A roller disco is a discothèque or skating rink where all the dancers wear roller skates of some kind (traditional quad or inline). The music played is modern and easily danceable, historically disco but in modern times including almost any form of dance, pop or rock music.
The concept originated as a fad in the 1970s when the disco craze was at its height, peaking around 1980 and inspiring several roller-disco magazines. In 1984 the fad arrived in the United Kingdom and many roller discos popped up all over the country  As of 2006[update], the craze has largely discontinued, although many 1970s era roller-discos are still open and successful. Also, it experienced a mild revival in the early 2000s, especially in the mid-eastern United States[where?], where certain clubs continue to host roller disco nights. Some now use in-line roller-blades. Roller discos are also popular among older children and young teenagers, especially for parties. As in other discos, special effects such as fog machines and flashing traffic lights are often used. To minimise the risk of injury, the organisers of roller discos often only allow participants to skate in one direction at a time, so that they do not crash into one another, although many roller discos have a "free skate" section in the middle of the roller rink.
In 2020, roller skating and roller discos experienced a resurgence in mainstream popularity across the Western world. The resurgence in popularity for roller skating and roller discos has coincided with a disco revival and a resurgence in other retro phenomena in 2020. Some companies selling roller skates in the US were reported to have sold out of roller skates due to high demand. The resurgence has been powered by social media apps like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat which have seen an increase of roller skating-related content. In Hobart, Australia, it was reported that the popularity of roller skating was at its highest since the 1980s. The media has suggested the resurgence in roller skating may be the result of people finding ways to entertain themselves and a form of escape as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in widespread lockdowns, curfews and restrictions across the world.
Roller disco in film
- Roller Boogie (1979), a film about roller disco
- Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979) is set in a fictional Los Angeles area roller disco
- La Boum (1980) the main character Vic Sophie Marceau sneaks out to go to a roller disco called La main jaune
- Xanadu (1980), American film
- Get Rollin' (1980), American documentary
- Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) gives Goldmember a roller disco in 1975
- Van Wilder (2002), the main character Van Wilder throws a roller disco party
- Roll Bounce (2005) has a roller disco competition in the plot
- ATL (2006)
Roller disco in television
- "Angels on Skates", episode of Charlie's Angels
- Season 1 episode 2 of The Goldbergs
- In "The Einstein Approximation", episode of The Big Bang Theory, several of the characters go to a roller disco.
- In a flashback episode of The Fairly OddParents, Denzel Crocker's mom mentions she worked at a roller disco in the early '70s
- In "Hell Comes to Quahog", a 2006 episode of Family Guy, Peter Griffin and his friends Cleveland Brown, Joe Swanson, and Glenn Quagmire dance to "A Fifth of Beethoven" by Walter Murphy.
- In an episode of Malcolm In The Middle, we learn that Malcolm's father, Hal, was once a local roller disco champion.
- Season 5 episode 3 of Rentaghost
- In "Roller Disco", an episode of That '70s Show, Jackie Burkhart and Fez take part in a roller disco competition. Four years later, in an episode called "Angie", it is revealed the leading character, Eric Forman, is a closeted roller disco dancer.
- In the "Diamond Jack" episode of Three's Company, Jack attends the Venice Roller Rink, where he meets his blind date named Rita.
- In The Young Ones series 1, episode 2 ("Oil"), Mike converts Rick's room into a roller disco
- In CHiPs season 3, episodes 1 and 2, roller disco is the central theme.
- In Muteking, The Dashing Warrior, Muteking, the protagonist, practice the Roller Disco.
- I love 1984 BBC TV show
- Canvas is one such club
- "Was This the Summer You Started Roller-Skating?". The Cut. The Cut. 28 August 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- "Why 2020 Is The Summer Of Rollerskating". Vogue. Vogue. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- "A comeback of disco amid the COVID-19 pandemic". hani.co.kr. hani.co.kr. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- "Roller skates are selling out everywhere as Americans seek nostalgic outdoor pastimes that provide a 'light-hearted escape from reality'". Business Insider. Business Insider. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- "Rollerskating has become so popular in Hobart that scammers are offering fake tickets". ABC News. ABC News. 30 August 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.