This is not your father's wrestling arena. This is your
grandfather's wrestling arena.
Unlike many of the grand old palaces that hosted
Crockett wrestling back in the day (Textile Hall in Greenville and the
Township Auditorium in Columbia come to mind), this modest structure was
built by promoter Pete Apostolou for the express purpose of enjoying
Mid-Atlantic rasslin'! And for decades on
Shenandoah Avenue in Roanoke, it did just that, week in an week
Most of the greatest names in wrestling history
performed here. The NWA World Championship was defended here on many
occasions. It might not look like much on the outside, but any fan of
wrestling in the 50s, 60s and 70s, will quickly tell you of the
wonderful times shared in that building with some of the most loyal and
special wrestling fans in the world.
PHOTOS OF STARLAND ARENA
These photos were taken last winter by our
friend Boris Zhukov (better known to Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fans as Pvt.
Jim Nelson.) Sadly, the Starland Arena building now sits empty. When
wrestling moved to the Roanoke Civic Center and the weekly cards ended
there, the Apostolou family changed the name of the building to Starland
Bingo. The old Coca-Cola sign, rusty and worn, still hangs there.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to see wrestling
there again? Perhaps an legends reunion event or some sort of Fanfest or
convention. Along with friend (and area promoter) Mike "Eclipso" Weddle,
Boris hope to find some sponsors and have an event there before the
building is gone forever.
Thanks for these photos, Jim!
Posters from the Collection of Mike Weddle.
Thanks to Mike Weddle and Boris Zhukov for
their assistance with this feature.
Video Greeting to Mid-Atlantic Gateway fans from Boris Zhukov
RETURN TO THE
"Classic Venues" is a
collection of features edited by Dick Bourne
Copyright Mid-Atlantic Gateway