Families, manager upset at Crystal Palace closure

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A skating rink that opened more than 30 years ago is now closed for good, leaving many residents disappointed.

"To shut the doors of the Crystal Palace is unacceptable," manager Kenny Lee said.

Lee said he's disgusted Crystal Palace Skating Rink on 3rd Street closed its doors. The skating rink first opened in 1981; it closed in October 2017.

"Many people for decades have been coming here bringing their kids here," Lee said.

He said it's a big deal based on recent juvenile crime in the city, and he's pushing for it to reopen.

"You're taking away everything from these babies. They have nothing to do, so they're going to fall to the streets," Lee said.

Lee said he managed the place for the past six months. He said the owner claimed it closed due to a lack of business.

"We've had issues here and there but nobody never got killed inside the Crystal Palace. Despite what may have taken place on the outside, we made sure they were safe on the inside," Lee said.

In the past few years, WMC Action News 5 archives show there have been fights inside, and at least one shooting outside where two teens were hit.

"It's a good place and everybody loves to come here," said former customer Laportia Jefferson. "I used to bring my babies when they were little."

Jefferson said she found the positive in the rink.

"It gives them something to do when they don't have anything to do on the weekend," Jefferson said.
We tried to call the skating rink for a comment but got a message that said the phone number was not in service.  

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