Remember Roller Skate Newington in New Hampshire?
Let's go back in time to 2011.
Many great things happened that year, like the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Princess Katherine, the release of the final Harry Potter film, and Beyonce announcing her pregnancy at the MTV Video Music Awards.
But for many of us in New Hampshire, it was the year we lost a beloved Seacoast staple: Roller Skate Newington.
Originally called Happy Wheels Newington, the rink opened in 1983 and stayed open for almost 30 years until its closure in 2011, according to Forgotten Roller Rinks of the Past.
This rink was the place to be. Not only was the floor spacious, but you could rent skates if you didn't have your own, grab pizza with friends, play arcade games (remember that creepy one with the zombies?), and host birthday parties.
So naturally, we were devastated when it closed.
Here's a POV video of one of the final skates.
Watching this feels like going back in time. Remember how freeing it felt to zoom around on a pair of skates?
How about the special skating songs they'd do, like the hokey pokey and backwards only? Could you keep your balance?
Remember approaching the DJ and making song requests?
Today, the rink's building is home to Habitat For Humanity ReStore, an organization that sells secondhand furniture and other similar items. They also partner with different organizations to pursue the admirable mission of "eliminating poverty housing in Southeast New Hampshire".
But what's unusual is that when Habitat for Humanity moved into the space, they didn't do much to change its interior. So when you walk through the doors, the place still looks just like Roller Skate Newington, but with a ton of furniture on the floor.
Entering the building is like journeying into a slightly-distorted time capsule. For those who called the rink home for so many years, it's a very strange feeling being there.
Everything from the walls to the floors remains mostly unchanged.
You can still see where the DJ's booth was.
In 2012, less than a year after the rink closed, these skaters returned to skate amongst the furniture in a mini "flash mob" commemorating the past.
Whatever the future holds for the world of roller skating, Roller Skate Newington will always hold a special place in our hearts.
While we're taking a trip down memory lane, here are some tokens of nostalgia from Yoken's Restaurant in Portsmouth.