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Friday, January 30, 2015

Tourism for Locals: Church of 8 Wheels Provides Heavenly Fun

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 1:25 PM


We have already mentioned that the closest thing to heaven on Earth is located at the corner of Fillmore and Fell streets — and the best things in life, often, come on wheels. By day, the abandoned Sacred Heart Parish looks like any other religious building: solitary and somber. But at night, that is when everything shifts to heavenly heights and the choir of angels is guided by the voices of Gloria Gaynor, Mariah Carey and the holy trinity: Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Prepare yourself for a rolligious experience because we are now crossing the San Francisco Pearly Gates and entering the Church of 8 Wheels. 

This San Francisco exclusive roller-development is the brainchild of David Miles Junior, San Francisco's self-described "Godfather of Skate." Miles has been a fixture in the city's rollerskating scene for approximately 35 years, especially in organizing the masses of roller skaters in Golden Gate Park every Sunday. Although the Church of 8 Wheels has been in this religious temple since November 2013, the genesis of this roller congregation  was the description given to the Sunday skate sessions in Golden Gate Park years before they ever rolled into the Church. 

Although the roller disco may seem like a a sacrilegious act indoors, it isn't any way shape or form, according to the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The church building was constructed in 1896, and operated regularly until closing in December of 2004 after a final mass. It has remained unused ever since, that is until Miles organized his first skating party. It was so successful and popular in the neighborhood that the building's owners agreed to let him make it a weekly event.

From the original one night a week, the Church has expanded to four nights: Tuesdays (LGBT night), Wednesdays (Skate Rolligion Night), Thursdays (Guest DJ night), and Saturdays (Burn Nights). On Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays the doors open at 7p.m. and roll until 10 p.m. On Saturday the doors close at 11 p.m.  Entrance is $15 and skate rentals are $5.

If at any point you feel like the City is losing its spirit, head over to the Church of 8 Wheels to let your soul skate with the cosmic gods of funk and disco music. And maybe, just maybe, in the midst of the meditative skating with the congregation you'll experience a sense of rolligious epiphany or for a few hours, at least your problems and worries will just roll by. 
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About The Author

Juan De Anda

Juan De Anda

Juan De Anda is a cultural correspondent with a concentration in tourism, literature, and lifestyle and has been writing for SF Weekly since 2013. As an avid traveler, he enjoys discovering destinations abroad as well as the never-ending hidden gems of San Francisco. #DondeAndaJuanDeAnda?


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