220 E 138th St Bronx NY 10451 USA
In 1981, filmmakers Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant filmed one of the earliest breakdancing battles between the Bronx-based Rock Steady Crew, and the Queens-based Dynamic Rockers. Who won the battle is still a point of contention to this day. Though this particular b-boy battle was not filmed in the Bronx, skating rinks throughout the City hosted these events. The Skate Key in the Bronx was an especially popular site during the early years of hip hop, and even up to a few uyears ago was hosting hip hop dance competitions. Skating venues have always been popular in New York City. From the 1920s to the 1940s there were 27 rinks in Brooklyn alone, including the The Empire Roller Rink, Utica Skating Rink, Erasmus Rink, and Park Circle. Others like the Skate Key and Skate Palace opened in the Bronx and a chapter of United Skates of America in Queens, and the Roxy in Manhattan, which during the 1980s was one of the first rinks to use laserlight shows. Most of these rinks aren't open now. The Skate Key closed in March 2006.
Credits: From the documentary, "From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale," directed by Henry Chalfant, produced by Steve Zeitlin and Elena Martinez, and edited by Crockett Doob and Ben Zeitlin, 2006. (1:11)