I first heard about Sholes from a friend who told me I had to check it out. I promptly took a guy I was dating there. He hated it. I should have known right then that it would never work. Then I met Eric. For Christmas, he bought me a pair of 50's maple wheeled Chicago skates that I had been oogling.
There was something funny about them, so I took them down to Sholes, handed them to Richard and told him I thought the bearings were bad. He took one look at them and told me the wheels were out of round. He cut them on a special lathe, adjusted the play in the trucks, cleaned and oiled them and gave them back to me. Talk about coming home. I was there every week for years after that.
This was the main entrance. The building originally served as the clubhouse to the Hillsgrove golfcourse, now the airport. It had a wonderful bar, which remained unaltered as the lounge in the roller rink. It also had a stage and an open air dance floor, which was closed in, perhaps in the 20's.
Here you can see the ceiling that was added, and the awnings around the floor, left from the open air days. This place was huge. The capacity was 800+. Since most of the lighting on the floor came from under the lower ceiling above the booths, it was a difficult area to photograph without professional equipment. Here is my best shot accross the floor with people doing the hokey pokey.
In 1937, a hurricane destroyed a roller rink that the Sholes family operated in Oaklawn Beach. This building was purchased to replace it. The size of the building was doubled and the decorations duplicated so well, that only a couple of tiny clues evidenced the change. This is a shot in the origional section of the lounge. It contained a fabulous cherrywood bar, accessible on all four sides. It had colored lights imbedded in the foot rails and running up over top and was surrounded by frescoes of movie stars. The painting of Colleen Moore was cut in half, one side on the wall of the old lounge, the other half at the end of the new section of lounge. You could position yourself so that the two halves could be viewed as one.
What a stage! In the center was the Hammond Organ. Frank had been the house organist since 1956, and although he was in his 80's, he still worked everyday as the doorman. I would go there on week nights when few people would be there, and was usually successful at coaxing Frank to play the organ.