When customers walk through the doors of the Thunderbird Roller Rink, established in 1972, many sink into a wave of nostalgia.
“There are a lot of people who tell us that when they were little they used to go skating here. Now they bring their children [or] grandchildren, “said manager and operator Anthony” AJ “Monjure [customers] say it looks the same. “
Monjure said these clients take their loved ones on a journey down the path of memory pointing out the highlights of their youth. They walk through the party room and say, “I did my ninth birthday here,” or, “I was going to the money machine,” he said. And when they say the carpet looks the same as it did 20 years ago, Monjure says, “It is.”
As in previous years, a DJ announces skating activities such as limbo, dice games, fast skate and skateboarding in the opposite direction. Music ranging from hits from the 70s to current tunes sounds while multicolored lights and strobes create a festive vibe.
In addition to the ongoing maintenance of the original floor of the wooden track, improvements have also been made, such as new paint, lighting and a music system.
Skaters as young as 2 can walk the track. Advanced skaters, also known as “jam skaters” gravitate to the center of the rink, so “they can hang out and do their tricks,” Monjure said. Nell Sims is the original owner of Thunderbird Roller Rink and remains the owner today. . Monjure’s father was the track manager and operator for eight years and offered AJ and his fiancé Sonya Gowens on-the-job training for the past three years.
Gowens has a simple reason why he believes Thunderbird has been in business for 50 years.
“It’s a family environment, and that’s what keeps it going,” he said. “[And] people like to skate. “
Thunderbird wheel track
3200 Thunderbird Lane, Plano
Hours: Tuesday-DJ. 1-4 pm, dv. 6-10 p.m. 1-9 p.m., Sunday. 2-5 p.m., Mon. Closed