What is 112 years old, famous for its maple wood hard floors, and still young at heart? That would be the Centralia Rollerdrome.
Current owners Randy and Chris Ray bought the Centralia Rollerdrome in January of 2000. And they’re committed to continuing and keeping the Centralia roller skating tradition alive.
Visitors now can find an arcade section and party rooms. “We are always updating and changing things,” says Chris.
Originally built as McNitt’s Dance Hall and advertised as “the largest dance hall west of the Mississippi,” jazz fans might be surprised to hear that Fats Domino even played at the rink between 1959 and 1960.
“Randy has always wanted a roller rink,” Chris says. “So we sold our house and bought this!” Visitors now can find an arcade section and party rooms. “We are always updating and changing things,” she adds.
But some things withstand the test of time. Like the woodsy smell from the hardwood maple floor. The fluorescent pink and green ceiling lights. The mirrored disco ball. The Centralia Rollerdrome juxtaposes nostalgia and modern times.
Even though it has been a fixture in the community for over a century, many are unaware that there’s a roller rink in their backyard. “A lot of people don’t even know that we are here,” Chris says.
Chris and Randy have been hard at work over the past sixteen years to make the Centralia Rollerdrome more and more family-friendly.
“It’s a good, safe, family-friendly place to bring your kids,” shares Chris, adding that family is something that is paramount to both her and Randy. Jennifer Locy is the Rollerdrome’s manager, and also Chris and Randy’s daughter. Granddaughter Dahlia works at the rink as well. And although their grandson Devin is still too young to be an official employee, that hasn’t stopped him from learning the ropes of the family business.
Chris explains, “It’s a family thing. We want to be able to pass this down to our kids, and then someday they’ll pass it on to the grandkids.”
And part of the charm of owning a roller rink is getting to know the community, Chris says, “Everybody knows everybody.” Devin adds, “You get customers in and you get to meet people and get to know them. It’s a very social place to be.”
The Centralia Rollerdrome is where you can find the Rainy City Roller Dolls, our local roller derby team. Also, Lewis County Roller Hockey, which is geared for players ages five through sixteen years of age. Both roller derby and roller hockey aim to diversify the sports offerings in the local area and give something different for spectators and athletes alike.
Chris’s grandson Devin plays roller hockey, and he recommends it to everyone. His sister Dahlia adds, “Once you try it, you love it.”
“The coaches have a love for it and they pass that to the little guys,” Chris says.
No matter if it has been years since you’ve been roller-skating or you are a long-time regular, the Centralia Rollerdrome has something fun for everyone. Chris shares that some customers are hesitant to strap on a pair of skates, but usually it only takes a while of watching the other skaters before they are renting a pair of skates too.
“It’s too much fun,” Chis says. “They say you never see anyone with a frown on their face when they’re skating because it is just too much fun.”
216 W Maple St in Centralia