By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Skatarama building, located at 303 S. Seventh Street, was a popular hangout for Corsicana youth. The building itself remained closed for several years, frozen in time. The disco ball and stars than adorned the rink during many a Gen-Xer’s teenage years still hang from the ceiling, and at least 200 pair of dusty skates from the era still sit abandoned in the racks, waiting for use.
I had the opportunity to tour the property back in 2019, part memory, part drawn into addressing a rumor from a passage in a book (Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River) from 2017 visiting 100W resident writer Jung Young Moon. In his recollection during his time in Corsicana, Moon wrote a passage about a lone woman said to be seen skating by herself at night in the abandoned rink.
Of course, a rumor like this (later confirmed by locals) would pique any reporter’s interest.
While no spectral woman was present during that 2019 visit, the privately owned business had some rather unusual ideas proposed for its use, ranging from an roller rink/antique shop/Greek restaurant hybrid, to a crab seafood restaurant, to some implied haunted house experience.
Regardless of ambition, none of these concepts ever came to pass, and the building remained empty in the following years. The building is now listed for sale.
Listed at $500,000, the 50-plus year old warehouse is described as an opportunity to own a “piece of history.”
The property value, however, has been appraised at $161,170.
Regardless, as seen in the listing photos, the decorations and roller skates still exist from an era gone by. Regardless of limited parking, the potential for more youth-based activity venues would fill a need in town that has declined since last year’s closure of Altitude Trampoline Park.
Or the opportunity to live out some level of Xanadu-inspired roller disco dreams.
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