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Original flyer for The Empire Rollerdrome, later known as the Empire Roller Disco and the Birthplace of Rollerdisco.

Originally, according to Brownstoner:

"The Empire Rollerdrome opened on the Prospect Lefferts Gardens side of Empire Boulevard, which was more commonly known as just Flatbush, in 1941. Ebbets Field was just across the street, and the building that became the rink was a large one story garage building that had been used for parking. The business was owned by the Swanson family, who fortuitously, also owned a flooring business.  They converted the garage into a rink by simply covering walls with paneling and the floor with a state-of-the-art maple floor. Their early advertising always touted the Empire as “home of the miracle maple.” They purchased the speaker system from the 1939 World’s Fair, and installed it in the space, and they were, pardon the pun, ready to roll.

The early rinks had organists who played popular and classical tunes on electric organs. Like the organists across the street at Ebbets Field, these talented musicians could play anything from boogie-woogie, to Sinatra, waltzes or polkas. There was something for everyone.

In the 1950s, the Empire Rollerdrome was part of a city-wide circuit of rinks where people could go for lessons, competitions and recreational skating. By 1956, the rink belonged to two brothers, Henry and Hector Abrami. They introduced other sports to the space; boxing, miniature golf, and even bowling, but the roller rink was king. Empire hosted the first open New York State Roller Skating Championship"

Later, according to the NY Times and Village Voice:

"When Grace Jones was strutting around Studio 54 and Donna Summer records were playing at New York clubs, Empire Rollerdrome was hitting its stride in Brooklyn. It was the end of the 1970s, disco fever was in full swing, and crowds of predominantly Black and gay Brooklynites had spent the decade dancing and skating at Empire. Unlike some of the elite discothèques in Manhattan, the rink was a welcoming space, with no velvet ropes or fickle doormen. Anyone with a few dollars could get in.


As it became a hot spot for nightlife, skaters and celebrities from different parts of the city traveled to Empire to experience its “miracle maple” floor, where the Detroit Stride met the Cincinnati Style and the Brooklyn Bounce. Cher threw parties there. Ben Vereen and John F. Kennedy Jr. glided across its rink.


Empire had the best skaters in the world. They frequently moved in pairs at 20 miles per hour, hitting synchronized 360-degree spins in heavy traffic, or slowing to drop into a split or somersaulting into a headstand. The most daring would approach the back rail at full speed. Above the rail, chest high, sat the floor of the stage. Never breaking stride, the skaters would leap four vertical feet in the air, skate along the edge of the stage, then drop back onto the rink, never missing a beat.


 The media smelled money and quickly cast the best skaters in movies or flew them to Europe to do shows. Many were inner-city kids from the projects. “I was on TV playing a drug dealer on skates. Meanwhile, I get back to Brooklyn and I really am a drug dealer on skates,” recalls one regular."


The paper on the flyer is very delicate. In vintage condition.

Empire Rollerdrome "Birthplace of Roller Disco" Flyer Brooklyn Roller Skating

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