One of L.A.’s Last Indoor Roller Rinks to Close Its Doors

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LOS ANGELES — World on Wheels, one of the last full-fledged indoor roller skating rinks in the city of Los Angeles, will hold its final lace-up Sunday night. For three decades, the Mid-City institution has won loyalists as an indoor amusement park, party venue, fitness center, haven for young people and hip-hop incubator. It has even played matchmaker.


World on Wheels is closing its doors after almost 31 years at its Mid-City location. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times /June 19, 2013)

But a bankruptcy proceeding, a change in ownership and evolving neighborhood tastes have conspired to end its free-wheeling days.

“It’s like losing a member of the family,” said Nelson Bracamonte, 55, a weekly regular at the rink since its opening on Halloween 1981.

For Antwan “Frreshh” McDaniel, 26, the closure constitutes a loss both personal and cosmic. Back when neighborhood teens wore Afros and drove beat-up Beetles, McDaniel attended his sister’s 13th birthday party at World on Wheels. A toddler, he went around slipping his tiny feet into each guest’s skates.

[For the record, 9:15 a.m. June 24: An earlier version of this post and headline incorrectly stated that World of Wheels is the last indoor roller rink in Los Angeles. A roller rink in Northridge remains open.]

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