United Skates (2018) Movie Script

INMATE: Do you think
you could look at me and say,
"There is a good carpenter,
mechanic, scholar,
knowing that I was a murderer?"
INMATE 2: All of us
come from different places,
but our stories are so similar.
Do you think your mentality
could have got put back
on the right track?
I think it was plenty
of opportunities.
We just couldn't get it
back then. We were just livin'.
Now we do get it.
It's a hard truth, ain't it?
(distant voices murmur)
(distant voice shouts)
(police radio chattering)
(police radio chattering)
(muffled laughter, chatter)
(distant voices chattering)
(noisy chattering)
DJ (over PA):
Old school. New school!
Y'all hit the floor
on this one.
Let's represent!
(hip-hop music playing)
Pete: As you go
across the country,
you will find,
if it's a popular rink or
if it's a really thriving rink,
it's because they have
a really strong
skate community.
Depending on where you're from,
is a vital part of
how you skate
or what style you skate.
New York. Carolinas.
Atlanta. Baltimore.
Chicago. LA.
Everybody got
their own style
and their own music.
Maulud Allah:
For many black people,
being on four wheels
is like
black-eyed peas and greens
on, um, New Year's Eve.
was hip-hop.
It was a place where
the streets, everybody
met up.
Go ahead, let her spit
some of that (indistinct).
-Boy 2: Stacey wants to do it.
Let me do the beat.
-Boy: No, wait.
No. Mom, you do it. You rap.
Okay, wait, wait.
let me make up my beat.
No, shh. Shh.
-(boy laughing)
-(thumping rhythmically)
Phelicia (rapping):
My kids are crazy
Yes, they are
They all got crazy
personalities, I want 'em
out of my car
You better do good in school,
before I come up there
-(boy laughing)
- You know
how I get down
I be tearin' stuff up,
that's why I don't rap
Mm! That's why I don't rap
Kids (softly rapping):
Hot potato, hot potato,
hot potato...
That's why I don't rap
-Go, Stacey.
-Stacey: I'm
a hot potato on the beat
- We dah-dah-dah beat
- Hot potato, hot potato,
hot potato, hot potato
I asked you to do
the dishes, man.
You've got to go.
Give me that, please.
You have to go.
You gots to go.
London: I learned
how to skate from
my dad and my mother,
and that's why I love
to skate now.
-I actually built these, myself.
-He made 'em.
At first, I had
two different plates
and the plates were heavier.
With heavier plates,
it's harder for you
to do, you know,
little stunts
and tricks.
That's what motivates me.
This is why I am,
who I am today.
Skating to me is like...
-(children shouting)
-Mom says hurry
because it's getting late.
I have five children.
(chatter, laughter)
As a single mom,
you're always wondering
how you're going
to entertain your kids.
Get your feet
out of my face,
'cause they stink!
(children chattering loudly)
Uh, why is my chair
not working?
(loud chattering)
Thank you.
God bless
your spirit.
Come on, let's go, you guys.
We gotta go.
Let's go, let's go.
If I want to keep them
super calm...
I have to let 'em
get on skates.
-(kids laughing)
-Boy: You can't skate!
You can't skate!
Where your skates at?
Boy 2: Eff you!
They're right here.
(indistinct chatter)
My dad was a skate guard,
and my mom was a DJ.
-Hi, there, Bob.
-Have a good one.
Meaning, I was there
all the time.
I'm considered
a rink rat.
You know, you're born
and raised in the rink.
Mom, I need help!
And so now my kids
got the same thing.
All skaters must skate
in one direction only.
(noisy chattering)
Faster skaters
to the outside,
slower skaters
to the inside.
Something about hitting
that floor.
It's where,
I can breathe.
By the time
my night is over,
whatever was
bothering me,
I'm feeling great.
That's what it is
for a lot of us.
Roller skates have been
around forever.
And a traditional skate,
I don't care what
you say about it,
it's not that stylish.
You know, the thing
that probably meant
the most to me was
how my skates looked.
Skaters in LA, we took
the custom skate game
to a whole new level.
In LA, foot-game
is imperial.
I done seen tennis shoes,
I done seen house shoes.
I done seen bowling shoes,
I done seen golf shoes.
Some people use
Timberlake boots.
Pete: You can take
your favorite dress shoe
or tennis shoe,
and you can put
that on a roller skate
and feel like you are
still the same person
you are when you're
out on the street.
A lot of skaters
in Los Angeles
like the slippery wheels,
our style incorporates
a lot of sliding.
It could be a thousand
people on the floor,
but when you're
in that zone,
it's as if it's just you.
Just you and your wheels.
And that's because
the music is going
through you.
Hey, one-two, one-two.
We ain't done yet.
The connection between
roller rinks and music,
they go hand in hand.
(rapping indistinctly)
In the mid to late '80s,
hip-hop and rap artists
had no place to perform.
Their music wasn't being played
on the radio.
The music wasn't being played
on MTV.
The music was shunned.
The artists were shunned.
"Go away. Don't perform
that here."
So, the only place that
people could perform was
in skating rinks.
Once again, repping
from the City of Angels
World Class Wrecking Cru
did the grand opening
for Skateland,
and boy, it was off the chain.
Our first DJ was Dr. Dre.
That's a fact.
Craziest white man
in Compton.
That was what
I was known as
after we opened.
This was headlined
by Latifah.
Shortly after she appeared
at our place, she was called
Queen Latifah.
So we gave her
her grand opening
of her first West Coast
appearance that was
Queen Latifah.
Then, CIA was formed.
This was Ice Cube.
Shortly after this,
they formed NWA.
(crowd cheering)
First, you had to be
the best person
in your
Then you had
to be the best person
in your city.
Then you performed
in a skating rink.
Everybody say "yeah."
Hell, yeah!
Skating rinks held
2,000 to 3,000 people.
So they were the first
big arenas for rappers
to perform in.
Skating rinks were hardcore.
Like, if you could rock out
in a skating rink,
then you know
you're doing well.
It wasn't just
Los Angeles.
Artists did
a skating rink tour.
It was in Miami,
Baltimore, St. Louis,
Houston, and New York.
The George Washington Bridge
connects New York
and New Jersey.
So all the kids
from the Bronx and Harlem,
would come across
to Jersey to skate.
Hip-hop was born
out of that skating world.
Hip-hop, hooray, ho!
Hey, ho!
Vin Rock:
The who's who of hip-hop
would always be there,
from Queen Latifah
to FunkMaster Flex.
Guys like Redman was always
there at the rink performing.
It was kind of
because everyone
comes to skate,
and then they have
to stop skating,
and it's like...
-Right, right.
- Say Queen Latifah
-Audience: Queen Latifah!
- Say Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah!
-Queen Latifah:
-Audience: Peace!
Vin Rock:
Not only did we perform,
but we roller-skated.
So at the rink,
there was, like,
rolling and rocking
before rock and rolling.
(train rattling)
This little jam
will take a while
(man vocalizing melody)
(vocalizing continuing)
(vocalizing continuing)
I'm a fan of music,
not just genre-based.
Anything that's dope.
Nirvana's dope.
"Smells Like
Teen Spirit" is dope.
My favorite band is Queen.
I'm just a poor boy,
nobody loves me
- Will not let you go
- Let him go!
That... that's dope.
"Bohemian Rhapsody"
is probably one of
the greatest records
to ever be recorded,
I mean, opera, classical,
hard rock, heavy metal,
hip-hop, all of it,
it's in that one record.
(upbeat music in background)
Boom. Get that off.
Then rock off
something together.
It's gotta be...
Boom. Boom,
boom, boom.
(music stops)
Kick up. Hell.
Oh, man. I didn't
even think about that.
I bet you put baby oil on,
didn't you?
-Naadira: A little bit.
-Reggie: I knew it.
-Naadira: Why?
-Reggie: What lotion
you got that--
(baby babbling)
Roller-skating brought me
the love of my life.
It brought me a sense
of community, a sense
of culture.
But we don't have either
at my local rink.
Daddy's main man.
Daddy's main man.
Music at my local rink
is like, top 40.
'Cause it could be, like,
something hard rock,
then, boom,
we're back down to, like,
a kiddie Barbie song
or some crap.
-(muffled music playing)
-(muffled voices chattering)
Reggie called the DJ...
He called him
"DJ Worst-Case Scenario."
So, we like, make up names
for him. "DJ Last Resort."
It's mandatory that
we have our iPods,
just to play something
that we can actually
skate to,
that makes us feel like,
I do have a reason
to be here.
Even though skating
is something that
both of us love,
now we barely
get to do it.
Reggie: If we want
a really good session,
we have to drive
three hours.
For something that
we would really want,
it's six hours.
In the state of
North Carolina,
there are 14 rinks.
And none of them have
an adult night
for our community.
As you go across
the country,
you will find a lot
of rinks that have
their adult sessions.
And those
adult sessions are
where most of the black
community goes to.
If I went to a skating rink
and it was all white people,
I would automatically
say to myself, "I'm not
supposed to be here."
So, I'm going to go
on adult night,
which is code language
for "Black Night."
When roller rinks were
forced to integrate,
a lot of whites,
they just stopped going.
So the rink owners found
new ways to segregate us.
Anything to signal
when we were allowed
to skate.
And the name that stuck
was "Adult Night."
Vin Rock:
The roller rink I went to
never really liked the fact
that all these urban kids
flooded the rink on a Tuesday,
a Saturday night.
So, there was an effort
by the community at large
to get that rink
shut down.
On the white nights,
there's no security,
police, nothing.
But on the black nights,
cops at the door,
security all around.
And all we're doing
is going in a circle
over a hundred times.
When you're skating,
and like, when you're
really into it,
you're not knowing
that you're releasing
a whole lot of pressure
off of you, you know,
when you skate.
'Cause that's what I feel.
And I know that's what
my mom feels, too.
She says it all the time.
I don't show that I'm
releasing my frustration.
I don't take it out
on people, but...
when I'm skating,
I just leave it there.
When you listen to music
you like to skate with,
it's a feeling.
It's almost like,
on Dirty Dancing,
when Patrick Swayze
was telling
Jennifer Hewitt to...
to explain what dancing
was to him.
It was that, goon-goom.
of her heart,
and that's what it is for us,
is that, goon-goom.
Goon-goom for us.
We're drivin' the car,
we got our music on.
We are pumped
before we even
walk in the door.
We walk in there, you see,
you feel all the love.
"Hey, girl! Hey!
Hey! Hey!"
In Los Angeles County,
our skate community,
it's suffering.
We have
World on Wheels
that closed...
Hollywood, Rosecrans,
and tonight,
the last rink
that we have
is closing
its doors.
(kids chattering
in background)
(Phelicia speaking)
Where the tablet at?
Oh, my goodness!
(kids chattering, laughing)
Shannon: Hey, man,
where is that WD-40?
You about to fly off, look.
Girl: Wonder what
everybody's gonna do
when it's closed down.
I'm gonna
skate outside.
-I'm gonna protest.
-Yeah, we're gonna protest.
Me too!
We don't want it to go away,
and it is a big deal
that the rink is closing.
It's 'cause we black.
Phelicia: It's not because
you're black. It's... No.
-It's 'cause
we're in the hood.
-Phelicia: No, it's not.
It's complicated.
(helicopter whirring overhead)
(distant sirens wailing)
(indistinct chattering)
(police radio chattering)
(Phelicia speaking)
This is insane.
(security guard speaking)
I think they're gonna
tear all this down.
-Cashier: Hello.
-Phelicia: Hey, darlin'.
Hey, how are you?
Thank you.
Hey, Patrick.
In 35 years, I've had
no serious fights.
We've not been any
instigator of crime.
It's family, you know.
And most of the problems
that we've had have been
in the parking lot.
People that
aren't skaters.
You're supposed to be inside.
I don't let people come in
and out and do anything.
-Okay, well, I'll go back
inside, then. That's cool.
-Appreciate it.
But the sheriff's
called a
three-stage alert.
My response to them
was that we don't expect
any problems.
We don't have problems.
We want to
thank everybody
for coming out.
This is the last night
at Skate Depot.
And we gonna make it
do what it do, baby!
(ballad playing)
(soft humming continues)
It starts to hit you.
It's just very, very sad.
Some of these skaters
I've known for
20, 30 years.
(whistle trills)
I thank you guys so much,
man, for all the love.
All the love.
-This is where I met
my husband.
This is where we met
six years ago.
Come on, baby.
Last time I walk out
these doors. (sighs)
Ain't no way.
No words. See you later!
Love you,
Skate Depot!
Right here in my heart.
I love you.
I don't know what
it's going to take.
But whatever it is,
I'm going to do it
to keep skating alive
in my family.
I can't take 'em off, bro.
This is the last night!
(lights clicking off)
It's the end of an era.
After more than a decade,
the last indoor
roller rink
in our area
is holding its final
lace-up tonight.
Roller Odyssey will
close its doors
after 37 years
of roller-skating.
News 10's
Aaron Wilson.
Newsman 2:
After 20 years
of business,
a family
center in Bangor
is preparing
to close its doors.
USA Skate Center
on Main Street
is closing
after 40 years.
DJ Arson:
Rinks across
the states
have just
been dying or
have been lost.
You don't need help?
Are these going okay,
Okay, anything that's bad,
throw out in the deal,
and we'll throw it
in the trash.
All right, guys.
Thank you.
In the urban areas,
the land values
have gotten so high,
that people sell the rinks,
or, like in our situation,
they don't renew our lease.
The cities
and municipalities,
they want a Home Depot
that's gonna create
you know, hundreds of
thousands of dollars
in sales tax.
They're not here
to serve the public
any longer.
It's all about
money now.
(train rattling)
(door squeaking)
(muffled music playing)
(music grows louder)
My family and I have been
the owners and operators
of this business
for ten years.
We were born
and bred into the
roller skate culture.
And it goes back as far
as my grandparents.
Hey, you gotta turn
the video games back on.
I turned 'em all off
and unplugged 'em.
In the state of Illinois,
we are the last two
African-American owned
and operated
roller-skating rinks.
What's up, everybody?
Y'all got your skates on?
Y'all ready to skate?
You all ready to roll?
Y'all get out there
on the floor.
I'm starting
some music up
right now.
It's not an easy job.
We've hit some financial
But we need to keep
the business open
for the community.
I'd like to welcome
you guys out
to one place, one choice,
Rich City, here. Let's go.
We've paid some
school tuition, school
supplies, book fees.
If you're here,
you're family.
Simple as that.
Simple hoodie trick.
Got a hoodie?
I was saving
this one,
but since
you're my man.
So, we lookin' all thuggish.
Right extensions.
Left extensions.
Same thing with your spin.
As soon as you get...
Yeah, it's off.
Boom. Boom.
There's a big difference
between a day session
and an evening session
at a roller-skating rink
in Chicago.
I don't know if it's
got something to do
with the sun falling
and the moon rising,
but the animal
comes out.
This is where we can
let our hair hang down.
What up, daddy-O?
How you feelin', man?
All right.
Welcome out.
What up, man?
It's good to have you
out here, man, you know.
For sure.
You're already
kind of jittery.
You don't know
what to expect.
You don't know
who's gonna be there.
And then you hear
the bass from the rink
coming through
the walls.
Aw, man, it's thumpin'
in there.
Welcome, welcome.
I'm not trying to brag
or boast,
'cause I like
skate styles from
different cities,
but Chicago is just
something phenomenal.
All of a sudden,
you just get
a slight bounce
in your knees.
You don't even know
where it's coming from.
You don't control it.
And then whenever
you find a gap,
if you can find one,
you step out
on the floor,
try and get a feel
of the woods,
and then you just
let it go.
(music swells)
let's make it happen.
In Chicago, we call our
style "JB Skating."
Because we skate
to James Brown.
James Brown:
The JBs!
They basically took
a lot of JB records,
and re-sampled them over
to different beats.
If you're from Chicago,
you're going
to have to learn
how to low shuffle.
You're gonna
have to learn
how to big wheel.
And you're gonna
have to learn how to Gaga.
Come on,
Everybody get
Come on!
There is a song
by James Brown.
He's saying "gaga,"
and then the horns repeat
what James Brown says
in the song.
The left leg goes
to what he's saying,
the right leg goes
to what the horns
are doing.
-DJ: All right,
so what up?
-(horns toot twice)
- Gaga, gaga
-(horns toot twice)
- Gaga, gaga
-(horns toot twice)
- Gaga, gaga
-(horns toot twice)
When you get
the horns blowing,
that's when
we really go off.
It is the horns' song.
It's like...
(hums high note)
-(horns playing high note)
-(drums playing backbeat)
The trick
to the one-stop is,
being able to actually
put the toe-plug
on the ground, but...
having the body control
to pull your
weight off of it,
just enough
that it doesn't stop.
The nutcrackers,
it got that name
because the guys,
when they split,
they jump up really high,
and then they
just slam down.
It's, like, "Oh, my God!"
Buddy (laughs):
Sun's coming up.
Good night, you guys.
I had so much fun.
Great, great. I'm glad.
(birds chirping)
"Rinks nationwide
are closing
"due to the economy,
"and a failure to change
with the times.
"But what if I told you
that there was a way
"not only to make
roller-skating popular
"but to also make it
more profitable than ever.
Would you listen?
"If so, allow me
to introduce you to
the adult skate night."
(shaver buzzing)
There are certain
that you have
for the place
that you want to roll.
And, you know,
it's 100 percent
about the music.
We want the bun
(Naadira speaks indistinctly)
We gotta have that bun
(vocalizes melody)
Don't sweat the technique.
(softly singing musical riff)
Naadira (sing-songy):
Momma's gonna see you later.
Momma's gonna
see you later.
Reggie (laughing):
Remember that.
-I love you, babe.
-Naadira: I love you, too.
(hip-hop music playing)
Boom. That's the key.
That one rhythm
threw your whole
sequence off.
Watch that timing.
If Reggie were putting up
a lemonade stand,
I would support him.
Reggie's always working
on something.
Five, six, seven, go.
But keeping
skating alive,
that's what
he was born to do.
What I want the result
to be is basically
a successful
skate session
in North Carolina.
This could actually
change the face
of roller-skating,
not only in
our community
but in theirs.
-Curt: How are you?
-Reggie: How's it going,
-You doin' all right?
-Nice to meet you.
-Good to finally
meet up with you.
-I know.
-Come on in the office.
I can't skate anywhere else
without traveling three hours
to come to here,
or five and a half hours
going down. You know
what I'm saying?
-And what does that say?
Curt: I want so bad
to have a successful
adult night.
If this crowd is going
to help me stay in business,
I'd love it.
I'm looking
to bring back that real,
true adult session,
you know,
back to North Carolina.
Just tellin' 'em
it's happening here
-every Sunday
from eight to 12.
There's a DJ that I got
-that is taking it
to another level.
And if you have
a DJ that can put out
that quality music...
-They'll come.
-...they'll come.
It's like a restaurant
with good food. You'll
drive to that restaurant.
-Reggie: You'll make it happen.
-Curt: When do we want
to do this?
July-ish. End of July?
Curt: Well, I've always
wanted to do this,
and like I said, just,
I didn't know how to do it.
You guys having
a good time out there today?
-Kids: Yes!
-Get ready to start here.
Are you ready? Go!
A lot of the rinks
that we deal with...
they don't understand
the adult skate night.
It's just like
anything else
that's different.
When jazz first came out,
everybody was like,
"Okay, wait a minute.
I don't know
what's going on."
So you don't understand
the culture, you'll
push it away.
Shane: The perception
that the rink owners have
of these skaters
is what's not allowing them
to go into this market
and to grow.
There's a lot of
old rink owners
and they're scared.
So, they enforce
rules and regulations
in the skating rink.
A lot of rinks have
a sign on their window
that says, "You cannot skate
in this facility
if you have small wheels,
micro wheels, cut-down
clay wheels.
Basically any type
of wheel that
we skate on.
There's a rink
in Las Vegas.
They have a sign
on their window that says,
"We do not play R&B music."
Why not?
As adults,
it's just humiliating.
You walk into the establishment,
and they tell you,
this is our rules.
If you don't like it,
you don't skate here.
There are legitimate
safety concerns.
But if you go to a rink,
and they go, "Okay, well,
uh, there's no trios.
"You can't skate
locking arms.
"Oh, you can't
skate backwards.
Oh, you're
skating too fast."
Whatever they could
come up with,
and then you're not
saying that to other people,
uh, then...
that's when the bell goes off.
Okay, what's really going on?
Eyewitness news report,
Darsha Philips is live
at the LAPD's
77th Division
with the latest
on these gang-related
John, well, a total
of five people were shot
within a
matter of hours.
Now, all of these
prompted an LAPD
tactical alert that
lasted until one a.m...
(kids chattering outside)
-Boy: Ow!
-(loud clattering)
They're fighting,
They're fighting.
Doggone it.
(singing softly)
Phelicia: Now do you
understand why I don't want
you outside with these people?
(growling playfully)
Good boy.
When I can't skate
for a long time,
it feels horrible,
you know.
I feel like, man,
a piece of me is missing.
I feel...
I'm caged, you know,
within my own feelings,
and I can't let 'em out.
How come I can't enjoy
the shower in peace?
-Get out. Now. Goddamn.
-Stacey: Watch your mouth.
That's why I'm gonna
smack all y'all with a belt.
I don't care what y'all say.
Stacey: You gonna smack?
What are you gonna smack?
I'm gonna burn your skates.
They're gonna call you
Shannon No-Skates!
No-Skate Shannon!
Shannon has ADHD,
and he has ED, which is
emotional disturbance.
Kid: Every day at lunch,
we always rappin'.
There's, like,
a whole bunch of us,
a whole bunch,
of boys...
We've got to get
something for him to do.
(kids chattering)
-London: So, Mom.
Where is the
skating rink at?
It's in Glendale.
We're on our way.
And that's where
they shot
Straight Outta
Compton at, too.
-How you know?
-London: 'Cause I saw
the movie.
The music is gonna suck
real bad.
Do any of you guys
have headphones?
Kid: I'm gonna just pretend
like I got some headphones.
-(kids laughing)
Moonlight did have
one black night.
But when the word
got out that Skate Depot
was closing...
they changed
the black night
to a family night
with no warning.
(cashier speaking indistinctly)
Nine dollars and 45 cents
for all the--
-Phelicia: So how much
do I owe you?
-Twenty-four, eighty.
(music playing over PA)
Oh, yeah?
I'm so tired... (indistinct)
(man speaking indistinctly)
Stay here, stay here,
stay here.
(woman speaking)
-(Phelicia speaks)
-(woman speaks)
(Phelicia speaking)
(woman speaking)
(Phelicia speaking)
(Phelicia speaking)
(Phelicia speaking)
(Shannon speaking)
(London speaking)
It was not brought
to our attention,
and now that it has,
I'm trying to get him off.
(Phelicia speaking)
(Phelicia speaking)
Where? Where? Show me.
Show me, sweetheart.
Glass wheels, micro wheels,
mini wheels.
It's all here.
Come on, man.
Thank you.
Let's rock, y'all.
(Phelicia speaking)
Reggie: Adult nights
have to survive
for us to survive.
Magic: The older skaters,
we've paved the way
for them.
Getting thrown out of rinks.
Threatening to be thrown out.
You go on 63rd
and Halsted
back in the day,
we had to walk
on one side,
and the white folks
would go on
the other side.
-Hey, mama.
-How are you, sugar?
-I'm sugar.
This session is for
the seasoned crowd.
Mama Marge.
This is where I get
all my wisdom.
Everything I do
is an evolution
from what these people
have done.
Calvin: I skated during
the segregation time
of roller rinks.
They gave us
one night a week
and they called it
"Soul night."
It was always soul night
for us.
I was born in 1933.
It was called Hell Time.
It was a tough time.
We were picketing
to be allowed to skate,
(Reverend Koen speaking)
many nights,
on a consecutive basis.
(Reverend Koen speaking)
That was an idea
of roller-skating.
Putting one foot
past the other
to get somewhere.
If this world...
don't change
its ways...
we'll all perish.
-(door creaks)
-(keys jangle)
This is our wall
of family and friends.
Of skaters and celebrities.
And my dad's a historian.
Along the wall, he started
to put together these placards.
It's low,
so that the children
will get a chance
to roller-skate up to it,
at least look
at the pictures.
They can see that these are
our black leaders.
I got it, Mom.
He just opened it up.
Mom put all
of her life savings
into the rink.
Her retirement fund,
and everything.
This has been our everything
for the last ten years,
you know?
We actually restitch
certain places of the skates
where the people
bust out of the toes
a little bit,
and it keeps
the business going.
All right, y'all.
This here's an all-skate.
This here's an all-skate.
We want to make sure
that everybody's skating
in the same direction.
No stopping
or standing on the walls.
Please keep it moving. Let's go.
We kept our admissions
at $5,
so that everybody
could afford it.
But it takes a lot of $5
to fill up this rink.
It takes a lot of $5
to pay $96,000 in taxes.
It's a lot of $5.
I would have
never thought
any of my kids
would be
robbing somebody.
Not Phelicia's kids.
But unfortunately,
it happened to my kid.
I confronted Shannon.
He broke in
someone's house.
I reported it myself.
I turned him in.
A boy just got killed
the other day,
at the car wash,
in front of his mother,
because he had on red shoes.
Tough love is hard.
But I'd rather see him
in jail than dead.
I'd rather see him in chains
than in a casket.
Wow. Look at this.
It says at the bottom,
"Boy, you know it.
Get out of the parking lot
before the Bloods and the Crips
started fighting."
This is Michael.
That's my baby-daddy.
This is a very,
very old picture.
-Michael: Hey, missy.
-London: Hey, Mommy?
Michael: She's here,
signed, sealed,
and delivered.
All right, come
give Daddy a kiss.
I gotta run.
-All right. Love you.
-London: Love you, too.
All right, now.
Yeah. I'll see you.
-London: Dad, I love you.
-Michael: Love you more.
Lot of times,
I went skating
instead of hanging out
in the hood.
And, you know,
I see the yellow tape
and the police, and...
they tell me somebody
got shot.
Somebody down the street,
that I would have been there,
if it wasn't for me
going skating at night.
Growing up
back in the day,
we had two
major rinks.
We had my home,
which is World on Wheels,
and then in Compton,
you had Skateland.
Two different worlds.
Before World on Wheels,
we got ran up out of there
it was enemy hood.
They blue, we red.
Man 2:
Everybody go
in their area, man.
Everybody follow
the same line.
If you came in representing
your colors,
you was gonna get run out
of the skating rink.
World on Wheels sat
right in the heart
of the Crip territory.
And the Skateland
was a Blood territory.
When Skateland closed,
World on Wheels
was really the only
show in town.
So then that meant that
they had to come over,
here on the Westside.
The Bloods was not wearing red
to this skating rink,
'cause they knew
what was around
this neighborhood.
Man (laughing):
If you get the green light,
you get your whole crew...
Over time, the heads
of the rival gangs
made a pact that
the roller-skating rink
would be declared
neutral territory.
It was a social
environment where
I don't have to address
you in a...
in an aggressive manner,
because we're
both here to skate.
Rival gangs waved
the white flag.
Everyone got a pass
to come skate.
The skating rink
was, uh,
it was neutral territory,
inside the skating rink.
It was outside in
the parking lot
where you had problems.
I don't know of no other place
that you could go
where Crips and Bloods
could hang out together
and not have problems.
I think you even have
trouble at church.
Alonzo: Everybody
rolled hand in hand,
Bloods and Crips.
But in 2013,
World on Wheels closed.
And just like that,
it was over with.
When they made
the announcement,
we only had a week
to try to make
something happen.
It was just
a sad time.
But it was
an exciting time,
because a lot of people
came out of the woodwork.
Crowd (chanting):
Save World on Wheels!
Save World on Wheels!
Man (yelling):
Save World on Wheels!
It didn't take very
much time
to get all the signatures
for the petition.
Yes, Council should first vote
on reconsideration.
Connie: World on Wheels
was the location for
the meeting place
of two rival gangs,
Crips and Bloods,
where the truce
actually began.
Where can you go
where your kids are safe?
Where can you go where
you know your kids are not
gonna get hit
by a drive-by?
World on Wheels
is that place.
We have a developer
who's come in,
and has basically said,
if you want to rent from me,
your rents are going to go up
200 to 300 percent.
We're asking for you guys
to help us.
People just want
the opportunity
to rent the space
at a fair price.
Once an area
is rezoned,
it really can't
come back.
So, if this was
a skating rink today,
and now it's rezoned,
you know, for condos, or...
whatever, a Home Depot,
it can't be
a skating rink again.
I've seen every rink
in the Bay Area close.
We were the last man
Crowd (chanting):
Please do not rezone.
Please do not rezone.
Please do not rezone.
Please do not rezone.
We're losing, average,
three rinks a month
in the United States.
Crowd (chanting):
We love Baltimore.
We love Baltimore.
We love Baltimore.
We love Baltimore.
(chanting continues)
We're here to support
and show 'em that
we're not giving up yet.
The municipalities
want to generate
as much revenue
by putting
big box stores
in place of businesses
that would actually
help the community.
There are quite a few
that have gotten
financial support
from the city.
Dunkin' Donuts happened
to be one of them.
McDonald's happened
to be another.
Family businesses
are being squeezed out.
What's up? I got Nicoli
turning the lights on.
Set that right here
on top of this speaker
right here.
And all that equipment
basically is gonna go
up to the DJ booth.
(workers chattering)
Once a year, we host
an event like this.
The difference between
a national skate jam,
and a regular local
skate night is,
we're attracting
a larger audience.
-(alarms beeping)
-(workers chattering)
In the very beginning,
I didn't travel.
Why would I
go out of town
to do something
that's great at home?
But now,
I have no choice.
Reggie: A skate party
is like an adult night
times a thousand.
It's my entire community
in one rink.
It's a pretty big deal
when we do come
to a national event
"Man, we haven't
skated like this
in five months!"
All across the country,
there are skaters, who,
their home rink
has closed,
so they travel
to the big parties
so they can be
amongst everybody.
That's, like,
their skate night.
When I first started
there was only about,
maybe three big parties.
A few years later,
other people
started throwing
national parties.
And there's thousands
of people there.
It's definitely
one of the ways that
the skate community
is keeping some of
these rinks open.
Every time we go
to another city,
we see that
we're not alone.
And it makes you
want to protect
what we have.
What up, what up?
Not bad at all, not at all.
What up? What up?
(hip-hop music playing)
What's happening?
Welcome back,
welcome back.
(funk song playing)
Get down, get down,
get down, get down, get
Get down
I want to welcome
everyone here
to Rich City.
Chicago, Illinois.
Only place to be.
On a local skate night,
you're gonna hear
the music in that region.
At a national
skate party,
you're hearing music
from everywhere.
Get down, get down,
get down, get down
A lot of people
have no idea
how many different
skate styles there are,
and there are a lot.
All right, we're
about to do a style called
Roll Call in Rich City.
Please clear
the floor.
They gonna represent
for the home town.
We gonna tear this
thing up real quick.
Ty, go ahead.
Up top, New York,
New Jersey.
My train riders.
One, two, three! Huh!
DC, Maryland,
ATL and the South.
- Get down
- Get up!
St. Louis,
Kansas City.
- Get up
- Get down
Show what you got! Huh!
Philly, South Jersey,
Get up
Get up
Get down
Show what you got! Huh!
- Get up
- Get down
Show what you got! Huh!
- Get up
- Get down
Get up
(crowd cheering)
I want to thank
all y'all, really,
for coming out.
Buddy. Step over here
for a minute.
I'm gonna turn this over
to the legend.
-Buddy, you got something
you want to say?
-Buddy: I do.
Breez, thank you
for your commitment,
all right?
These last six years,
it has been difficult.
And, um...
I know this may be
a shock to some.
It may not be
the best of news.
Unfortunately, for the skaters
and the skate community,
Rich City Skate will be
closing the doors,
you guys.
And I'd like to thank
everybody for your
support over the years.
This has truly been
a great experience
for my family and I.
Thank you guys.
I love all y'all.
I ain't gonna lie.
That just rocked
my whole mood.
So, it'll be what it'll be.
I'm a little heavy right now,
I hate to see one go,
and... I really do.
I hate to see this go.
Understand, this is
the last IR for Rich City,
So when we hit this floor,
y'all better set this
motherfucker off.
Chi City, where you at?
Do we put on for our city?
Do we put on for our city?
Go on and hit the floor
on this one.
Let's represent!
Just 'cause I love my city.
DJ: They can take
the building,
but they can never
take the spirit
of Rich City.
Buddy Love,
we love you, baby.
They can take
the goddamned building,
but they can't take the spirit
of Rich City. Let's go.
It ain't over yet.
Oh, I see you in the middle.
I see you in the middle!
Leave that outside open.
I wanna see toe-stops,
Yeah, that's what
I'm talkin' about.
Give them this moment.
Pep it up for 'em!
Come on, Buddy.
Give it up for Buddy.
Buddy Love.
Yeah. It's a tough one.
One last hand clap
for Rich City.
Last year at IR.
It's always hard
to say goodbye.
It's always hard to see
your loved one pass.
We just lost
a family member.
It's just something that,
you know, we gotta do.
This was definitely
a dream come true,
You can only fight
so much, you know?
I feel like we've
given it our best swing,
you know?
We're proud of what we've done
for the community.
We're glad to have touched
the lives of so many.
When it hits,
and one of them closes,
it's says that we're
It says if it can happen
at a national party,
it can happen anywhere.
If all of the
rinks close,
then we're stuck.
We've gotta go back
to skating outside,
skating in the church
or in a gymnasium,
like they used to do,
back before we had
all the rinks.
It's old history.
I think a lot
of the spirit
of the people
is lost when
rinks close.
You're not attached
to a tradition...
that ties the generations
You're not having
that connection
that people had
before you.
-(music playing)
See, when you skate,
sometimes you fall.
But you see how
he got right back up,
started skating again,
That's how you do it.
I haven't put
my roller skates on
Rich City closed.
Even if it has to be
in someone else's rink,
Sai's going to be
the fifth-generation
skater in our family.
Which is pretty huge.
Look at him.
Look. See?
Skating forward
and backwards.
That might be
you first, Sai.
Like that.
Sai is my attempt
to not let go
of the dream of
what's in my blood.
(Sai mumbles)
I wanna skate.
You wanna skate?
-My man.
-Tiffani: You wanna
skate, man?
-Sai: Skate.
The key to everything
is patience.
Slow down, buddy.
We gotta
keep fighting.
Tell me, do these letters
look bigger than those?
You have the original picture
I sent you
of what it should
have looked like?
I'm just telling you,
that's not the color
we were going.
Ain't nobody gonna
notice that, man.
Yo, it don't even
match the marquis.
I say leave it,
because like he say,
at night, it'll be brighter.
I grew up skating
in Brooklyn,
so opening my skating rink
was something I jumped into,
because I thought about
my childhood, and...
about the community
and what it could bring.
We weren't really sure
how we were
going to get this.
It wasn't zoned anymore
for a roller-skating rink.
Permitting was a problem.
Zoning was a problem.
Now you have to have
some political people
behind us.
It was the first time
that the city
came to an agreement.
And here we are.
London, come here!
I've heard
that World on Wheels
is coming back.
So, skating helped me,
when I'm going through
a lot.
So, now I'm thinking
that it'll help you.
My baby's
coming home today.
The attorney said
if he does his probation,
it'll fall off as if
nothing happened
cause he's still
a juvenile.
Hamish, here.
The first thing he wants
to do is go skating.
Can you get me some
socks, please?
Some skate socks?
Tears just
started to flow,
because now,
that's possible.
(indistinct chattering)
Let's go. Move it. Let's go.
Kid: Move it,
move it, move it!
Radio host:
inside the summer
of big hits.
The Big 6 Foxy 99.
I got my man Reggie Brown
in the building.
Because you're a part
of this resurgence
of roller-skating,
so you have this event
going down in Charlotte
tomorrow night.
-Reggie: Yes, sir.
-Tell me why you wanted
to put it together.
I wanted to put
the whole event together
just because
in the state of North Carolina,
there is not
a certified, like,
high-quality adult night.
-So instead of always
having to travel
to go to a high-quality session,
we just wanted to bring
the session to the people.
-It's about preserving
the culture.
You know what I'm saying?
The key is just to keep
the rinks open.
So we look forward
to seeing everybody
out there.
-Foxy: Real dope
to check out.
-Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
It's gonna definitely
go down.
What's going on with you,
boss? Doing all right?
-You coming
to roll with us?
-Oh, yeah.
-Okay, you gonna roll
all night with us?
-All night.
-All the time.
-Can't beat it, let's go.
How are you?
What's happening?
-Appreciate you coming out.
You ready to get it in?
I want to thank everybody
for coming out.
We often, as skaters,
we got a lot of problems.
We got a lot of complaints,
but we very rarely do
anything about it.
So this one of those
first steps.
We're gonna start to do
something about it out here.
Back where it all began.
Yeah, this line is crazy.
How are you, darlin'?
They're comin'
by the car loads.
(noisy chattering)
Welcome out
to World on Wheels.
We are back.
Security guard:
Have your ID.
Prepare for a search.
Fifteen-hour shift today
and I'm still here for this.
-Skate love all day.
-This is what we do.
I got the classic woods
on trucks.
You know, I like to keep it
comfortable and fresh
at the same time.
Yes! I'm so excited
it's open!
I'm so excited!
(squeals gleefully)
You know I'm back,
like I never left
I never left
Another sprint,
another step
Another step
Another day,
another breath
Another breath
Been chasin' dreams,
but I never slept
I never slept
I got a new attitude
and a lease on life
And some peace of mind,
seek and I find
I can sleep when I die,
want a piece of the pie
Grab the keys to the ride
and shit I'm straight
I'm on my wave,
I'm on my wave,
get out my wake
I'm running late,
what can I say
So when I leave here
on this earth
Did I take more
than I gave?
Did I look out for the people
or did I do it all for fame?
Legend is exodus
searching for euphoria
Never bow your head
I feel glorious, glorious
Got a chance to start again
I was born for this,
born for this
It's who I am,
how could I forget
I made it through the
darkest part of the night
And now I see the sunrise
Now I feel glorious,
I feel glorious, glorious
This ain't my history.
This is my culture.
We want to protect it,
so we know
that we have to continue.
We have to bring in
the next generation.
I got my faith,
and now I remember why
I feel glorious, glorious
Got a chance
to start again
We just never stop.
I was born for this,
born for this
the situation,
we're gonna roll.
I made it through the darkest
part of the night
And now I see the sunrise
Now I feel glorious,
I feel glorious,
We gon' be all right,
put that on my life
When I open my eyes,
hope I see you shine
We're planting a flag,
they don't understand
The world is up for grabs,
Hey, hey, hey
We gon' be all right,
put that on my life
When I open my eyes,
hope I see you shine
We're planting a flag,
they don't understand
The world is up for grabs,
hey, hey, hey
I feel glorious, glorious
Got a chance
to start again
I was born for this,
born for this
It's who I am,
how could I forget
I made it through the darkest
part of the night
And now I see the sunrise
Now I feel glorious,
I feel glorious,
Get down
Get down, get down,
get down, get down, get
Get down
Get down, get down,
get down
Get down, get
Get down, get down,
get down, get down,
get down
Choir and soloist: