HISTORY OF THIS IS IT – 1939 TO PRESENT
The building that is now “This Is It” was constructed from 1939-41 by H.A. Malzi (Butch) and opened as “Skate-A-Way Roller Rink” on October 12, 1941. Butch’s sons, Matthew operated the diner and Harold was involved in the operation of the rink. Another son, Leroy was the skate boy who attached the rollers to the patrons’ shoes. The rink closed December 1st, 1945 with 600 skating on that date. The Malzi family then converted the building into a hotel with a bar which opened on April 18, 1946. A long list of performers including Johnny Long, Frankie Yankovich, Buddy Marro and Tommy Tucker entertained at the venue. The family chose to reopen the skating rink in 1950 and operated the rink until 1953. Thereafter the building was leased to various individuals and was an auction house, a Marine Corps club, an auto repair shop and for a brief period of time operated as the “Pig and the Whistle Night Club”.
Dr. Joseph Frank and his wife purchased the building in 1970 and named it “This Is It”. Dr. Frank completed major renovations and operated the facility with the support of his family. Gary Frank managed the nightclub and bar. He worked tirelessly with his brother Joe (Babe) to offer a great night spot in Johnstown during a 30 year period. “This Is It” provided a pleasant banquet and wedding setting that was used by many area families.
The Frank family sold “This Is It” to Liberty Grace Brethren Community Church in 2002. The facility was utilized by the church for approximately 6 years.
“This Is It” was purchased by Bill and Cathy Kist on May 15th, 2008. Renovations have begun and the facility is now available for weddings, meetings, private parties and special events. The building has a rich history and provided great memories for those that spent time there.
Let’s take a trip back thru time:
Skate-A-Way eventually attached a railroad car to the building.
It was used as a diner..
Couple skating together on a Saturday night inside Skate-A-Way.
In 1946 the Skate-A-Way roller rink became the Skyline hotel.
Inside Skyline Hotel on opening night April 1946.
We want to give a special thanks to Janie (Malzi) Horner for providing the pictures.