SURREY — Everybody has a Stardust story.
Just ask anyone who grew up in Surrey.
Chances are, you’ll find someone who met their first boyfriend at the rink or had their first kiss there or snuck a bottle of beer into the bathroom.
For decades, it was a beloved nighttime venue for Surreyites.
But as all good things must, the attraction came to an end in 2005, a casualty of the changing times.
But this Saturday, July 8, the building that used to house the beloved roller rink will hold one final event before its torn down to make way for a planned $200-million 50-storey “GEC Education Mega Center” project.
Tickets to the final skate sold out in 24 hours, and the event will see hundreds come out to say farewell to the beloved former venue.
It’s all happening on Saturday, July 8 at Central City Arena, as the rink has been known in recent years, from noon to 10 p.m.
Some might say the Whalley facility’s closure about a decade ago was the end of an era. But rewind to the late ’70s and Stardust was the place to be.
A slow Friday or Saturday night in those days would see about 600 people fill the building, said longtime rink manager Bonnie Burnside.
With its flashing lights, laser beams, spinning disco ball and blaring music, Whalley’s Stardust roller rink drew huge crowds for decades.
In its prime, hundreds of teens flocked to the venue on a typical Friday or Saturday night to strap on a pair of roller skates and glide around the polished floor.
While widespread popularity of roller rinks took off during the post-Second World War baby boom, it wasn’t until the days of disco that the upbeat, dance-style venues like Stardust popped up.
Gone were the days of outdated organ music and boring lights and in were flashy mirror balls and disco tunes. Naturally, the end of the disco era hit the roller rink industry hard, with many rinks closing their doors.
Have a Stardust story? Don’t be shy. In a final farewell to the beloved venue, the Surrey Now-Leader is asking readers to submit their stories. Comment below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org