Bun’s 2020: When 80s-era Indoor Roller Skating Meets Modern Hong Kong

If you ask the Gen Z today what the pre-internet generation did after school, during the late hours of dusk, you’re unlikely to get an answer. What really was the most popular pastime in Hong Kong during the 1980s? If you are interested in a peek into the past, head to Bun’s 2020.

Located at Quarry Bay’s Kodak House, Bun’s 2020 is now the largest indoor roller skating rink in Hong Kong, covering about 20,000 sq. ft. It is also the only place that will give you double-row roller skates in this city. Since its opening last month, this skating playground plucked from the 80s has attracted hordes of people. Stepping into the rink is a journey through time itself – fluorescent neon lights, the ever-spinning disco ball and pop hits from decades ago.

The entrance of Bun’s 2020 shows its unique style with fluorescent neon lights. Photo by Melody LI.

Bun’s 2020 – the name itself drips with nostalgia. In the 1980s, when roller skating was all that people ever did, indoor rinks (with air-conditioning!) and disco lights and the latest pop could be found all over Hong Kong. Three rinks were most notable. SportWorld with its branches in Taikoo Shing and Kowloon Bay. The third – the Bun’s Amusement Centre at Sha Tin. They are an indelible part of the collective memory of the roller enthusiasts in 1980s Hong Kong. You can still bask in the skating culture captured in some movies and TV dramas shot in the neon-lit haze of the rinks.

However, the craze faded after a decade. In 1992 and 1993, the three top rinks ceased their business in succession, marking the end of an era. But now, in the indoor-staying PlayStation obsessed and internet-controlled generation of today, roller skating is making its comeback. Founded by a group of roller lovers who spent their youth racing around those rinks, Bun’s 2020 is the modern “rebirth” of the legendary 80s-era Bun’s and a homage to the lost culture of skating.

The 1982 film Happy Sixteen, set at the Telford SportWorld, highlights and documents the popularity of double-row roller skating in 1980s Hong Kong. Photo from Happy Sixteen.

At Bun’s 2020, all are welcome – the skilled skaters who have been doing it for ages and the hesitant amateurs who have never stepped into the rink. The arena is divided into two parts: the large one is the main rink for the skilled skaters, and the small one is a training ground for beginners. Skating lessons are also offered there. According to Bun’s 2020, this rink is not only an attempt to arouse the passion and memories of Hong Kong people for roller skating, but also a platform to provide more opportunities for the future generation of Hong Kong to enjoy this sport.

With this intention, the venue does make roller skating more accessible to people. Compared to outdoor skating rinks, its indoor and air-conditioned environment reduces the limitations of practicing the sport. Surrounded by booming pop grooves, skilled skaters can break out their favorite dance moves on their double rollers – a joy that would be difficult to attain in the outdoor arena. If you’re lucky enough, you might encounter Katherine Choi Wing-yee as well, one of the best artistic roller skating athletes in Hong Kong, also the consultant of Bun’s 2020.

Katherine Choi performs special roller skating tricks with her students on the opening day of Bun’s 2020. Post by Bun’s 2020.

But Bun’s 2020 is not just a replica of the 80s roller skating rink. It also incorporates popular elements of the present day to attract the young crowd. Neon lights are not just illuminative decorations on the ceiling but deployed around the rink strategically to lure Instagram fanatics into taking a perfect selfie. Fancy luminous roller skates? Bun’s 2020 will indulge your inner child. Last week, they teamed up with Adidas to rent out Adidas-Forum roller skates, paying yet another small tribute to the 80s.

“The roller skating rink is nice for me because Hong Kong only had ice skating rinks before and there was no such roller rink. The decorations and charges there are also fine. Although I may not really have that sense of nostalgia, it is still a decent way to relax,” said Yvonne Sun, who was born about ten years after the 80s roller craze and visited Bun’s 2020 recently.

Bun’s 2020 puts up posters around the arena to advertise the brand-new Adidas roller skates. Photo by Melody LI.

In addition to being a large skating rink, the spacious venue of Bun’s 2020 can also operate as a party room for up to 10 people, with catering, if booked in advance. However, since the license is still pending approval, there is no food for sale, and only simple drinks are served during the normal roller skating time. Despite this, the American style retro dining area with its red leather chairs makes for a perfect spot to relax and add more color to your Instagram feed.

The dining area of Bun’s 2020 also follows the nostalgic style of the venue. Photo by Melody LI.

Bun’s 2020 accepts both reservations in advance and walk-ins. Depending on your age and the date and time on which you decide to visit, its prices vary from HK$140 to HK$280. So step into the 80s during a sunny weekend and relive the culture of roller skating. Before you know it, you might just become a regular.

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday: 1 – 3 pm, 3:30 – 5:30 pm, 7 – 10 pm

Saturday to Sunday: 10 am – 12 pm, 1 – 3 pm, 3:30 – 5:30 pm, 7 – 10 pm

Location: 7/F, Kodak House 1, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

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This post was written independently by Shroffed for informative purposes only and not sponsored by any brand. 

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