Remembering an 80’s Hangout in Danbury: Rollerland
In the 1980's, it was a place to skate, dance and gather with friends in Danbury, CT. Rollerland was a Hat City hangout but it's not easy to find proof it even existed.
Rollerland was a roller skating rink located at 40 Mill Plain Road in Danbury. After Rollerland closed, the rink was opened under another name Fun Station. I actually worked there (Fun Station) for a few days. It's the only job I ever quit inside of a week. Rollerland and Fun Station used to be in the building, that is now home to Mix Prime Steak House.
The photo below is the only one I could find of Rollerland on the internet. It was posted to Pinterest by lifesabeachjournal.com with a caption that read Rollerland, Danbury, CT.
This is the first 80's memory that is triggered when I watch Stranger Things. My mind goes to grab things, moments from that era and always comes back with Rollerland. When I was a little boy, my grandma lived just off of Mill Plain Road in Danbury and she'd take me there to wear me out (it worked).
Because I was so young, it's only flashes of the name, the colors and the smell so I had to go searching for Rollerland information. Here is what I found beyond the Pinterest photo:
1. A website named Skatelog lists the defunct Fun Station at the same spot (40 Mill Plain Road) but doesn't say anything about Rollerland.
2. Another website called Dead Rinks has more details about Fun Station. This is their information:
"This site was known once for roller rinks. Yes, at least three with four rink names. Fun Station and Fun Station USA are one and the same. They are closed there. But the company that owned as franchise has changed its name to something use but use the same link when you tried to click that link from Trekaroo and it leads you to laserbounce but no mention of roller skating at their franchises. So, that too, the possibility that they have eliminated roller skating at many of their franchises. I do not know but I will find out and what locations because that is a new batch of rinks that are gone.
Dorothy Lewis owned Fun Zones of Danbury. I noticed Dorothy Lewis had another corporation filed in November 29, 2005, that was ten years and half years after she registered for Fun Zones of Danbury facility. She called it 40 Mill Plain Road, LLC. What was it there? But in 2007, Steven Weiss (name sound familiar somewhere I heard that before) opened a bowling center in 2007 because he registered on October 23, 2007. That clearly ended any roller skating under Dorothy Lewis."
3. Finally, I found a mention of Rollerland which made me happy because I was starting to doubt my own memories. A post from disosavvy.com wrote the following:
"I am thankful to Sabra for remembering some of the disco songs that were played at Rollerland, a roller-disco and video game arcade in Danbury, Connecticut that I sometimes visited around 1982-1984. In Sabra's message in the Rollerland topic in Facebook's group If you remember this, you grew up in the Greater Danbury Area, she listed songs she remembers hearing being spun there in the early 1980s by a DJ whose name she thinks is Dennis Rutzel"
4. Then, I found a comment that appeared in an Atari Age thread that mentioned the Pizza Place at Rollerland. The comment was from Red 5 who wrote:
"When I was a bad ass cigarette smoking teenager, I hung out at Showcase Pizza in Danbury CT which had a HUGE arcade and was attached to and Rollerland. If I had a DeLorean with a Flux Capacitor, I would be hitting 88 Mph down I-84 straight to 1985 right now. [leaving to search ebay for a Flux Capacitor]"
5. Kristina W posted the following to a forum on gaulard.com :
"I remember back when I was a kid, roller skating rinks were all the rage. I used to live in Danbury, Connecticut and Rollerland was a big place to go roller skating. I think I went there back in 1984 for a school trip and that's when I saw Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video for the very first time. The long one. Everyone in the place stopped skating to watch the video. What an incredible memory to have."
6. Fun Station was mentioned in an article I wrote in 2021. One of my radio listeners "Big Booty Judi" mentioned she'd like to see Fun Station be brought back to Danbury.
8. The only video I could find is below, it was posted to Youtube on August 29th, 2010 by jshwrd3 and is titled "me at rollerland." I don't know if the video was actually taken at Rollerland but I want to believe it was.
P.S. For the record, I cannot remember if Fun Station came right after Rollerland. Based on my memories, they would have been separated by a significant amount of time.