L.A. Derby Dolls get ready to roll to a new home in El Sereno

Will Derby Doll fans follow them to El Sereno?

Will Derby Doll fans follow them to El Sereno?

EL SERENO — The all-female roller derby teams that make up the L.A. Derby Dolls league are tough and fast, but they are apparently no match for a wave of real estate development. That’s why the Derby Dolls are moving from their long-time location in Echo Park to a new facility in El Sereno, the league announced today.

The landlord of The Doll Factory, as the Derby Dolls call their offices and track, has indicated an interest in developing the site for other condos, the league said last year when it launched a $100,000 fundraiser to find a new home. The Doll House will now be moved to a 31,000-square-foot building to an industrial stretch of Alhambra Avenue near Valley Boulevard in El Sereno. The league, which had stopped hosting games to focus on finding a new facility, said a new season will begin next month. In a press release, the Derby Dolls said:

The new 31,000 sq. ft. facility will allow the Derby Dolls to continue training programs for both junior and adult skaters and referees, producing world class roller derby entertainment, and hosting community service events like community job and health fairs and charity fundraisers for organizations like the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles.

The fate of the 50,000-square-foot Derby Doll facility on Temple Street has been up in the air for several years. In 2008, the owners of the site, which occupies most of the block on Temple between Bonnie Brae and Westlake avenues, won city approval to build four apartment towers rising as high as nine floors. But after the economy tanked, the apartment towers were scrapped in favor of plans for a neighborhood shopping center. That also never came to pass. When the Derby Dolls announced their online fundraiser last year, they said that “the landlord wants to demolish our arena and put up condos.”

Now that Derby Dolls have secured a new home to skate, will their fans follow them to El Sereno?


  1. Sad, I don’t know that their fan base will follow there. I enjoyed a couple matches a year, and will check out the new local, but I don’t see it as a destination for most their fans, or even many of their participants.

  2. Welcome Derby Dolls to my hood. I think if you’re a Derby Doll fan, you’re not going to let a short drive to the Eastside keep you from seeing them. Come on now….

  3. They’ll thrive in El Sereno. Super stoked!!

  4. It’s amazing to me that there isn’t more outlets like this already in El Sereno– although it seems like more and more are cropping up. It’s a prime location for capturing a young creative market. There are so many Cal State LA students that are eager to jump on neighborhood entertainment. El Sereno is also gateway into LA for crowds/consumers from the SGV and really anyone entering LA fm the east. On top of that it’s a only few minutes down the freeway from Echo Park and it’s neighboring Highland Pak and all that hyper hipness.

  5. Terrible location for both fans and skaters…

  6. Welcome to El Sereno! Excited that you chose our community.

  7. So stoked that they’re in El Sereno, I’ll definitely go check em out.

  8. I’m excited to see the Derby Dolls in El Sereno. Welcome to our neighborhood! I think it’s ridiculous if someone can’t go a few miles East of Echo Park for the Derby Dolls. Get over it! Echo Park is just a bunch of trust fund kids at this point. There is so much more to Los Angeles and people need to venture out of their obsession with trendy areas that only serve a small demographic.

  9. Xcited for them, area is definitely up and coming.

    • I say closer to down and out than up and coming.

      • Jim….stop being so negative. Let me guess, your last name is Jones, right? 🙂

        • Jim.. Obviously you’re not from LA. Please analyze your home town instead.. Which is let me guess? In Cincinnati, OH? Haha. Small towns like El Sereno are what make Los Angeles so unique and diverse, and one of the few cities that hasn’t been gentrified.. The crime rate has significantly lowered and obviously, you weren’t around ExP in the 90’s… You would have said the same thing.. It wasn’t always filled with Mid West transplants and trust fund kids.. Please, educate yourself.

          • I know El Sereno very well and its still very significant gang problems. A 14 year old boy was shot several times not far from this location just a few months ago. Car thefts and burglaries are extremely common. The community has great potential. I don’t know why they tolerate the gangs . It’s only 300-400 people involved and why let them terrorize a town?

          • That part of El Sereno is far from dangerous. Yes, there are incidents, but no more than any other area on the eastside. I have lived near this location for 5 years and I have never had any problems.

  10. El Sereno is great and this community has been dying for excitement not to mention giving girls here the opportunity to join something sooooo awesome!! The crime in el Sereno is little to none. Our mayor has done a great job at cleaning up our streets. It’s a great place to invest !!! I’m proud to have the derby dolls in my home town !!

  11. I didn’t know roller derby teams still existed. As a teenager, I was a huge fan of the Thunderbirds and always wanted to be one….I even had the official roller skates! I grew up in El Sereno and would love to see them compete in my old stomping grounds!!! Can’t wait!!!

  12. Jim,

    Not sure why you’ve got this agenda, but it’s painfully obvious that you know nothing about El Sereno. Is this some kind of anti-gentrification scheme??

    I’ve noticed a recent consistency in comments with ridiculously falsified claims regarding the lack of safety in El Sereno. I feel like these are coming from the same poster or group of posters that are intentionally shining ES in a negative light in order to thwart off development or new residents. Seems like there’s a fear mongering campaign by a small population of residents who mistakenly believe they are entitled to the neighborhood. So lame. Change is happening and it’s for the good. Don’t worry; You can stay just as much as anyone else is welcome in to our awesome community.

    • Dante,

      I don’t know. I feel like current residents should have more of a say in how their community looks and grows than anyone else. No one can be trusted to have the best interests of the current residents in mind moreso than the current residents.

      It seems like a truism. Am I missing something ?

    • Dante, I have no agenda. It’s just my opinion. I actually think El Sereno has great potential. It’s the gang problems and crime that I don’t like. This happened just a few months ago very close to where the Derby is locating. Why does the community tolerate this crap?

      • Most of these incidents are gangbanger vs gangbanger.

        If you are not Gang affiliated nothing is going to happen to you in El S.

  13. That question is way dramatic. Why wouldn’t fans follow them to El Sereno? It’s pretty close to the old site off of Temple anyhow. It’s only slightly farther if you’re coming from somewhere West of the old site– what like 6 or 7 more miles is a deal breaker? Its actually easier access off the freeway. So it might be less than that. Nevermind distance, time is what really matters. It’ll definitely be faster to get to the bout and park at the new site from most directions.

  14. congrats ladies.!!!! all the best! to all you naysayers…. ….if you build it they will come……..they real fans will follow anywhere!

  15. I am not a fan yet, waiting to attend my first show. I would definitely watch them in El Sereno. This location is borderline Alabama and is accessible to all the fwys. Great location. I am so looking foward to watch them.

  16. Had a Studio with Barnacle Bros on Alhambra rd. Great location and the neighborhood. is cool. We need more growth. Welcome Senoritas !!! 1 price food, drink , and Music along with a Derby Doll match. and Jim can stay home….

  17. I have been a supporter of the Los Angeles Derby Dolls for the last five years. I will miss the old doll factory and I have great and fun memories. I am looking forward to making new and fun memories at the new Doll Factory. I will continue to support the organization regardless of location. Best wishes and all the best to the women and men who make it happen. I am looking forward to the banked track action. P.S. GO VB! 🙂


  18. man it was exiciting to see how it was being built atleast as i drove by it every day & night. CONGRATULATIONS DERBY DOLLS, EL SERENO
    I Dont want to say no names HATING Jiiiim!
    OH YA and f you dont want to come ans see them then DONT, stop being such a
    NEGATIVE NANCY. Ther good HERE in EL SERENO. CONGRATS AGAIN, cant wait to take my kids n see yu all

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