I recently tried to find Roller Boogie to watch again. I remember the first time I watched it, I pangs of nostalgia for 1980’s California. I couldn’t find it anywhere and have had to settle for reruns of C.H.i. P.s on one of those retro television channels. The film is a cross between West Side Story and any Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movie, but on roller skates. It is absurdly captivating at times and jarringly surreal at others. I kept wondering if people were actually as cool as this or was all the coolness revved to the red for the movie? I really didn’t care, I was ready to boogie.
Every once in a while, I do see someone roller skating down the bike path on LWB and from now on, I am inserting my own disco soundtrack for them. I have included a link to a long clip below, it sets the tone and let’s you know what you are signing up for: Far Out Awesomeness!
I searched Amazon Instant, NetFlix, and Hulu for available viewing options, looks like it will require a trip to your local art house video rental place. Or, you can type “Watch Roller Boogie Online” into a search engine window and see what sort of semi-reputable streaming options there are.
Roller Boogie is a 1979 musical film starring Linda Blair (the former child actress from The Exorcist) and introducing Jim Bray (a former competitive artistic skater from California). The film also stars Beverly Garland, Mark Goddard, and Kimberly Beck, and is directed by Mark L. Lester.
The film is set in the Venice, Los Angeles, California area at the height of the quad roller skating fad. Two characters, Bobby James (Bray) and Terry Barkley (Blair), fall in love while boogie skating to disco music. Along the way they must thwart a powerful mobster who wants the land their favorite roller rink sits on and compete in the Boogie Contest.