A Liverpool man who had a love for roller skating when he was younger has a way for us to celebrate old rinks.
Mark Falso created a website called Dead Rinks which contains names, information, and pictures of more than 2,100 rinks from across the country.
Falso, 56, loves to watch a good movie every now and then with closed captioning, because Mark can’t hear, as he was born deaf. For this story, we asked him questions by writing them down on Post-It notes. He communicated with us about his passion, and we learned he truly is dedicated.
In addition to TV, Falso loves to find time doing research. He has lots of memories visiting roller rinks as a teenager in the late 70’s.
From Empire Skates to Sports-O-Rama in Central New York, Falso said the best days were spent skating.
“I loved to roller skate. I remember back then when I went with my mom, my brother, and my brothers’ friend from school,” said Falso.
Today, Mark treasures those memories through old photos. In 2018, he began gathering details on closed roller rinks.
“[It's] what I call an e-Museum, which is an online museum, talking about old skating rinks. It’s more about the opening and closing; what the rink is like,” he said.
Through email, Mark began communicating with people across the country to gather pictures and information. His website now includes info on more than 2,100 expired rinks nationwide.
You can find details on old rinks from Alaska to Florida, everything from rink dimensions to amenities like signage and concessions. Falso said many facilities closed because expenses outweighed revenue.
“When disco [subsided] in the 1980s, a lot of the rinks died after that. Then, the insurance with everything. First it was real estate insurance, then the liability insurance was the big factor today,” he said.
What was a small hobby has become his passion. He spends six hours daily working on the site and garnered plenty of good feedback.
“It makes me feel real good to hear from people, comment on how good the website is, which makes me feel good doing the website,” he said.
His motive is to provide unique information you can’t find anywhere else. And, if his effort can bring back good memories for people, he said it’s worth every minute of his time.
Falso said he would love your feedback or more information from you about old roller rinks. You can visit his site here.