Manville Roller Rink // Crystal Roller Palace // Rhythms // Hullabaloo

photo 2Manville Roller Rink • Click photo to enarge

So this is a great old Manville building that still exists at the outskirts of town. It’s now known as Rhythms of the Night and had previously had a stint as a dance club called The Yellow Rose. In the late 60’s it also spend some time as “The Hullabaloo” Here is a current era photo of Rhythms.


The Hullabaloo was also a dance club. Since we don’t have a photo of the place here is an incredible video of garage band “Witches Bru” playing there back in the day.

The truth is that I personally haven’t been inside this building since it was the local roller rink called the Crystal Roller Palace. In my era, The Crystal Roller Palace was a magical place straight out of an early 80’s cult teen coming of age action movie ala “Over the Edge”, where I was fortunate enough to be able cross the makeshift stone bridge across the local creek behind the place and rock the Joust arcade machine whilst listening to the latest Ozzy Osbourne track. Unfortunately I could not find a photo of the outside of the place, but there is a Facebook group dedicated to it. For illustrative purposes I stole this photo from it. I’m sure they won’t mind.


As this photo so perfectly illustrates, it was one of those great cultural watershed places in American small town living… and a great place to show off the latest long sleeve rock and roll T shirts. I suppose it had been for years prior. There was also of course, rollerskating, which somehow seemed to come second to the arcade for me… but I could do it. Well.

Before it was the Crystal Roller Palace, and before the Hullabualoo, it was still a roller skating rink, which I believe was just called “The Manville Roller Rink” and frankly I don’t know when it was constructed or when it opened. I do know from some old newspapers that it did exist at least as far back as 1941. Here is another really early photo of the place.

photo 1You can see it pretty much stayed the same except for an addition that was put on at some point. It’s a tragedy that those cool windows didn’t survive its metamorphosis over the years. Thanks to Carol Ascolese for these great old black and whites. These are definitely new to the site.


Manville News, December 26th, 1941

BANNER-12-26-14Ok folks. Here is a digital version of the old Manville News. This one is great for several reasons. First of all, I have been eager to get to this one since it contains a train wreck in the Manville train yard… which is also known as Port Monmouth Junction (for all you fellow train nerds). Growing up over on Angle Ave. in lost valley, right across from the tracks, I had always heard about this one… it spilled tar everywhere.

Another reason this issue is great is that it concludes the entire year of 1941… so I get to feel like I actually accomplished something. In reality I’m only about a third or so through the stack. Still, it somewhat feels like a milestone.

One more reason this is great, is that it features a little blurb about Chester Trojanowski. Father of Tommy from the Chester House bar. The bar was named after Chester ala it’s name “The Chester House”

Allegedly he was quite a roller skater, and was performing in town in the following week. You can view and download the Issue via the following link. manville-news-12-26-1941-ocr

Silver Jubilee • Manville’s 25th Anniversary


Good morning everyone! Hope everyone is enjoying this spring day. So I have just started to dig into some more of Neal Ranauro’s Manville archives and came across this little gem. This is a photo album which celebrates Manville’s 1954 Silver Jubilee. A couple of these photos have appeared here before, but I thought it would would be nice to keep them all collected in one spot. I love this event so much. The town was all done up with buntings, and it seemed like literally everyone came out to celebrate Manville’s 25th birthday as an independent borough. I think combined with the post war boom time and the general prosperity of the town, this may have been one of the high points of morale in town.

This album was so great and contained a ton of panoramic shots, a few oversized ones… and populated primarily with shots from a “Miss Silver Jubilee” beauty pageant. And who can blame Neal for that… the girls are so cute and the shots are so fun. I unfortunately do not know the names, so like always please comment if you know them.

This is going to be a loooong post so hold on tight! All photos will enlarge if you click them! Just a quick note… I stopped telling the photos up in new windows for 2 reasons.

1. i noticed that it makes navigation on the phones and tablets hard to deal with and

2. I started posting really photo heavy posts and I feel like its getting difficult to deal with all the windows. So from now on you just have to clack the back button to get back to the main posts.

I’m sorry I dont mean to change things up in the middle of the blog, but I want to make it user friendly. OK let’s go!





























Wow, that was a lot… but wait. Here is my favorite part! Miss Silver Jubilee contest!!!













Wow, how fun did those photos look! I wish I could’ve been there. Maybe we could make the 100 year anniversary even more amazing. Many thanks to Neal Ranauro for documenting pretty much everything awesome that ever happened in this town. Here’s is one more parting photo of Neal and some other photographers…


Manville fisherman…


Manville Fisherman • Click Photo to Enlarge

Ok everyone this is another collection of mystery photos. This is part of the Anne Sullivan photo archive (circa 1939-1941). I have a whole load of photos that are just of random people. I don’t really want to present them without context, but at the same time I would love to put some names to the faces. I think what I’ll do is try to group them into events and see if you guys can identify any of them. To start, here are a couple of great photos of some Manville fisherman… looks like the little guy cleaned up! Anyone know who they are?