Moonlight Rollerway | Los Angeles Conservancy
Moonlight Rollerway, 2019. Photo by Marcella Akop/L.A. Conservancy.

Moonlight Rollerway

During World War II, the building that now houses Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale was a foundry that produced airplane parts. Repurposed in the 1950s, the building operated as Harry’s Roller Rink from 1950 to 1968.

In 1969, the owners of Moonlight Rollerway in Pasadena bought Harry’s Roller Rink and renamed it Moonlight Rollerway II. Dominic Cangelosi, a longtime staff organist at both Moonlight Rollerways, purchased the Glendale rink in 1985. Cangelosi continues to keep the traditional live organ music alive at his skating rink. On Tuesday nights, patrons skate across the original 2 ¼ inch maple skating floor, while listening to live organ music, played by Cangelosi, California's last roller-skating rink organist.

In 2019, KQED News featured Moonlight Rollerway in the article, "You Can Find California’s Last Roller Rink Organist at the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale." KCET's Artbound featured it in 2013, "Rolling the Years: Moonlight Rollerway's Enduring Appeal."

Despite soaring real estate prices that have forced many skating rinks to close, Moonlight Rollerway still stands on the corner of San Fernando Road and Hawthorne Avenue in Glendale. Its architecture, beloved by patrons, pays homage to the 1950s through the 1970s.

The family atmosphere at Moonlight Rollerway has made it a favorite destination for generations of skaters. Cangelosi estimates that 100,000 people visit the rink each year.

To learn more about the history of roller skating, check out "This Is Roller Skating," a fun promotional video from the 1950s, produced by the Roller Skating Foundation of America.  

Photo by Marcello Vavala/L.A. Conservancy

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