• Cape Coral VA is recipient of Bowland’s transport cart • Writer Pearl Keller’s passing • PeopleWatching: ZOT, Trifecta, LAI Games • Belmonte to star in Netflix documentary
32 MEMORY LANE Hidden Gems
Remove the dust and time shines through By Kevin Hong
THE WORLD'S ONLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE BUSINESS OF BOWLING
PUBLISHER & EDITOR Scott Frager email@example.com Skype: scottfrager
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER David Garber firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICE MANAGER Patty Heath email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS Jim Goodwin Patty Heath Evan Henerson Kevin Hong Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
By Patty Heath
Veteran Kenneth Taylor brings fun, bowling, and comradery to vets in Boston
By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
Sea Breezes and Strikes
The Bellport Community Center breathes fresh air into its 90-year-old lanes
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jackie Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org
ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Designworks www.dzynwrx.com (818) 735-9424
FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)
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By Evan Henerson
HOTLINE: 818-789-2695 22
46 REMEMBER WHEN 1960s
‘Tis the Season By Patty Heath
22 COVER STORY
Good Times Ahead
A 1938 landmark, Lakewood Theater, reemerges as Bowlski’s
By Jim Goodwin
SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One copy of International Bowling Industry is sent free to every bowling center, independently owned pro shop and collegiate bowling center in the U.S., and every military bowling center and pro shop worldwide. Publisher reserves the right to provide free subscriptions to those individuals who meet publication qualifications. Additional subscriptions may be purchased for delivery in the U.S. for $60 per year. Subscriptions for Canada and Mexico are $65 per year, all other foreign subscriptions are $80 per year. All foreign subscriptions should be paid in U.S. funds using International Money Orders. POSTMASTER: Please send new as well as old address to International Bowling Industry, P.O. Box 7350 Overland Park, KS 66207 USA. If possible, please furnish address mailing label. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright 2019, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.
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WATCH REAL MEN NEEDED Yes, the world is changing. Marketing has now gone from product supported by beautiful models to ads using ordinary people. Let’s be more accurate: ads using ordinary men. Out with the hunky dude selling underwear, which I must say, I kind of liked, to Mr. EveryBody bowling in his skivvies as noted in this still of a Hanes commercial where a wide range of men perform an elaborate musical number. It’s trendy.
BELMONTE TO STAR IN NETFLIX Award-winning filmmaker Michael Cable and 36-year-old, two-hander Jason Belmonte will spend the next 12 months gathering content for a Netflix documentary sharing Belmonte’s story and experiences while balancing his life as a competitor, husband, father, entrepreneur, and ambassador for bowling. “I want to brand Fan’s expression says it all. myself and bowling beyond what they currently are,” Belmonte said.
The talented Redemption Plus account team of Ann Krull and Josh Adkins have completed a new redemption installation at HeyDay Family Fun in Denison, TX. The merchandiser was Megan Burtch.
PEOPLEWATCHING Debbie Rosendahl, ZOT’s executive vice president and CFO, recently appointed Kathy DeRosa as purchasing and inventory specialist. DeRosa’s background in bowling began in 2004 in bowling-related aftermarket parts, working her way to purchasing manager and dealing with customers, outside vendors, and international distributors. “Her diverse experience in the industry makes Kathy DeRosa Kathy a perfect fit for us,” said Rosendahl. DeRosa resides on Long Island, NY, with her husband and three children. Trifecta Management Group (TMG), worldwide entertainment/restaurant concept development and management firm, has announced the promotion of Pat Shroll to senior vice president of operations. Shroll joined TMG in 2015 and successfully managed plank ® in Oakland, CA, and headed the opening of Ten Pin Fun Center in Turlock, CA. Shroll has overseen projects in Reno, Pat Shroll NV; Park City, UT; Bakersfield, CA; and Lemoore, CA. “He has a keen understanding of heightening the customer experience at our venues, while at the same time, delivering financial performance for our clients,” said Pat Hart, COO. LAI Games, a subsidiary of Helix Leisure and a leader in the interactive entertainment and game industry, has brought on board sales veteran John Bugh as senior vice president of global sales and business development. Bugh will be responsible for accelerating and driving top-line annual growth and will develop and execute LAI’s worldwide sales strategies, processes, and methodologies, along John Bugh with business development. He will also assume GM responsibilities for LAI Games’ sister company, The Locker Network.
IN REMEMBRANCE HALL OF FAME WRITER PEARL KELLER PASSES AWAY A trailblazer for women’s bowling, Pearl Keller, a PWBA and USBC Hall of Fame member, passed away on Oct. 2 in Brighton, MA. She was 95. Keller was inducted into the PWBA Hall of Fame in 1997 in the Builder category and two years later joined the USBC Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service. Keller served as WASA executive director for more than 30 years. She also paved the way for women bowling writers. A bowling columnist for 27 years for Gannett Westchester Newspapers, the largest newspaper chain in the country, she was one of the first women writers admitted to the Bowling Writers Association of America.
ß BITS & PIECES ß ß ß
A partnership to Grow
Hownd™ (formerly FetchRev), headquartered in Tempe, AZ, announced a new partnership with Local First Arizona, a community and economic development organization, bringing its patent-pending, promotions platform to the organization’s members. Hownd delivers a local merchant’s promotions through a combination of web, social media, email, and the new MyHownd™ consumer mobile app. --------------------------------------------------------------------
Night off turns to business Three off-duty NYPD officers, from Brooklyn’s 61st Precinct, were bowling at Rab’s Country Lanes in Dongan Hills, Staten Island, NY, when a 60-year-old man went into cardiac arrest. The officers sprang into action and revived him. The victim is expected to make a full recovery. --------------------------------------------------------------------
Great Wolf Resorts’ Joint Venture
According to Business Wire, Great Wolf Resorts, operator of familyoriented entertainment resorts, with 18 resorts around the country, has gone into a $2.9 billion joint venture with Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX and Centerbridge Partners giving the two 65% controlling interest. --------------------------------------------------------------------
Another Go Around the Track Watkins Glen International raceway and Go Bowling have announced an extension of Go Bowling’s title sponsorship of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series race at the road course. Exact details on the length of the agreement have not been announced.
Chase Elliott waves to crowd after his victory in the Go Bowling car at The Glen.
Brunswick Acquires Ebonite International Brunswick Bowling Products has acquired the assets of Ebonite International, including all of Ebonite’s brands, trademarks, and technologies, including the Ebonite, Hammer, Columbia 300, and Track brands. Brunswick will continue to market products under all these brands and will honor all warranties on existing Ebonite International bowling balls. Randy Schickert, Ebonite’s CEO, commented, “Ebonite International has built a strong 109-year legacy in the bowling industry. We believe that Brunswick Bowling Products is the right partner at the right time for continuing the traditions of the Ebonite, Hammer, Columbia 300, and Track brands.”
VIRTUIX SPONSORS ESPORTS FEC TOURNAMENT
Virtuix Inc., headquartered in Austin, TX, is the developer of the Omni Arena virtual reality esports attraction found in more than 500 commercial entertainment venues. The firstof-its-kind motion platform enables 360degree movement in virtual environments. The Omni provides the only way to physically move around in competitive video games.
PBA‘s first video game in 30 years
In collaboration with FarSight Studios, the PBA released its new video game, PBA Pro Bowling, in October. It is aimed at getting bowling back into video gaming. PBA Pro Bowling is for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Steam and allows gamers to interactively “bowl” against more than 15 PBA stars. --------------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Supper honored by BBIA The Billiard and Bowling Institute of America (BBIA) will present its annual industry service award to industry veteran Bill Supper during its annual convention at the Omni in Cancun, Mexico, April 26-28, 2020. Supper’s resumé covers: two-time president of BBIA, executive director of IBMHF, and time spent with Ebonite and Storm. Presently Supper is the executive director of IBSIA and BBIA.
The company has announced a cash prize pool of $100,000 for the 2020 Omni Arena esports series, making it the largest VR esports competition in the world. In addition to cash prizes, winning teams will receive an HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset. Interested players can find more information and sign up at: www.omniverse.global.
SHORTS ATHLETES GIVE BACK
Joe Flacco, quarterback for the Denver Broncos, signed autographs at his Joe Flacco Celebrity Bowling event, benefitting Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center in Colorado Springs. AMF Belleview Lanes, Englewood, CO, was the host center.
Pic credit: Ben Swanson
Steve Matz, pitcher for the New York Mets since 2015, once again held his annual Strikes with Steven event in association with his charity, Tru32. The event was held at Frames Bowling Lounge in Midtown Manhattan, Steve Matz with the goal to raise money for both the FDNY Foundation and the New York City Police Foundation. Royce O’Neale, basketball player for the Utah Jazz, hosted Strikes for Kids, a charity event for the local Boys and Girls Club at Fat Cats in Salt Lake City. To Royce O’Neale help him were two teammates, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley. There were about 70 kids who enjoyed a night of bowling, pizza, autographs, and hanging out with the players. Mike Conley said, “We support each other and what Royce is doing. It’s for a good cause and everybody’s having a good time.”
Continuing to shout out to all the centers helping organizations and charities across the country. Here are a few: The Cheboygan County Salvation Army teamed up with EXIT Realty Premier to offer free bowling at Spare Time Lanes in Cheboygan, MI. Participants were asked to bring non-perishable, canned, or dry good items to be used to stock the shelves of the food pantry. This is the third year that Spare Time has helped in the Giving Back to the Community Campaign. The Rotary Club of DeLand hosted its 14th annual Bowling for Literacy tournament at Sunshine Bowling Center in DeLand, FL. More than $13,500 was raised and will be used to purchase age-appropriate dictionaries for more than 3,000 third-graders.
VETS ‘RUN TO HOMEBASE’ Ron’s Ice Cream and Bowling, located in Hyde Park, MA, touts two fun things. First, it serves “the third best gourmet ice cream in the world,” their words. Second, the center is one of two candlepin houses in Boston. Last month, they hosted Run to Homebase which is a Boston Red Sox and Mass General Hospital funded organization that helps veterans deal with post-traumatic stress. Former Red Sox pitcher and avid candlepin bowler Manny Delcarmen along with Wally the Green Monster, the Red Sox mascot, were in attendance. Delcarmen’s ties to Ron’s Ice Cream and Bowling go way back to competition bowling at the center when he was in high school. After retirement, he returned to his home turf. It was through Jessica Covitz, the sister-in- (L-R) Daniel Covitz, Jessica law of GM Jay Covitz, that Covitz, Manny Delcarmen, hooked Delcarmen up with Wally, Jose Diaz, Kevin Dillon, and Jay Covitz. In front is Homebase, and Covitz’s Patrick Costello. brother, Daniel, a 24-year Navy veteran, was the inspiration for making Run to Homebase an on-going event.
BOWLAND CENTERS & BVL DELIVER During the month of November, Bowland Entertainment Centers in Florida asked their guests to donate to the Bowlers to Veterans Link (BVL). They responded generously, and, with BVL’s connections with the VA, Bowland was able to present a $31,000 transportation cart to the VA Clinic in Cape Coral, FL. This is just one example of how donations to BVL go where they are needed.
Bill Hanson, COO of Bowland/HeadPinz Centers (center), and Frank Jones, VA Administration (left), admire the new cart donated to the clinic in Cape Coral, FL.
What is your center doing? Email Patty Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org. 10
UK HOLLYWOOD BOWL’S ROCHESTER CENTRE The refurbishment of Hollywood Bowl Group’s Rochester venue is complete, fulfilling its homage to Hollywood and Los Angeles. The 24-lane center has been fully re-designed and now features plush new furnishings, iconic American décor, and six exclusive VIP lanes. The arcade offers industry-leading games, where guests can win tickets and exchange them for an exciting range of prizes. Hollywood Bowl is part of the Hollywood Bowl Group, the UK’s leading tenpin bowling business with 60 centers.
GOOGIEEVERLASTING Googie-style Covina Bowl, built in 1956 and located in California’s San Gabriel Valley, closed two years ago. Trumark Homes, who now owns the land, hopes to develop the 4.3-acre site with three-story townhomes. The plan, as presented, will
keep about 12,000 square feet of the Covina Bowl building which includes roughly 75% of the façade and the recognizable A-frame over the entrance, along with the wavy awning and the “Bowl” sign. The preserved section would become an office building or possibly retail space. Per CurbedLA, the river rock that gives the bowl that Flintstone, Mid-century look would be reused in the facades of the townhomes, mimicking the Googie glamour of the 1950s building. The project, still pending a planning department approval, is in the early development phase and could take a year to 18 months to complete. Footnote: Palos Verdes Bowl in Palos Verdes, CA, is another Googie classic due to close. Preservationist Adrienne Biondo is working with Friends of Palos Verdes Bowl to have the site deemed a landmark, saving some of the unique architectural aspects – adaptive reuse! 12
into the lors brings light co ht ig br of e The us om. l recreation ro basement-leve
By Evan Henerson
The Bellport Community Center breathes fresh air into its 90-yearold lanes.
here are a lot of similar characteristics,” Phillip Thomas contends, “between designing something for an individual in their private residence and a design for a more public space.” This was a lesson recently learned by Thomas. A renowned New York City-based interior designer with a string of innovative projects throughout the east coast, Thomas made his first foray into recreation center designing earlier in the year with an endeavor that was close to his heart: the refurbishing and restoration of the basement recreation room of the Bellport Village Community Center. Thomas has been going to Bellport since the age of four and, as a child, he spent portions of many summers with his siblings in the Community Center and its rec room. In that regard, he’s hardly alone. The community center has been a popular gathering spot for close to 100 years in the seaside community Designer and Bellport Community Center located on the south shore of Long Island. board member Phillip Thomas
The lanes before the renovation began.
Since the centerpiece of the facility is a two-lane antique bowling alley containing Brunswick equipment installed in 1929, the rec room restoration required the expertise not just of designers, but of bowling specialists as well. The mechanisms for the manually-operated pinsetter – which is operated by a foot lever – had broken more than 20 years ago, rendering the lanes inoperable except for groups of summer camp kids who would set up plastic pins and knock them down with rubber balls. The wooden lanes themselves were distressed, and
there was no usable equipment. The room’s pool tables were in poor condition and the rec room had therefore been “in a sad state,” as Thomas describes it, for the better part of two decades. But because of the room’s history and popularity, the restoration of the rec room to its former glory was a project long on the to-do list of the Bellport Village Program Fund (BVPF), a 501c3 nonprofit created expressly to fund projects that improve the community. Thomas, who still weekends in Bellport, is on the BVPF’s board of directors. Now, cleaning up a beach or putting in new picnic tables and benches is one thing. Getting the balls rolling again along antique lanes is a different matter entirely. For this public-private endeavor, the BVPF worked in partnership with the Bellport Village, sharing the costs. The team had Thomas’s design expertise which meant the final product – as the accompanying photos attest was going to be eye-popping. But design was hardly the only Let the renovation begin!
FEATURE concern with a team comprised of people who had little knowledge of how the lanes operated or what would be required to get them working again. “None of us had any clue what we were doing with respect to bowling,” said Michael Foster, president of Worldwide Realty Solutions and chairman of the BVPF. “We didn’t have any idea, and I mean I didn’t even know that bowling balls didn’t come with the holes in them. So we started contacting people who actually are bowlers.” Their search led them to bowling pros and experts at AMF Babylon Lanes in nearby West Babylon. Foster, who had originally envisioned hiring a carpenter and contractor to do the renovation, was told he would be better served by using a bowling alley restoration company, which led him to Gold Crown Bowling Service of Massachusetts, a company that not only knows bowling, but had familiarity with the Bellport lanes specifically. “It was phenomenal,” Foster said. “They’re a family-owned business, and they remembered working on these lanes a long time ago when they were still operational. They still had some original stock for the mechanism in their warehouse. So I said, ‘OK forget the carpenter. We’re using you.’” While his father and grandfather had experience with a footoperated manual pinsetter, the Bellport lanes mechanisms were a first for Gold Crown co-owner Steve Shomphe who remembers
The lanes as they underwent renovation
hearing stories from his father of bowlers slipping the pin setters some cash to set up an easier shot. During a recent upgrading of a center in Maine, Gold Crown’s workers came across a set of pegs that go underneath the pins. That vintage item could be put to immediate practical use in Bellport, said Shomphe, who characterized the restoration/preservation of the Bellport lanes as a way of celebrating the history of the sport. “It’s a neat thing in the industry to keep bowling alive in a way that people know where it started,” said Shomphe. “I’ve
FEATURE seen a lot of different bowling alleys, and you’re always moving toward the newest and greatest thing, but sometimes the synthetic panels and all that aren’t as authentic and nice as a restored bowling alley. Customers are few and far between that actually want a wood lane, to really keep it to that style. Someone nailed all those one-inch boards together to make that whole place. It’s pretty impressive.” The lanes themselves needed refinishing and repainting. The ball return required repairs and new pads needed to be installed for the ball-catch. A new look calls for new gear, so the BVPF bought Original Brunswick plaque 16 customized balls and 36 pairs of shoes. The work was not limited to the lanes themselves. The entire rec room got a face lift with a new scoring table, working pool tables, expanded storage, and vibrant color everywhere. For the blue checkered floor, Thomas looked to evoke the colors of the Great South Bay which the city abuts. “We used light blue and dark blue to represent the varied shades of the surf on the Great South Bay and red to remind us of the buoys,” Thomas said. “We also chose green for the grass and yellow for sunshine, all
The pool table is another draw to the newly renovated community center recreation room
obviously very primary but they all kind of sate the imagination. There’s very little natural light in there, so we wanted to create the feeling of natural light by the finishes and the colors we chose.” From approval to unveiling, the project took about five months, and the revamped alley got its first visitors in time for Memorial Day and the start of the summer day camps. As word of the project spread, several longtime community residents contacted Bellport officials to express their enthusiasm and to wax nostalgic about their history with the rec center 20
The new lanes
bowling lanes. Two longtime area residents, Anna McLure and Joan Prybazerski, and former mayor Bob Wallen – all in their 80s – were on hand at the grand reopening to christen the center by rolling out the first balls. Thomas himself even took a turn operating the now-functioning pinsetters, a task that he reports is harder than it looks. “It’s a challenging job,” the designer reports. “Not only do you have bowling balls whaled at you from the other end, there’s the noise of pins being thrown in all directions. Resetting those pins is not an easy feat.” Although the lanes got use during the summer camp season, the Village is in the process of figuring out how local residents will be able to use the rec room on a regular basis. Because a staff member is needed to set the pins, the center currently needs to be secured via an advance reservation. “Bowling has been around for a long time and, even though everything changes around it, there’s still a lot of people out here who like to just go out and have fun,” said Shomphe. “I think that’s kind of what Bellport was trying to do: create an environment that really encompasses the whole idea of getting everybody involved and creating this whole feel good place.” And Thomas, who spent his childhood in the center has now been back with his nieces and nephews. “We’ve given the community a new space where they can congregate and be part of the community, and that’s just so wonderful,” he said. “I am over-themoon thrilled.” ❖
Evan Henerson is a features and lifestyle journalist who lives in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in TV Guide, American Theatre, Orange Coast and the Los Angeles Daily News where he was a staff writer and critic for nine years.
s e m i T d Goo
d a Ahe
Bowlski’s owners Craig and Jennifer Spivey let ‘em roll
The landmark 1938 Lakewood Theater becomes Bowlski’s 22
By Jim Goodwin
raig and Jennifer Spivey live in one of the oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods in Dallas. The Lakewood section of old east Dallas is blessed with big trees, winding streets, historic homes, and some of the best restaurants and entertainment destinations in the city. A perfect place for a bowling alley. Moviebowls are a new trend in the industry, with several high dollar centers opening in recent years with bowling and movies under the same roof. But this project, Bowlski’s Lakewood, is the first historic movie house, built in 1938, converted to a bowling alley that we have run across. There once was a small traditional bowling center in the neighborhood, Lakewood Lanes, from 1941 until it closed in the 1970s. Bowling legend
COVER STORY Bill Lillard learned the game there. He and a few others made a good living bowling in leagues there before Lillard moved to St. Louis to join the famous Budweiser Team and then later came home to Texas to build several bowling centers in Houston. 48-year old Spivey has had the bowling bug in his system for as long as he can remember, and with his new Bowlski’s Lakewood project, he is 100% all-in the bowling and entertainment business. During his years at Highland Park high school in Dallas, Spivey was a member of the bowling club. “We bowled all the time at places like Hart Bowl and Don Carter East, and I really loved it,” he recalled. This new and unique 10 lane establishment is one of the most interesting bowling destinations ever; not just because it is built in a beautiful and historic movie theater building, but also because the Spivey family has put their whole hearts into making it an amazing place in the neighborhood where they live. “We live just down the street, and we can see the glow of the Lakewood neon sign from our house,” said Spivey. “We loved it when it was a theater, and we are going to love it even more now. We can’t wait to see where this project will take us.” They are also anxious to get the doors open to start making a little history of their own. “I’m really ready to see some money start coming in instead of going out,” said Jennifer Spivey. Their son, Garrett, and daughter, Nicole, are also learning a lot and looking forward to being involved in the business. Bowlski’s Lakewood is not just another project for Craig and Jennifer — it is one where they have spent more than a year, working hands-on, sometimes seven days a week, to make it happen. “It took New Yorkers 13 months to build the Empire State Building, and we are right there with them,” Spivey joked. It has taken so long because Craig and Jennifer have been dedicated to refinish, repurpose, restore, and renovate every aspect and detail of the building to maintain its original charm, lustre, and character. “We have been here every
Owners of Bowlski’s Lakewood Jennifer and Craig Spivey
day, and every day I get some new idea of how to make it better,” he said. Spivey’s love of renovation started when his dad gave him a ‘66 Mustang to drive in high school. It was a very cool ongoing project. Throughout college he continued to focus on media arts and graphic design, and earned his degree in Fine Arts from IBI
COVER STORY the University of Texas, Arlington. Jennifer graduated from University of Texas, Austin. But before they could even start the Bowlski’s Lakewood project, they had to wait for the Dallas Historical Society to persuade the city to give the building landmark status to make the project possible. That took a couple of years, during which Spivey concentrated on building business at his other two bowling properties — Bowlski’s in Colorado, and Bowlounge in Dallas. “In 2013, we built Bowlounge in the Dallas Design District, and I looked at the Lakewood property then, but decided it was too soon until we got Bowlounge going better.” The Lakewood Theater was also undergoing changes at that time; movies had stopped, and it was a venue for mostly live bands, burlesque shows, and bingo. Jennifer Spivey’s dad had a band that performed there a few times. When that business dried up, the doors were closed. Spivey’s idea to make it a bowling venue had obstacles too; the biggest being parking requirements, but when it became an official landmark, those restrictions were eased to make the bowling project feasible. “I had made an offer a few years before but we could not make it work,” said Spivey. “After the historical society got involved, it made more sense, and we were able to get a deal done.” In May of 2018, Spivey sold his part of Bowlounge, came home from Bowlski’s Colorado, and just decided to find a way to make it work. He bought some Brunswick
pinsetters from a center closing in Mineola, TX, and got to work. The original plan for eight lanes turned into ten. Steel beams had to be installed to level the lanes on the slanted movie theater floor. An all new HVAC system was another major improvement. A bigger door had to be cut in the rear of the building to get the pinsetters installed.
PRESERVING HISTORY “Everybody seems to have an attachment to this building,” said Spivey. “They saw movies here, or kissed their
first girlfriend, or brought their kids to the shows. We decided right away to preserve the history and compliment it with everything we add.“ The beautiful round Lakewood neon 26
COVER STORY tower sign was restored to all its glory. It soars up 100 feet and is a beacon in the neighborhood. The hand-painted murals original to the 1938 building were cleaned and preserved. New carpet was custom made to match the original wool carpet that thousands walked on over the years. Exposed pinsetters, similar to those at the old Highland Park Bowl in Los Angeles, CA, add to the nostalgic feel of the interior. “This is an awesome building,” said Spivey. “We think it feels period correct, and it will be perfect for corporate parties, date nights, community get-togethers, or just a place to hang out with friends.”
FOUR FLOORS OF FUN The first floor of the new Bowlski’s Lakewood features the bowling lanes, a bar and restaurant, and a candy shop repurposed from the original snack bar in the lobby. The original staircase to the movie theater balcony was preserved, and it is wrapped in hand-painted murals done in 1938, showing characters like Mickey Mouse and Popeye with a few more recent characters, like Scooby Doo, added in the same style. The original balcony is now two levels: the first features tables made from old maple lanes, four billiard tables with a plexiglas wall overlooking the downstairs lanes. Up a few steps, and the game suite is on one side where families can play video games on big screens or enjoy soft lounges, and a golf simulator suite is on the other side where members of the nearby Lakewood Country Club might practice or relax on rainy days when they can’t get outdoors. Finally, the fourth level, which was the original projector room, has been made over into a members only Flamingo Lounge, a place to look down on the entire building and imagine its amazing history.
THE BOWLING PART IS SERIOUS STUFF When Craig Spivey says “I’m not just a bar and restaurant guy,” he means it. The
lanes installed now have synthetic overlays, all pinsetters were put in top condition, and maintenance will be performed as in any traditional bowling center. AMF Scoring was installed; a state-of-the-art Kegel lane machine will apply regular oil patterns for open play and special events. And bowling will be sold by the game. “I don’t think customers like it when they are on a time clock and don’t get to finish their games,” said Spivey. Walk-in business is welcome, but Peacock Club members can make reservations. “I love the community aspects of bowling... the social value and community connection, which is why we have open seating,” he said. “We want people to interact not just with their group, but with the
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people next to them, but we also appreciate and respect the sport. I would love to have some of the pros come in for exhibitions and special events.” Spivey is even thinking of creating an ongoing, megabuck-type event that
COVER STORY would bring in serious bowlers. “I’m thinking about a Dancing with the Stars type of event. Maybe we will call it Bowling with the Stars,” he said. “But for high stakes! I know a few people with deep pockets that might get behind something like that.”
MORE DETAILS The first things folks might notice when visiting Bowlski’s Lakewood is the beautiful neighborhood, with its shops, big trees, restaurants, beautiful homes, a golf club two blocks away. Inside the original ticket booth, right under the huge neon sign tower, is a cutout of The Big Lebowski; they walk through the original theater doors and see a life-sized statue of the Blues Brothers – a gift to the Spiveys from Bobby Lee, who had it at his famous Big Texan Steak House in Amarillo. There are special touches everywhere you look. A big disco mirror ball hangs over the lanes, and special lighting and music videos or sports events play on big screens atop the pinsetters. Food and beverage will be a priority for the Spiveys. Numerous draft beers and specialty drinks will be offered, along with some unique food and dessert items, like the Nikki Jane — a waffle cone filled with chicken bites tossed in maple syrup and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Following the Bowlski’s theme, customers can order Rollskis (pepperoni pizza rolls, philly cheese steak rolls) Totskis (homemade tater tots stuffed with bacon and cheese) or Slideskis (hamburger or chicken sliders with cheesy bacon fries). For dessert try the deep fried peanut butter cups or deep fried oreos.
Bowlski’s Lakewood will be primarily an entertainment destination, but as one of the newest BPAA members, it will become a unique
MAKING NEW HISTORY We can imagine how great it was to watch bowling legend great Bill Lillard learn the game in the building a couple of blocks away in the 1940s. But who would have thought the theater building would one day see and hear the pins crashing?
bowling establishment and maybe the only one that is an official historical landmark. “We are good to go,” said Spivey. “And we are looking for good times ahead.” ❖
Jim Goodwin is the founder and president of the Bowling News Network and a former president and life member of the International Bowling Media Association.
Hidden Gems The radiance of historic alleys
by Kevin Hong n a sea of ultra-modern bowling lounges and FECs – with plush couches, projection screens where the masking units used to be, and high-tech scoring and lighting systems —many historical gems continue to chug along. “Gems” is the term I’ve given to old-school bowling houses — the kind with hand scoring, feathered wood lanes, and bowling balls rolling back to the approaches with a loud thunk on above-ground ball return racks. In the 1960s — as women’s and youth leagues became en vogue and the industry experienced high demand for clean, automated bowling centers where families could enjoy wholesome recreation together — AMF and Brunswick each released their signature catalogs of capital equipment. With bold lines, geometric shapes, and large blocks of pastel colors, the AMF Magic Triangle and Brunswick Gold Crown motifs became instantly recognizable trademarks of the era. When I find one of these centers still intact and operating, I call it a “gem,” but “living museum” is more like it. These buildings tell the story of a time when league bowling was king; when every small town, it seemed, had a bowling center. The alleys were the neighborhood hubs where league bowlers gathered for weekly beers and camaraderie, while young people attended birthday parties and went on first dates.
Mahall’s Twenty Lanes, Ohio For 95 years, Mahall’s has been an institution in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood. It started out with six lanes downstairs; eventually four more were added, then 10 lanes upstairs. Mahall’s attracts a lively and diverse client base. There are multiple lounges and performance spaces both upstairs and downstairs, so more than one act can be on stage at the same time. Improv and comedy shows and wrestling matches have all been hosted here. 32
The ten cavernous downstairs lanes at Mahall’s in Cleveland. Ten more are upstairs. The entire center features aboveground ball returns and manual scoring.
The original Mahall family lived in the upstairs apartment, including 13 children over the years. A partnership of new owners bought the business from the Mahall family about seven years ago.
The Mahall family lived in this apartment above the bowling center and raised a total of 13 children.
Skyline Lanes, Tennessee I wonder what stories the walls could tell at Skyline Lanes. Housed in a large, red barn in Clarksville, TN, Skyline began life six decades ago as a 15lane center. Ten lanes were added on the other side of a wall, and the building actually became two separate, segregated centers. The low end was Imperial Lanes and was whites-only; lanes
There’s a post and a small step up separating lanes 15 and 16 at Skyline Lanes in Clarksville, Tennessee — a reminder of the building’s days as two separate, segregated bowling centers.
16 through 25, known as Olympia Lanes, was the black section. (It did not have an indoor restroom). After desegregation, the wall was removed and the building became a single, 25-lane center. (There’s a subtle reminder of the building’s history, in the form of a small step up when going between lanes 15 and 16).
Pop’n Pins, Idaho I signed a guestbook the last time I visited the 12-lane Pop’n Pins, in the southeast Idaho town of Preston. People come from all around to check out this place, its popularity sealed by a chance visit more than 15 years ago.
Skyline Lanes features the older Brunswick masking units with a grate in the center, so pinboys could watch the action (and look out for incoming bowling balls) from their perch behind the lanes.
Movie fans flock from all over to visit the Pop’N Pins, in Preston, Idaho— the site of filming for most of the movie “Napoleon Dynamite.”
The old-school furnishings at the Pop’N Pins are straight out of the 1960s Brunswick catalog. 34
Filmmaker Jared Hess, who graduated from Preston High School, walked in one night while scouting locations for a movie he had in the works. The film was to be filmed in many locations around Hess’ hometown, and Hess was interested in including the bowling center. The bowling scene only lasts for a minute or so in the finished movie, but Napoleon Dynamite later acquired cult status and brings fans from near and far who hope to visit the filming locations. ❖
Kevin Hong is a freelance writer and documentary photographer covering the history and industry of bowling. In 2017, the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America presented him with its Media Award. His website is www.vintagebowling.net.
Vet Kenneth Taylor’s legacy – having fun and bowling by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
rockton, MA, remembered hometown champion boxer Rocky Marciano with a statue in the park. They remember another hometown champion, Kenneth Taylor, for the legacy he left to Brockton veterans – the love of the six-lane bowling alley at the Veterans Administration hospital. Approximately 300 patients live at the Brockton VA hospital, but few of them knew about the bowling alley. Vets from hospice, rehabilitation, the nursing care unit, the spinal cord injury unit, as well as outpatients discovered the joy of bowling thanks to Taylor’s encouragement. Taylor got plenty of exercise as he wheeled in residential patients, set up adaptive metal ramps, and carried balls to vets seated in wheelchairs. He returned them to their living quarters after they were done on the lanes. Taylor Kenneth Taylor noted, “Their eyes light up when
Taylor sends a zinger down the lanes
I come to get them. Sometimes they just need to be asked. They enjoy coming down and getting away from upstairs and the wards. Once they get in here, they don’t want to leave.” “They really do enjoy it,” affirmed Susan Rielly, a recently retired certified therapeutic recreation specialist, who headed up the bowling program. Rielly worked with the vets at the Brockton VA hospital for more than 25 years. “It’s another outlet
The lanes at the Brockton VA facility in Boston
FEATURE for them. It’s very good for exercise, stress release, and staying active.” Six lanes were installed in the 1950s, and the center was renovated in 2015. Attractions include real wood lanes, a cozy seating area, numerous adaptive metal ramps, and New England Patriots-branded bowling balls. Taylor enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school graduation, serving from 1974 to 1983. Stationed in
Many trophies decorate the alleys at the Brockton VA center
A New York City native, Taylor lived at the Brockton VA thanks to the REACH rehabilitation program, which helps veterans at risk of homelessness. One of the buildings on the grounds of the Brockton campus is the Howard House, which has been renovated into several apartments for homeless veterans. Built in 1924 as a home for elderly men, the two-and-a-half story, Georgian Revival-style brick building has been put to various uses since: it served as living quarters for women hospital workers, a daycare center, offices, and storage space, but now it is, again, a place many call home.
Taylor bowls a game with a vet
Panama and Germany, Taylor reflected, “A lot of us weren’t fortunate enough to come back and live life [normally]. This is my opportunity to give back. I let them know they are not forgotten, and they can come down and have some fun.”
Each flag represents the different branches of the military
A vet gets ready to roll a spare 38
“I couldn’t have done it without the vets,” shared Taylor. “I have a lot of gratitude when I see what has happened.” Working with older veterans was a way to get his life back on track and it changed his attitude. Taylor worked for the VA in Manhattan and Fort Hamilton. He retired on Social Security Disability benefits, and relocated to the Boston area in 2018. Working at the VA in Brockton made him feel needed, and helped him put his life into
FEATURE better perspective. Plaques adorn the bowling alley’s walls with photos of some of the best disabled bowlers around, including Sam Penny, who rolled at least four perfect games while at the Brockton facility. Other recreational activities offered to disabled veterans on campus include air rifle shooting and adaptive golf. Rielly appreciated Taylor’s efforts to bring more elderly and disabled veterans to the bowling alley. “Ken was very, very good at advocating for the bowling alley. When he first came down, he said, ‘Where’s all the people?’ It’s just about getting more volunteers to say, ‘You want to go to the bowling alley? Let’s go.’” Patrick Monaghan is just one of the many rehabilitation patients who Taylor introduced to the bowling alley. Taylor set up a metal ramp for his first time at the Brockton lanes. Monaghan commented, “It’s beautiful. For a newcomer [to bowling], I’m okay. I also have a nice rig here. I haven’t bowled that much before.” The bowling alley is much more popular now thanks to Taylor’s promotion. In 2018, eight in-patients at the Brockton VA hospital competed in bowling at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Orlando. Maybe more bowlers will compete in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Portland, OR, next July.
Taylor helps a vet to set up the perfect shot
Taylor helps a vet line up his shot
centers. Lewis, who runs the voluntary service and recreational programs for the Brockton VA, believes that many veterans are convinced that the sport can be right up his or her alley. Wheelchairgames.org National Coalition for Homeless Veterans nchv.org ❖ A vet lines one up
Taylor did strike up interest in bowling. Jeffrey Lewis, acting chief of Voluntary and Recreation Therapy at the VA Boston Healthcare System, says that not only do veterans use the bowling center at the VA hospital, but his team also transports veterans several times a week to local bowling
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson lives in Idaho. In addition to writing, she is a career coach and scenario role player for peace officer training. Pamela worked as a production manager on the Emmy Award-winning animated series The Simpsons, where she bowled regularly with members of the crew. She speaks on career issues at conferences all over the world. You can reach Pamela at PamRecruit@q.com.
SHOWCASE NEW FUN & GAMES
Betson Enterprises, distributor of amusement equipment, parts, and services, introduced its latest fun and games at 2019 International Bowl Expo. The highlights were the latest from Raw Thrills such as Nerf Arcade and Halo: Fireteam Raven 2-Player, along with other favorites: Space Invaders Frenzy, Injustice Arcade, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Bob Boals, executive vice president of Betson, said, “Each year we show the top performing games that we strongly support, and [we] know our customers will be happy with the increase in foot traffic and revenue.”
SHOWCASE YOUR OPTIONS FOR FUN
Stellar marketing execution drives profitable results! QubicaAMF understands the challenges that bowling centers face when trying to start and sustain new marketing programs: not having enough time to execute good ideas; too little marketing experience to repeat successes; and not having professional marketing assistance or the budget for it. QubicaAMF has the solution — its Virtual Marketing Manager program. A simple, affordable, highly effective way to get the professional marketing help needed without monopolizing time or burdening payroll. Working with QubicaAMF’s Virtual Marketing Manager is like having the expertise of a consultant and the direction of a mentor all in one. Visit QubicaAMF.com to learn more.
TARGET SHOOTING VIDEO
LAI’s Outnumbered is a competitive target shooting video game specifically engineered to reward people every time they play. Players unlock in-game content after each stage, which they can use to create and upgrade custom weapons in the game’s free companion app. Progress is saved, and, by using the app to log in at the cabinet, players can pick up where they left off and use their new weapons in the game, creating a revolving door for repeat gameplay. Players can also use the app to find the closest game and track their career progress against live global leaderboards. Packed with pop culture references, multiple levels of difficulty, and an endless combination of weapons, Outnumbered will bring players back to your venue time and time again! Visit laigames.com/outnumbered for more information. 40
IBI December 2019
NEW, INNOVATIVE SCORING PRODUCTS
Brunswick introduces Sync® Invicta™, the latest generation of Sync® Scoring and Management System, the fastest-growing system in the industry. Brunswick partnered with proprietors to develop Sync with the mission of addressing their biggest challenges: drive traffic; extend length of stay; increase spend-per-visit; drive repeat visits by providing leadingedge, interactive entertainment; added convenience; and greater variety than ever. With the release of Sync Invicta, Brunswick has introduced a number of new products designed for each customer segment: open play, groups, and league bowlers. Vision™ User Interface – suggests other games the guest may be interested in playing based on past behavior; Open Lane® – a custom mobile app, making it easier to connect with a center; Rival Rumble™ – a team competition designed to encourage participation across all skill levels; and League Pals – the first and only cloud-based league management platform for scoring, online payments, and accounting. Learn more: Brunswickbowling.com.
DOWNSIZING CAN BE A GOOD THING
Steltronic has done it again! Its Vision-NEX lane computer is downsizing, with a height of only 4 inches (10cm) tall, it still packs the punch of our patented exciting 3-D graphics over HDMI cables with HD video. Existing customers with VGA connections can upgrade to the new VisionNEX computer for the higher resolutions to bring that exciting, new HD graphic system to the next level of entertainment. For more info, (800) 9425939; email@example.com. We are YOUR bowling center management specialists since 1980.
BEST DARN DEAL ON THE MIDWAY!!!!! For your average sized center, I can bring 2,000 open bowlers over 5 months. I have dozens of topnotch references. Kevin Malick since 1991 Bigk2u@yahoo.com |(863) 602-4850
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CLASSIFIEDS EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Lane Sanding Equipment for Sale. Gallicchio Sanding Machine, etc. Call Vic @ (780) 454-1110 NEW & USED Pro Shop Equipment. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com. REPAIR & EXCHANGE. Call for details (248) 375-2751.
MECHANIC WANTED Experienced head mechanic for AMF 8270s. Greater Houston area. Salary based on experience. Send resume to Doug@maxbowl.com.
EQUIPMENT WANTED LANE MACHINES WANTED. We will purchase your KEGEL-built machine, any age or condition. Call (608) 764-1464.
EDUCATION & TRAINING PRO SHOP TRAINING. Classes always forming. Jayhawk Bowling Supply (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com.
SERVICES AVAILABLE Drill Bit Sharpening and Measuring Ball Repair. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com.
CENTERS FOR SALE ILLINOIS: 24-lane, recently remodeled center w/ new parking lot. 40,000 s/f on 1.67 acres. Qubica scoring and POS system. Strong leagues w/ 900+ bowlers, also pool leagues. Sports bar & grill, pro shop, video gaming, & banquet hall w/ lots of room to convert. Owner retiring. Call (847) 613-5020 for price & info.
PROPRIETORS WITH AMF 82-70 S.S. & M.P. MACHINES Save $$ on P.C. Boards Exchange & Repair!
MIKE BARRETT Call for Price List
Tel: (714) 871-7843 â€¢ Fax: (714) 522-0576
LOCKER KEYS FAST! All Keys done by code # Locks and Master Keys E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org TOLL FREE
AMF • BRUNSWICK EQUIPMENT COMPLETE PACKAGES WORLDʼS LARGEST NEW – USED SPARE PARTS INVENTORY ALL AMF BUMPER PARTS, XS Q-BUMP, DURABOWL AND GEN II IN STOCK
Danny & Daryl Tucker Tucker Bowling Equipment Co. 609 N.E. 3rd St. Tulia, Texas 79088 Call (806) 995-4018 Fax (806) 995-4767
Bowling Parts, Inc. P.O. Box 801 Tulia, Texas 79088 Call (806) 995-3635 Email - email@example.com
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â€™TIS THE SEASON hristmas and bowling are best pals. Throughout the years, some of the best gifts found under the tree are bowling gifts: shoes, balls, and bags lead the list. During the 1960s, leading manufacturers of bowling products took up space in all sorts of magazines, tempting givers and wishers alike. Today is not much different. Well, more online activity, but the outcome is the sameâ€”make someone happy. How about a new bowling ball or a bag with wheels for easy traveling?
We wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a Joyful New Year Take some time out and visit your local bowling entertainment center! - Patty Heath