By Peggy Taylor
All the boroughs have them, but the City’s newest and most talked-about roller rinks are Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace at Rockefeller Center, which opened on April 15th, and The DiscOasis at Central Park’s Wollman Rink, which opened on June 16th.
As a teenager, I loved roller skating, so ten days after The DiscOasis opened, I decided to check it out and experience for myself what many consider a roller-skating revival.
At first, I was disappointed. The music, even for disco, was too loud, too monotonous, too repetitive, too pounding. So I decided to take a few photos and head home. Luckily, I stayed, because, once the sun went down, and the lights of midtown’s skyscrapers went on, the entire scene became sheer magic.
When I arrived, it was still daylight and, color lover that I am, I was charmed by the rink’s reds, blues, fuchsias, and yellows. I wanted to capture this rainbow-colored wonderland from all sides but couldn’t since I wasn’t skating and thus couldn’t access the rink. (I was tempted to rent some rollers, but as an octogenarian feared fractured limbs.) So I stayed a spectator and resigned myself to one vantage point–from the rink’s northern Overlook facing south.
Here was my reward for waiting until sundown—the midtown skyline all aglow, framing a kaleidoscopic lighting extravaganza. I stood spellbound and stayed a full two hours.
Here the rink turned royal blue with pink accents on the skaters’ skates. Blue lights bordered the barriers, spotlights tailed the skaters, and Strobe lights flashed intermittently, sometimes blindingly.
Here reds and the fuchsias ruled, and I loved how lighting designer David Weiner carried the fuchsia into the skate rental room beneath the Overlook.
Emmy Award-winning set designer David Korins (Hamilton, Beetlejuice, DearEvanHansen) created the multi-tiered hot pink, fuchsia and turquoise centerpiece, where singers perform in disco balls as big as 8 feet in diameter. Live DJs are on hand as well as interactive installations created by Constellation Immersive in partnership with the Los Angeles Media Fund and events promoter Live Nation. The DiscOasis originated in Los Angeles where it was a huge success.
Chartreuse and fuchsia reign in this celebration of roller rinks’ comeback. An homage to the 1970s and ‘80s, the years of roller skating’s heyday, and to New York as the birthplace of disco.
Skaters stop to watch a roller-dance performance by three skaters in flowing, white, wing-like capes. Once it’s over, they make their rounds again.
Finally, a red, orange, yellow, and green palette, almost all the colors of the rainbow, which some may find garish, but which I found cheerful and uplifting. A spectacular over-the-top fantasyland that should not be missed.
I’m glad I didn’t let the decibels, which toned down later, drive me away.
$65 for two hours though?
Not everyone is blue that SCOTUS believes in democracy.
Do you have to purchase a ticket just to watch?
No. Access to the Overlook is free.
Wow. $65 for 2 hours… NOT including skate rental (an extra $10)??? $29 “hang pass” if you want to enter but don’t want to access the skate floor? I love the idea of a skate rink in Central Park but I’m suddenly nostalgic for the $2.50 Friday Night Skate of my middle school years…
Amazing photos !!! Thank you !!
You’re welcome! So glad you like them.
If I brimy on skates..what wheels are best for the surface..indoor or outdoor