Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace

Los Angeles, California, USA

Closed 1981

The Disappointed Tourist: Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace was converted from a bowling alley into a roller rink in 1979, becoming a brief sensation for its live bands and celebrity guest list. An episode of Charlies Angels (Angels on Skates) was filmed there in 1979. It closed in 1981 and today the building houses a CVS pharmacy. This is the second painting that I made of Flippers, the first one was mysteriously “lost” by Fedex returning from Milwaukee.

There was a roller-disco on La Cienega Blvd in Los Angeles called FLIPPER where I had my sweet sixteen in the 80s. How terribly embarrassing is that? It was an amazing place of joy that brought together all the party people of all stripes and sizes. I miss that. Regine B.