Roller skating was the thing to do on a Friday night in Erie, PA in the mid to late 70s. There were several rinks to choose from, including Skate Lodge at 4646 Buffalo Road in Harborcreek Township. There was plenty of room to skate and the prices were reasonable; just two bucks for three hours in the evening, plus 75¢ to rent a pair of well-worn skates. Plus, if you were hungry, you could get a pepperoni ball and a cup of pop and not miss too much of the action.
The place used to be packed on Friday and Saturday nights, and kids would walk along the berm of Buffalo Road with a pair of skates slung over their shoulder on their way to and from the rink.
J. J. Lynch used to spin records at Skate Lodge, playing a mix of slow tunes (with dimmed lights) for the couples skate, and faster songs so experienced skaters could show off. Less experienced kids knew to get out of their way for fear of getting plowed over. Those kids would hover in the center of the rink or hang on to the railing, inching along the wall. It was cool to see people skating backwards or jumping over their friends.
Seems like I heard every song from the soundtracks to "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease" when I went to the Lodge.
I also remember waiting for the extended version of Heatwave's "Groove Line," which I still really like. It was the perfect song for a group of six or eight people to jam to. So grab your friends, Get the train, Comin' through!
Enjoy more fun facts about Erie, Pennsylvania at: Old Time Erie