TAKING ANOTHER LOOK AT THE FIRESIDE ROLL ARENA

At the beginning of the year my colleague, Tom Holmberg, wrote a posting on the Fireside Roll Arena at Higgins and Roselle Roads.  He gave a history of the popular roller rink in Hoffman Estates noting that the business was in operation from 1975 to 1985.  Since that time Steve and Judy Basich stopped by the library and allowed me to scan some of the photos in their collection.  Steve is the son of Irv and Marge Basich who were the co-owners and operators of the Fireside.

They had a marvelous collection of both interior and exterior shots of the building.  The interior shots include photos of each of the rinks, including the concrete roller coaster that was quite a challenge.  There are also photos of the front desk, the rental desk, the snack shop and the infamous Rodgers Olympic Theater organ that, for many years, provided the music that the skaters rolled and danced to.

Another plus are the photos of an ingenious float the Fireside created for the Hoffman Estates 4th of July parade in 1976 or 1977.  The float was in the shape of a big roller skate and was mounted on a Ford Pinto.  As Steve Basich, the driver of the Pinto recalls, it was stifling hot being cooped up in the interior of that roller skate!

To view the photos that the Basichs contributed to the Schaumburg Township District Library’s Digital Archive, visit the archive here.   Type Fireside in the Search box and all 41 photos will pop up.  Please share your memories of the Fireside with us!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

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5 Responses to “TAKING ANOTHER LOOK AT THE FIRESIDE ROLL ARENA”

  1. compudude86 Says:

    was this Fireside related to what was “Fireside II” in dundee in the late 90’s-early 00’s?

  2. jrozek Says:

    Yes it was. After the Fireside closed in Hoffman Estates in 1985, Mark Basich, the son of owners, Irv and Marge Basich, opened a Fireside II in West Dundee on Route 31, one mile south of 72 on the east side of the road. It was open from July 1998 to April 2001.

  3. Alice Says:

    Thank you for taking the time to post these old Fireside photos- they are really amazing! Such a trip down memory lane to a place that I dearly loved. Even though the rink is etched in my memory, It’s nice to see the photos. It’s nice to think that a true musician was employed to play that amazing organ and the only time canned music was played was during his breaks. I remember we called the disco lights “cheerios” because they looked like cherrios to us. I remember my brother and I would “couples” skate together because we couldn’t stand to sit out a period, and we liked the disco lights. Thank you so much!

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