Roller skating has always been popular in Coney Island, dating back to the Sea Beach Palace Roller Rink of the 1890s. The Palace, located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street, was transformed from a railroad terminal into a rink that hosted roller dancing and roller racing events (see engraving). There were also rinks at Dreamland, Luna Park, and Steeplechase. There are photos of Babe Ruth, dressed like a farmer, whirling around the Steeplechase Pavilion on roller skates.
The Coney Island Roller Rink (see decal and picture) operated in the old Culver Terminal building on the north side of Surf Avenue at West 5th Street during the 1930s-1940s. The Culver terminal was demolished around 1960 to make way for Brightwater Towers. The Coney Island History Project is working on a skating documentary with Dianna Carlin of Lola Staar, who will be opening a roller rink in the boardwalk Childs building this month. We'll also have a display at our exhibit center under the Cyclone.