from Oakland Tribune June 27, 1930 1

Rollerland was a roller skating rink at 5411 Telegraph Avenue from 1930 to 1972. It featured a maple floor for skating, and until 1963, was an "R" rink... 1,2 An 'R' rink is one under the RSROA (now RSA) with the 'A' rinks being the other association... both had competitions. A label from an unknown year also shows a Rollerland Junior at Grand and Webster. 6 The 1941 directory lists it at 111 Grand, which was the Ali Baba Ballroom. It only appears in Tribune mentions from 1939-1941, so it was apparently short-lived. 7

It opened February 28, 1930, with special guest, WAMPAS Baby Star and actress Caryl Lincoln. 1 It was operated by George L. Small; his wife ran the soda fountain, and their 3 daughters acted as cashier, checkroom girl, and one as an instructor. Admission was 35¢. 2 (NB: the 1972 article says it opened in 1929 2, but the article for the opening is dated 1930 1.)

Companies that worked on the construction include Maxwell Hardware, McGrath Steel, R.W. Durant Plumbing, B. Mork Sheet Metal, Rex Floor Company, Scott-Buntner Electrical Company, and Henry J. Christensen, general contractor. 1

During Easter weekend in 1937, John Peters and his future wife Viola Houser met at Rollerland. 3 Circa 1939, it was run by Bert Griffin, and there was also a Rollerland Junior at 111 Grand near Webster. 4 From 1948 to 1967, Rollerland was co-owned and managed by Frank Kastner (Casner?). 2,5

The building was torn down in 1972 to build apartments, after the popularity of roller skating had waned. 2

opening 11930 adcourtesy Eric Clausen1950 Sanborn excerpt

Links and References

  1. Special Rollerland Page Oakland Tribune February 27, 1930
  2. Memories of Rollerland Oakland Tribune February 12, 1972
  3. John Peters Obituary Inside Bay Area March 6, 2015
  4. Scouts and Scouting Oakland Tribune September 17, 1939
  5. Most Active Skate Rinks Around Here Oakland Tribune August 23, 1954
  6. ebay listing
  7. Roller Skate Party To Aid Girls' Study Oakland Tribune February 16, 1939