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September 26
1876 - California oil industry born as CSO No. 4 in Pico Canyon becomes state's first commercially productive oil well [story]
Pico No. 4


An era is coming to an end. Northridge Skateland, owned by brothers Dave and Mike Fleming, who also own Mountasia Family Fun Center in Santa Clarita, is closing its doors as a roller rink to help provide interim housing for the increasing homeless population in the San Fernando Valley, Council District 12. The Fleming brothers have issued a statement pertaining to their retirement and desire to leave a community service legacy.

“As we look forward to retirement, our desire is to leave a legacy in honor of our parents, Richard & Loraine, and work with Hope of the Valley to create the finest bridge housing in the San Fernando Valley,” the statement said.

About 18 months ago, Ken Craft, President/CEO of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, approached the Flemings with the idea of converting Northridge Skateland into a homeless shelter. The Fleming brothers were not interested at that time. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and uncertainty, the Flemings revisited Craft’s suggestion and issued a proposal to the City.

According to council member John Lee of Council District 12, who has embraced the proposal, the district is seeking facilities to provide 6,000 new beds by April and an additional 700 beds by October 2021.

“The proposal was brought to the City by the Fleming family, not the other way around,” Lee said in Monday’s Zoom webinar.

Lee explained that the conversion of Skateland to a Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission would be an interim facility for homeless people until permanent housing could be obtained. The facility would accommodate men, women, and pets, and would also provide storage. Job training and drug rehabilitation would be an intricate part of the program, The site would be operational 365 days a year as a referral program, no walk-in/walk-up admissions. The existing exterior structure would remain while the interior would be renovated with necessary modifications and upgrades for this usage. Low-income condos are not planned for this property.

Northridge Skateland was established in 1958 located on Parthenia Street near Lindley Avenue. From 1968 to the present, the rink was owned by the Fleming Brothers. Many in the skate community are disheartened to hear of the closure stating that Skateland is the only remaining roller rink in all of Los Angeles county.

“Good day for the community, I guess, but unbelievably sad day for the SoCal roller skating community,” said Skateland patron Gabi Laske. “This was arguably the best rink in SoCal.”

This is an end of an era spanning over six decades.

The public can view the full webinar posted to CD12.org and on their FB page later this week, according to Lee. He is also taking questions via email at councilmember.lee@lacity.org.

Skateland

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6 Comments

  1. Linda von Zell Salamone says:

    I started skating at Northridge Skateland in 1958 shortly after it opened by then owner Roy Bannister. I worked the skate room and snack bar. I made many friends there form all over the valley. 1958 – 1963 we the best years of my teenage years. I am sad beyond belief to hear of it’s closing, however I understand trying to hold on for who knows how long with no income is very difficult. I wish things were different. Best of luck with the new project. :(

  2. Deborah Johnston says:

    Well so many memories from a child up into just few years back having the time of my life skating around and around with the music and the disco ball to playing limbo every weekend as a young girl to a teenager to going here with my boys now grown the memories are endless .I understand the need for homeless but why can’t the brothers sell this historic landmark to someone that will love to continue the legacy of roller skating to all young future generations there are no roller rinks any where in Los Angeles county and that’s saying to the younger generation we’re taking the fun of rollerskating learning how to roller skate enjoying the atmosphere with roller skating let’s not forget this is a historical land mark in the San Fernando valley brothers I wish you could of made a better choice for the legacy of skate land there are so many many abdomen buildings here in te SF valley you could have continued for all to have a place to come this homeless shelter could of be located else where brothers you should have shame quilt money isn’t everything you both could of realized you are handing a historical landmark to a homeless shelter think about what you’ve done to millions

  3. James says:

    I don’t think that the skaters of that County should have their rank taken away from them they probably now do not have anywhere else to skate it’s wrong for that Santa Clarita area to take away the fun for the skaters I totally disagree with this story

  4. Harold James James Fields says:

    I live in Chicago and 60 years old roller skater since I was about 16 and Im a Navy Vet a community activist and we here in Chicago have aa well alot of empty buildings skating rinks that as well went out of business aa well just watch the documentary on HBO called US Skate I would love ur suggestions on how I can do the same thing here we have bog homeless community here and the winter ia around the corner I have meet a few folk that may be ready to help me so if someone from ur end I would love so assistance or ideas that will help me with my dream to hwlp my Chicagoans if u will thank you and keep on keeping on !

  5. John Bustillos says:

    I trying to open a skating rink up in Texas, would you be interested in selling the wood floor and skates ? Please call me at (469)810-4088

  6. Cristina E Magdaleno says:

    I skated there from late 70’s to late 80’s for fun and did competitions as well great place great memories
    (cristina nelmar)

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