Tuesday, 31 August 2010


The top item is an ad for the Rollerama (as it was generally referred to) a roller skate rink which was part of the Aristocrat Leisure Centre.
The Rollerama opened on 1st April 1982 - (the advert here is from summer 1982) - and the building was in North Lindsay Street.
I didn't visit it very often, just the odd occasion for a drink in between pubs or when there was a band on. I never found time to venture onto the roller rink itself unfortunately.
I do recall one time when I had wee nosy inside the place. I was passing the building on the other side of the street and I heard them blasting out a D-Train disco track through the PA, so I couldn't resist crossing the road to find out what was going on! I was on my way to the Sands at the time so couldn't stay, but the dance music they were playing did put me right in the mood!
I have some old footage (below) of a roller disco (USA not Dundee) when it was "craze of the year" in 1979.
So in my cheapskate bid to recreate that very visit to the Rollerama, I have stuck a snippet of the same D-Train track on from around '82ish to accompany the clip - and hey presto - my Dundee Rollerama simulation is complete!!
Well apart from one thing - I don't quite remember seeing fashion in Dundee like the skaters in the film are wearing!! 
Since posting the Rollerama item at the top, I have managed to find a roller skate advert to accompany it.
The reason I've decided include it here is because, in the "comments", the subject of roller blade skates cropped up, which lead to the opinion that they didn't appear on the scene until the late 80's.
Well here's the reminder that they were indeed available in the UK the same time as the Rollerama ad, as the "new concept" TRISKATE ad is dated November 1982.


  1. yeah, that is defo the Rollerama, i remember some gig posters and that was the name it was advertised under, but it did start off as the Aristocat, went there a few times myself to see bands, not a great venue, (no skating when bands on)

  2. Some of us who were ice rink regulars tried to fill in the long months of the summer 'close season' by visiting Rollerama.

    (The ice rink itself tried summer roller skating sessions one year in the early eighties.)

    Rollerama was a disappointment. The rink was minuscule and they hired out old-fashioned quad skates, that took a bit of getting used to after being on ice.

    As soon as September came round, skaters were all back on the bus for the Kingsway!

  3. No offence intended here "orange peel" BUT ! who ever said it was a place for you Torville & Deans to go when your place was closed in the summer ??? The fact they had "quad skates " was probably coz it was a roller rink , GWTP ----FFS ;)

  4. Well I don't think Neale was confused with the difference between ice skating and roller skating.
    He refers to the quad skates because there were also roller "blade" skates on the go, which were designed like ice skates and so required a similar technique to manoeuvre.
    What I'd like to know is, did they sell skate & chips in the roller cafe?!

  5. Was the Rollerama not the actual roller rink mainly frequented by the under 18's, had a disco up stairs within the rink area on Fridays and Saturdays and Tuesdays if i remember correctly. The Aristocat was entered by another door from the street for over 18's which was a bar/disco etc, you could see the Rollerama from a window area which overlooked the roller rink.

  6. As i recall Aristcrats was upstairs complete with a small blue rink/dance floor and was licensed. Then down a flight of stairs was a New York style open plan warehouse disco with a super cool dj booth flush in the wall of the shoebox like main room complete with secret door in and a glazed front out to the rink... With Galaxians or Defender on the way in, you could shoot pool or the ramp! Do fries an a banana shake from the Americano style cafe and watch Straw Dogs in the video lounge. Kool.

  7. I was the dj at the rollerama it was a good laugh lots of nice people used to go there good old days.

  8. I think the inline skates your referring to were street hockey skates & I don't think they were affordable to us till the late 80' s

  9. I had quad skates and regularly skated from the bus to the Rama. Loved it. Don't ever remember roller blades being available in 1982. Found my old roller boots in my dad's attic last summer. ..lump in my throat!

  10. Triskates were sold in years 1979-1983 - well before the Rollerblade hype - in UK and other European countries. Full story on https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattinaggio_di_figura_in_linea (unfortunately.. in Italian). See notes 10 to 16 on the Wiki page with external links (in English).

  11. Which premises in North Lindsay Street was this venture? Before my time, but I remember when I moved to Dundee in 1998 being a member of Masters Snooker Hall. Later I was working in the bars, and was made manager of Hustlers Pool Hall in the same premises (66-70 North Lindsay Street - top floor, above the new Westie / Mardi Gras). I had 18 months there before it was sub-leased and I moved on to manage Charleston Post Office ...