MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Crystal Palace skating rink on South Third Street is closed for good, its manager says.
Manager Kenny Lee says he was told the rink was closing due to lack of business.
Everybody knows the famous Crystal Palace. The movie Hustle and Flow was shot here,” said Lee.
The Crystal Palace has been a hangout for many Memphis kids and teens since 1981.
Lee says the owner closes the roller skating rink in October, because business was slow, and plans to re-open didn’t happen.
That came as a shock to Lee who says kids kids had been coming to skate at Crystal Palace consistently before the doors closed.
In recent years, it came under fire after a series of fights and shootings. Last year, the club went up for sale.
“Well the thing about the crime that took place, it happened on the outside never on the inside. We had security on the inside,” said Lee.
WREG tried calling the owner by dialing a number provided to us. A woman answered the phone, but claimed that she didn’t know what we were talking about.
This couple has lived nearby for 40 years, and they say they are sad to see the skating rink go.
“It helped bring down the neighborhood. The kids don’t have any place to go, and a lot of people don’t have a lot of transportation to go other places. So, it’s close by,” said Delois Bishop, a Southwest Memphis resident.
Lee says closing the rink will only make things worse.
“People are asking what’s going on with crime, you are taking away everything from these babies. They have anything else to do so they going to fall to the streets,” said Lee.