There are just a handful of roller rinks left around the Chicago area, and soon one more will be gone as the owners of the Lombard Roller Rink have announced plans to close in the spring. 'It's really sad. These are one of the few places where you can still have a family event and everybody has a good time. It's reasonably priced. It's safe and it's fun," said longtime customer Sandy Vilips.
The Lombard Roller Rink is among many Midwest rinks chronicled in Tom Russo's 2017 book "Chicago Rink Rats." He said the Midwest was a hub for roller skating and there was a whole culture associated with roller rinks. Many rinks were social hubs that hosted everything from kids' birthday parties to roller derby and dance parties. And they were a place where many couples met and eventually married. "We see them rapidly disappearing unfortunately because they really are community assets. It's where kids go," Russo said. "It's too bad because roller skating is a fun activity," said Lund.