The figure skating and hockey cultures of the Westside are feverishly trying to avert the impending closure of the Culver City ice rink, a 52-year-old fixture on Sepulveda Boulevard where Wayne Gretzky practiced as an LA King (and before) and where generations of local kids learned to skate. There's a Facebook page, a Twitter feed and an online petition. But it doesn't look good.
The rink, which opened in 1961, has been trying to negotiate a new lease. The property owners reportedly have leased the building for a future fitness, rock-climbing and yoga center. The last day would be Feb. 2, according to the roused community of skater moms, dads, kids and pick-up hockey players.
Little ones begin their Olympic dreams here, preteens and teenagers have a fun and safe place to hang out, parents and kids celebrate birthdays, schools and summer camps come for a skate, and adults take a skate down memory lane. Whether you're just a beginning skater, figure skater or hockey player, this rink has been here for you.
They are trying to mobilize the professional players, Olympians and figure skaters who got their start at Culver City or passed through the rink, and the celebrities among the families who patronized the rink. Editor's note: Last time I was there I spotted the actress Sean Young, so it has been awhile.
The next closest full-time ice rinks are in El Segundo, Van Nuys, Panorama City and Harbor City. The last three are the only remaining ice rinks located within the city of Los Angeles, not counting the outdoor winter-season popups.
Part of girl's letter posted on the Save Culver Ice Facebook page