Tiffany’s Skate Inn

A Roller Skating Palace for Its Era

It was the place to see and been seen

Tiffany’s Skate Inn was a roller skating rink which opened in 1968 and was located at W. 708 Boone Avenue in Spokane. It was across the street from the old Coliseum where the Spokane Arena is now. Dennis King, Sr., acquired and operated the rink in Spokane as well as the Tiffany’s rinks in Kent and Puyallup. They were all very modern for the era in which they were built. The name Tiffany’s came from the original builder’s newborn baby girl.

The roller skate was invented in the 1700s, but did not become popular until the 20th century. Its peak popularity came in the 1970’s, when recreational roller skating was one of the most popular American pastimes. With the help of disco and the newly invented polyurethane wheel, skating dominated cities all over the nation. Skating rinks were great for birthday parties, date nights, and community gathering places.

Tiffany’s had tall, soaring ceilings with large glass windows all around which made it feel bright, open, and airy. There was a glass ball in the center of the ceiling with lights that would twinkle and illuminate colors on the floor and walls when the lights were turned down. The rink had a stage that was used for community events such as rock concerts and March of Dimes telethons.

It had the largest hardwood floor of Tiffany’s rinks and was built at a cost of $340,000. The wood floor was built with a bit of a bounce to it which helped when skaters fell. Today’s rink floors are made of plastic which while lower in cost to build and maintain are less forgiving when one falls. The floor was 100 x 200 feet in size and was as large as the Oaks Park Roller Rink in Portland. The sound system was state of the art at the time for clarity and depth to accommodate all types of music and events.

Whether skaters went for fun and recreation with the “all skates”, “couples skates”, and the “Hokey Pokey” to name a few at the skating sessions; or for regular after-hours practices for speed, artistic (freestyle and figures), and dance skating, there were activities for all levels and interests at the rink.

The rink closed in 1975 but is fondly remembered by numerous Spokanites.

Images

Map