Red Hill Skate Arena…

Certain places give a funny feeling when you return to them decades on. Perhaps it’s something that’s more inside yourself than in the building with its recognisable, old glimpses and smells, even if these are veiled in years of change. I found myself back at the Red Hill Skate Arena for the first time since I last roller skated there when I was 13 in the 1980s. (And in another layer of family history, my Mum and Dad had a ‘skate date’ there back in 1967!)

Before it became a skate arena in the 60s, it was ‘Pop’s Picture Theatre’ from the 1920s, so it seems fitting it’s back to being cinemas once again. So pleased the modest, old building survived a fire and dereliction to live another day. As you may recall from, Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar, when I went to locate the places I was writing about, it was sad to find most had disappeared beneath ash, bulldozers and high-rises – the milk bar, Astoria Café, Regent Theatre and Trocadero to name a few.

Life goes on, change happens, good and bad. And in the same way that the old skate arena has changed, now being middle-aged I’m a long way from that teenage girl in the 80s, but sometimes it’s perhaps good to remember the 13-year-old who loved skating and the history that is within us all and the places we live.


Filed under inspiration + history

2 responses to “Red Hill Skate Arena…

  1. Walter Vicig

    Hi Zoe – I spent many a Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the Skate Arena. My brother even bought a pair of roller skates on monthly time payment which my Mum and Dad complained about as he was only 12 at the time. Also remember the time it was called Teen City and listening to Little Patty singing. I was too young to get admission so stood outside. We lived in Red Hill and lots of kids went skating. Love the look of the place now as a picture theatre and hope it goes well.

    • Hi Walter, yes, it was about the mid sixties it had a stint as the ‘sound lounge’, Teen City, in between transforming from a theatre to a skate arena. From the late 70s I loved skating and went to rinks at Red Hill, Mitchelton and Stafford (only Stafford remains). I remember hiring skates at first but then was pretty chuffed to get my own pair of roller skates one Christmas. Great to see old buildings restored.

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