Glacier Falls from 1968 to 1977 and was on their speed skating team in 1970/71. More people from Glacier Falls were Joe Horvath, Rich King, Dick Lang (?), Mike Cote, Ron Lynch, Glen Schulte, and Brian Hadley (who later managed Klondike). Thanks for keeping the website, it brings back lots of memories. I have skated at many of the rinks you mentioned.""I took lessons from Harlan and Tina Parker (formerly of Glacier Falls) from 1974 to 1980, and also skated there with their daughter, Traci. Figures, figures, figures!!! And oh how I remember Ice Flicks '76!!! (With John Nicks as director/producer). What a first class production -it was a very very popular place in the 70's, and we had some really good skaters come out of that place! After it closed, most of the skaters followed the Parkers to Ice Capades Chalet in the Brea Mall. The site had a brief life in the 80's as a roller skating rink, then it was remodeled into a craft mall. After the craft mall closed, it was taken over by The Ritz, and turned into a wedding/banquet facility. My husband, Don and I were married there in 1993. It was torn down completely in the late '90s to make way for a supermarket based shopping center." The Gateway Plaza Shopping Center which Google Maps show at the corner of Beach and La Habra Blvd in La Habra..
Kristin (Muravez) Burt Cooper emailed the following on May 31, 2007
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."
Janice Van Winkle emailed me January 8, 2013, as follows:
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Love your website – what a flood of memories!
I began lessons with Harlan at Glacier Falls and we moved over to Polar Palace as soon as it was open. Polar Palace was my second home – we drove in from Placentia. The beautiful mural of the “villa” that was painted around the perimeter of the rink was done by a dear friend, Rosemary Smith. I remember that when we first opened the ice was dyed a deep, Mediterranean blue so that the ice looked like the sea. It made your figures “pop” and was not feasible for testing so the ice surface needed to be redone. So many wonderful memories of that facility, one in particular – the $.90 public skate session after Freestyle! An active and fun club included some great people that went on to careers in skating including Kim Khron, Sharl Bernstein, Billy Jo Passerella, et al. And the charming Mr. Hancock that used to skate with Sonja Henie and Shirley Winter! We were often treated to Byron Crow’s comic, trick skating while the Zamboni was resurfacing – many fond memories.
I’ll bet there is a photo or two of the rink exterior and interior when it was brand new with the beautiful blue ice. If I come across them I’ll forward on to you.
Many thanks for such an unexpected trip down memory lane!
Janice Van Winkle
Manchester Ice & Event Centre
Copyright, Joseph P. Nix, 1999-2010
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