|City/Town: • Conway|
|Location Class: • Commercial • Amusement|
|Year Built: • 1973|
|Year Abandoned: • 05/10/2014|
|Status: • Demolished|
|Photojournalist: • Michael Schwarz • Eddy Sisson|
In 1973, Conway Roller Rink was built as a part of an expansion in the city of Conway’s recreational areas. Built in tandem with the 12 lane expansion of the Conway Bowling Alley, the Roller Rink saw steady business all through lifespan. Though often competing for business with their next door neighbors, the Roller Rink became one of the best visited sites from locals in the Conway area. After a while, the Rink developed a reputation as a college hang out due to repeated parties aimed toward that demographic. One of the prime examples of this was the rink’s participation in the “End of the World” festivities, which attracted thousands of college students and forced several blocks to close down. Though business did dwindle slightly toward the end of 2012, this was, tragically, not the reason for the shut down of the business and the abandonment of the building.
Larry Billings, the owner of the establishment since 1981, was shot and killed in his home on October 29th, 2012; though the building and business went to his wife and son, they chose to close the Roller Rink indefinitely. Much speculation has been made over the future of the property including demolition, renovation, and a merger with the ajoining bowling alley. As of now, however, there are no official plans for the Roller Rink and time is beginning to wear down on the structure. With leftover soda machines and forgotten roller blades littering the alley, this centerpiece of recreation for Conway families is quickly becoming harder and more costly to save.
If you have any memories of the Conway Roller Rink or please leave a comment. We’d love to hear your stories and experiences!
Article written by Wells Thompson – AAR staff