Monday, May 9, 2016

Imperial Skating Rink, 419 S.E. Madison Street, Portland, Oregon



Opened in 1937. Owned in 1954 by William "Pop" Brown.[4]
The Imperial Roller Rink originally had a 2/5 William Wood theatre organ. The Wood company later added three Gottfried ranks (Clarinet, English Horn, Kinura) and Sleigh Bells making it a 2/8.
Between 1935 and 1941, Balcom & Vaughan added to the organ and installed a three-manual console which was rebuilt from a Wurlitzer two-manual.
In 1955, a 3/10 Wurlitzer from Portland's Hollywood Theatre was moved to the Imperial Rink and combined with the existing Wood instrument. As was typical for skating rink installations, all pipes, windchests, percussions and traps were located in the rafters above the skating floor.
The late Jerry Jorgensen was organist at the rink for many years.
The organ was eventually removed to storage. It was owned for a time by the McDonalds restaurant chain. In the late 1970's the instrument was purchased by Dr. & Mrs. John Dapolito of San Diego, California.[1]

"The elevated approaches to the Hawthorne Bridge created a dark neighborhood of old storefronts and commercial buildings below. In the early 60's there was a coffeehouse down there called the Way Out that featured folk music and espresso drinks. The owner was Jim Smith, who was the first chair trumpet in the Portland Symphony. Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee appeared there, among others."[7]

"It was a beautiful rink inside, huge mirror-ball & GREAT pipe organ. They had a Grand March nightly and if you were in grade school then, it was the "IN" spot every Friday night. The rink was never a dump, the neighborhood was a little "walk-on-the-wild-side"."[2]

"I remember skating at that roller rink as late as the mid-80’s. The bumper walls were lined with orange carpet."[6]

In 1985, Portland Indoor Soccer Center, a soccer league, used the building. They still do in 2014.

Jerry may have performed here on
1/1/66 Grateful Dead(3)
Chris Emery's sister attended this event and had a poster for many years. She's passed away and the poster is gone too. Emery's father was the manager of the rink prior to this event.[1]



Imperial Skating Rink, Portland, OR
1.)^Puget Sound Pipeline, http://www.pstos.org/instruments/or/portland/imperial-rink.htm
2.)^Hood, George, comments, 2011-10-18, http://www.stumptownblogger.com/2011/10/imperial-roller-rink.html
3.)^cemery50, comments, 2011-09-06, Oregon Rock Concerts 1967 (Oregon V), 2010-04-17, http://rockprosopography101.blogspot.com/2010/04/oregon-rock-concerts-1967-oregon-v.html?showComment=1403392987866#c2801796856039747848
4.)^Rinks and Skater, Billboard, 1954-01-30, http://books.google.com/books?id=xB4EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA56&dq=imperial+skating+rink&hl=en&sa=X&ei=lBSmU4P1BYyAoQS2tIHgAg&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=imperial%20skating%20rink&f=false
5.)^Emery, Chris, 2014-06-21, Facebook Chat with author, https://www.facebook.com/PortlandInThe1960sStoriesFromTheCounterculture
6.)^Antonia, comments, Hawthorne Bridge Ramp, 1957, 2013-04-04, http://vintageportland.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/hawthorne-bridge-ramp-1957/

7.)^Caughey, Brian, comments, 2013-04-04, Hawthorne Bridge Ramp, http://vintageportland.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/hawthorne-bridge-ramp-1957/

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