The Last Days of the Idora Park Dance Hall

Idora Park was one of those local amusement parks all rust belt cities used to have before, you know, cars, highways, economic implosion. Now the 20-some acres that used to be a gathering place of Youngstown residents in the city’s heyday is an overgrown field. When I was working as a reporter in the city, some shady megachurch had brought the property and wanted to turn it into a “city of God,” with gold paved streets and everything. But they couldn’t seem to keep the tax bill paid.

This video remembers the city’s best years.

Cleveland is loaded with old dance halls too. Here they were generally segregated by ethnicity. The Beachland Ballroom is an old Croatian dance hall.

Why don’t we dance anymore — like get together for the purpose of dancing, well, unless you count twerking. That is a shame I think.

–A.S.

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