East Bay’s last roller rink closing in July after decades in business

SAN RAMON — Da’Kiya Banks unslung her black and white Riedell roller skates from her shoulder, held them up by the laces and snapped a photo outside of The Golden Skate’s doors last week, memorializing one of the last evenings she could spend hours circling the slick wooden floor.

After 47 years, the San Ramon roller rink is on its last wheels — closing its doors for good July 31, and leaving the greater Bay Area with only three indoor roller rinks from Antioch to San Francisco to San Jose.

“I am disappointed, because so many of them keep closing down,” Banks said. “This was my adult ‘home’ skating rink, and Cal Skate was my childhood skating rink. Now, I’m going to have to travel even farther.”

By the time disco soared to popularity in the 1970s, there were more than a dozen roller rinks across the Bay Area. Milpitas’ Cal Skate closed in 2011 and San Jose Skate shut down in 2014.

Eight years later, it’s Golden Skate’s turn — and what will replace it? Housing.

Located just off Interstate 680 — nestled below the Las Trampas’ rolling hills with a view of the Diablo mountain range — the property will be redeveloped into the Windflower Fields Townhomes. The development is slated to include 47 units on the 3.5-acre lot, spread across eight, three-story buildings.

On one of Golden Skate’s last Wednesday “adult skate” nights this July, a line of people snaked out the doors, then flooded onto the roller rink’s fluorescent kaleidoscopic carpet floors and skated for hours to a playlist of Mac Mall, T.I. and 50 Cent.

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