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Bowling Alleys (Read 53728 times)
Al Alven
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Bowling Alleys
Mar 27th, 2007, 8:48pm
 
I once heard that 90 percent of the bowling alleys in the U.S. were built in the late 40s and throughout the decade of the 50s. Sounds reasonable. Just about every alley in the Philly area I can think of has its origins in that era; most sport some aspect of 'Doo Wop'-esque architectural flair.
 
Ironically, the Wildwoods' only bowling alley -- 3 Js on New Jersey Ave. -- is one of the few in the area that doesn't look like it came from the mid-century era at all. It looks to me like the complex it's housed in has all the hallmarks of bland 70s, um, 'architecture.'
 
Thom has told me a good deal about the old Glenwood Lanes, which was located on (what else?) Glenwood Ave., right behind the infamous 3000 block (yep, the dark, run down structure) of the Boardwalk. In fact, the two-story building is still there, but has been boarded up and vacant for years.
 
I woud love to see a legitimate 'Doo Wop'-style bowling alley open in the Wildwoods. Perhaps something like this could work as part of larger entertainment complex (like, say, if a movie theater megaplex did replace the old Shore and Blaker theaters at Atlantic and Schellenger; something like that).
 
Anyway, this was just a thought that emerged as I was going through some older pics. A while back, I was working on a project where I set out to photograph all of the bowling alleys in Philly and South Jersey. I have to find the disk they're on. Here's a pair of random pics, though:
 
This the Adams Lanes alley, located a few blocks from my house in the Olney/Lawncrest section of Philly. It was built in 1954.
 

 
And this is a shot of the Striketown lanes in Manistee, MI. As I've mentioned a few times before, my wife's family is from northwest Michigan, and we go up every summer to visit. There are some great examples of 'Doo Wop' architecture up that way, and out in the midwest in general. The high-angled canopy reminds me of a few particular Wildwood icons I know very well...  Wink
 

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #1 - Mar 27th, 2007, 9:06pm
 
Good topic, Al  I think having a new Neo Doo Wop Bowling Alley in Wildwood would be a big hit! I love Old Bowling Alleys They have so much Character. They should do something in Wildwood with Bowling, Movie Theaters and Roller Skating!
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #2 - Mar 27th, 2007, 9:36pm
 
Roller skating rinks... that's another great idea, Mike.
 
The great thing about skating rinks, movie theaters and bowling alleys is that these are things that certainly don't have to be seasonal business ventures. I'm sure the locals could enjoy and support such activities on a year-round basis, and think they'd could be successful because of it.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #3 - Mar 28th, 2007, 4:07am
 
Ah, bowling. Works for me! What could be better, if you want the Wildwoods to become a true year 'round funfest, than doo-wop bowling? So retro, such a perfect fit in a destination with a 50s theme.
 
That joint in Michigan is just comically flamboyant.
 
I'm going to have to stop on the way home one night and get a shot of the neon on our Parkway Lanes in Elmwood Park (home to the ultra-nostalgic Pizza Town USA as well) up north here. This shot from Roadside Peek doesn't do it justice...


Source page: http://www.roadsidepeek.com/rpeekeast/tenpineast/index.htm
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #4 - Mar 28th, 2007, 9:56am
 
Bowling alleys, along with skating rinks, are two things that have disappeared way too much in recent years.  Here in northern NJ, there used to be a ton of both but now there are only a handful left.  Too bad because usually they were great examples of Doo Wop architecture!
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #5 - Mar 28th, 2007, 11:48am
 
Quote from Rob Ascough on Mar 28th, 2007, 9:56am:
Bowling alleys, along with skating rinks, are two things that have disappeared way too much in recent years.  Here in northern NJ, there used to be a ton of both but now there are only a handful left.  Too bad because usually they were great examples of Doo Wop architecture!

 
So true, sadly.  embarrassed
 
When I asked the management at Adam's Lanes (my local alley) if they knew anything about the history of the place, they looked at me like I was insane. The response I got was something along the lines of -- "Uh, you do realize this is a bowling alley, right?"
 
A lot of these places are real architectural gems, but are just completely overlooked. The mere notion that a bowling alley could be considered 'classic' or of any cultural or historical importance doesn't seem to register, for reasons that are quite understandable, I suppose.
 
I probably woudn't have given some of the alleys in my area a second look, had I not become interested in mid-century architecture and character, thanks to my obsession with the Wildwoods. It's one of those things where the more you learn, the more you begin to appreciate and become aware of certain elements.
 
I'm hoping to do a story on Adam's Lanes for my local neighborhood newspaper in the near future; just something to point out the signficance of a truly unique building and a design style that has been taken for granted (or just completely overlooked) for so long...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #6 - Mar 28th, 2007, 11:51am
 
good post Al... Its true. The old alleys are going away.. We were at the old Thunderbird lanes at Holme circle a few weeks ago.. It was well preserved.. But the new ones are very cool too. In fact we are having our Son's 13th birthday party at a new one in Feasterville..
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #7 - Mar 28th, 2007, 12:02pm
 
Quote from fuzzyscorpio on Mar 28th, 2007, 4:07am:


I'm going to have to stop on the way home one night and get a shot of the neon on our Parkway Lanes in Elmwood Park (home to the ultra-nostalgic Pizza Town USA as well) up north here. This shot from Roadside Peek doesn't do it justice...

http://www.roadsidepeek.com/rpeekeast/tenpineast/parkwaylanescliftonnj.jpg
Source page: http://www.roadsidepeek.com/rpeekeast/tenpineast/index.htm

 
Very cool!
 
I'm really looking forward to seeing the neon in action, Kathi. I love the twin bowling pin-pillared entrance to the Parkway Lanes. Classic!
 
'Roadside Peek' has a great selection of photos from bowling alleys all over the country (many, it seems, still in operation).
 
Quote from fuzzyscorpio on Mar 28th, 2007, 4:07am:
[color=#003300]

That joint in Michigan is just comically flamboyant.


 
Striketown is located on U.S. 31 South in Manistee, MI, which is a busy highway. But, I've always been struck by the humorous relation of this gaudy structure to the quiet, residential neighborhood right behind it. It's kind of contradictoray, but somehow fits, as many of these places do out in 'small town' America.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #8 - Mar 28th, 2007, 12:11pm
 
Quote from FlyinGN on Mar 28th, 2007, 11:51am:
good post Al... Its true. The old alleys are going away.. We were at the old Thunderbird lanes at Holme circle a few weeks ago.. It was well preserved.. But the new ones are very cool too. In fact we are having our Son's 13th birthday party at a new one in Feasterville..  

 
Thanks, Frank; I haven't been to that Thunderbird (has to be the most common bowling alley name, by far) in a year or so. Does it still have those great vintage lighting fixtures?
 
The alley in Feasterville is Brunswick Zone, right? My wife participated in a league there for a while. I believe it opened just a few years ago, replacing an older alley nearby.
 
In fact, IIRC, the new place was formerly a Heckinger's, or perhaps a supermarket. It was hollowed out and is now, essentially, a huge entertainment complex, with lanes on either side of the building, an arcade, a laser tag area, snack bars, etc.
 
Sound like the right place, Frank?  
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #9 - Mar 28th, 2007, 3:09pm
 
Quote from Al Alven on Mar 28th, 2007, 11:48am:

A lot of these places are real architectural gems, but are just completely overlooked. The mere notion that a bowling alley could be considered 'classic' or of any cultural or historical importance doesn't seem to register, for reasons that are quite understandable, I suppose.

 
How true.  Many are either architectural gems, or feature very unigue design elements like huge neon signs.  Here in northern NJ, many of the old bowling alleys were turned into strip malls, meaning average, everyday stores are housed inside these weird-looking buildings with enormous arched roofs.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #10 - Mar 28th, 2007, 3:14pm
 
Quote from Rob Ascough on Mar 28th, 2007, 3:09pm:
Quote from Al Alven on Mar 28th, 2007, 11:48am:

A lot of these places are real architectural gems, but are just completely overlooked. The mere notion that a bowling alley could be considered 'classic' or of any cultural or historical importance doesn't seem to register, for reasons that are quite understandable, I suppose.


How true.  Many are either architectural gems, or feature very unigue design elements like huge neon signs.  Here in northern NJ, many of the old bowling alleys were turned into strip malls, meaning average, everyday stores are housed inside these weird-looking buildings with enormous arched roofs.

 
That's actually very cool. At least the structures you refer to were maintained, and given a new life, albeit as something quite foreign to the original intention (the interiors, at least).
 
We don't really have much of that here in Philly, at least not that I'm aware of...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #11 - Mar 28th, 2007, 4:01pm
 
I suppose it is cool that the structures were saved, but it's also sad to see places that used to be unique and fun housing lousy crap like Mexican fast-food outlets and Sprint Wireless stores.  At the same time, they're a not-so-subtle reminder of what was lost, and how lame the stuff is that replaced it.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #12 - Mar 28th, 2007, 4:59pm
 
thats the one Al.. Was that the old Food Fair supermarket or behind it??? wow, you maybe right.. wow
 
 
Quote from Al Alven on Mar 28th, 2007, 12:11pm:
Quote from FlyinGN on Mar 28th, 2007, 11:51am:
good post Al... Its true. The old alleys are going away.. We were at the old Thunderbird lanes at Holme circle a few weeks ago.. It was well preserved.. But the new ones are very cool too. In fact we are having our Son's 13th birthday party at a new one in Feasterville..  


Thanks, Frank; I haven't been to that Thunderbird (has to be the most common bowling alley name, by far) in a year or so. Does it still have those great vintage lighting fixtures?

The alley in Feasterville is Brunswick Zone, right? My wife participated in a league there for a while. I believe it opened just a few years ago, replacing an older alley nearby.

In fact, IIRC, the new place was formerly a Heckinger's, or perhaps a supermarket. It was hollowed out and is now, essentially, a huge entertainment complex, with lanes on either side of the building, an arcade, a laser tag area, snack bars, etc.

Sound like the right place, Frank?

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #13 - Mar 29th, 2007, 3:52pm
 
It may very well have been Food Fair, Frank. I know it was a pre-existing business of some sort, before it was converted the Brunswick Zone.  
 
I'll have to ask my wife; she might remember. Also, my dad works in Feasterville, so he'd probably know also.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #14 - Mar 29th, 2007, 4:20pm
 
Interesting idea... turning a food store into a bowling alley.  I'd rather it be that way than the other way around.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #15 - Mar 29th, 2007, 4:28pm
 
Quote from Rob Ascough on Mar 29th, 2007, 4:20pm:
Interesting idea... turning a food store into a bowling alley.  I'd rather it be that way than the other way around.

 
It is kind of funny that this is the exact opposite of the situation you described in North Jersey earlier, Rob.  
 
The manner in which they renovated this place (whatever it was, exactly) was really impressive. It's really big, and there is lots of room inside, but no wasted space. The layout is very practical. I've never been in a bowling alley like this before.  
 
Basically, when you walk in, you're facing the center aisle; and there are lanes on either side of the building, rather than straight ahead and against just one wall (as with most bowling alleys). It's really cool.  
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #16 - Mar 30th, 2007, 1:16am
 
Soooo... I decide since I'm leaving my office at a reasonable hour for the first time all week, I might as well take the route that goes by the Parkway Lanes—the Elmwood Park/Garfield exit off the GSP. I always look forward to seeing that rosy-colored neon peeking through the trees as I turn onto US 46. Well, guess what? The darn thing's dark. I'm horrified. Not this, too!... I turn into the drive that runs alongside the Red Carpet Inn, which sits in front of the bowling alley, and park by the lanes. Mine is the only vehicle in the lot. I go up to the front door, and much to my relief I see this:
 

 
So, no neon, sorry, but here's a picture of it anyway...
 

 
This is the best I can do for neon tonight, from the neighboring hotel...
 
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #17 - Mar 30th, 2007, 1:31am
 
*Whew* that must have been a relief for you once you saw the sign on the door. It's shame it's closed now, but at least it's not permanent. Still, great shot of the darkened exterior. I can't wait to eventually see a pic of this place all lit up.
 
Does (or did) the neon animation still work, last time you saw it at night?
 
Thanks so much for going out of your way to get these pics!  Cheesy
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #18 - Mar 30th, 2007, 1:49am
 
Quote from Al Alven on Mar 30th, 2007, 1:31am:
Does (or did) the neon animation still work, last time you saw it at night?

I noted that on Roadside Peek they expressed doubt whether that animation was still fully functional. I don't remember ever seeing any "movement." But then I don't think I can really see the pins from Route 46, I think they're behind something from that perspective. I just see the letters "Parkway Lanes." When they light it up again, if some animation is still happening, I'll try to capture the progression as you've done with some of your neons.
 
Quote:
Thanks so much for going out of your way to get these pics! Cheesy

It isn't really out of the way, it's just a slightly slower alternate route I often take when I don't feel like contending with the interstate.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #19 - Mar 30th, 2007, 1:58am
 
Cool, thanks for the info, Kathi!
 
I'm really looking forward to seeing the 'Parkway Lanes' portion lit up. If the animation portion does still work, that would be gravy.
 
A quick Google search revealed that this bowling alley did have a website, at some point. It isn't operational at this time, however:
 
http://www.parkwaylanesnj.com
 
I'm going to look up their number and give a quick call. Perhaps there is a message detailing why it is temporarily closed. Of course, the important thing is that it is temporary. But, I'm curious...
 
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #20 - Mar 30th, 2007, 8:54am
 
interesting thread, thanks.  most of the ones I knew growing up were very plain boxes, even though they were likely built in the 40's and 50's.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #21 - Mar 30th, 2007, 10:15am
 
Quote from Al Alven on Mar 29th, 2007, 4:28pm:

Basically, when you walk in, you're facing the center aisle; and there are lanes on either side of the building, rather than straight ahead and against just one wall (as with most bowling alleys). It's really cool.

 
Actually, most of the bowling alleys that used to be in this area were just the opposite.  There was a main aisle with lanes to on side, and you would enter so that when you got into the building, you were staring straight down the center aisle with the lanes off to your right or left.  Figures it'd be different here in northern NJ!
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #22 - Mar 30th, 2007, 12:03pm
 
Very interesting, Rob. I wonder if there's something to the correlation between the different layouts and geographical locations... or if that's just a coincidence.
 
Or, perhaps this is yet another case of 'Weird (North) New Jersey."  Wink  Grin
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #23 - Mar 30th, 2007, 12:09pm
 
Incidentally, I was talking to my dad about old bowling alleys in the Philly area last night. He brought up his all-time favorite: Willow Grove Lanes at Willow Grove Park, not far outside of the city.
 
Does anyone from the area remember this place? It disappeared some time ago (along with the amusement park itself, which was replaced by a large mall).
 
I believe Eric Bard, in fact, has a great shot of the bowling alley in his Aladdin collection. I'll drop him a line to ask if he can post it... It featured an INSANELY huge and angled extended roofline that served as an entrance canopy.  
 
I'm not exaggerating -- this thing really had to be seen to be believed... like something straight out of a science fiction novel...  
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Reply #24 - Mar 30th, 2007, 12:16pm
 
I was going to ask if Willow Grove Lanes had any connection to the park, but you already answered my question Smiley
 
Northern NJ is definitely a weird place at times!  The design of the bowling alleys could have something to do with a lack of available land- maybe the buildings were positioned in such a way on limited amounts of property so that the entrances couldn't be built so people walked in and saw the lanes spread out before them?  Just a thought.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #25 - Mar 30th, 2007, 12:32pm
 
Thunderbird lanes in Willow Grove is still there Al. It was (is) actually about 3 miles away from the old Willow Grove Park (now mall)
 
 
Quote from Al Alven on Mar 30th, 2007, 12:09pm:
Incidentally, I was talking to my dad about old bowling alleys in the Philly area last night. He brought up his all-time favorite: Willow Grove Lanes at Willow Grove Park, not far outside of the city.

Does anyone from the area remember this place? It disappeared some time ago (along with the amusement park itself, which was replaced by a large mall).

I believe Eric Bard, in fact, has a great shot of the bowling alley in his Aladdin collection. I'll drop him a line to ask if he can post it... It featured an INSANELY huge and angled extended roofline that served as an entrance canopy.

I'm not exaggerating -- this thing really had to be seen to be believed... like something straight out of a science fiction novel...

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #26 - Mar 30th, 2007, 12:38pm
 
Quote from FlyinGN on Mar 30th, 2007, 12:32pm:
Thunderbird lanes in Willow Grove is still there Al. It was (is) actually about 3 miles away from the old Willow Grove Park (now mall)

 
There goes that 'Thunderbird' name again.  Grin
 
Thanks, Frank; I don't *think* I was aware of this place. I'll have to go check it out next time I visit the mall (perhaps this weekend).
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #27 - Mar 30th, 2007, 12:43pm
 
This photograph is the Willow Grove Bowling Lanes from around 1965. This place was huge, had three restaurants, a kids play area & a banquet room. What a unique peaked entrance. Is this where the mall is now?
 
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Reply #28 - Mar 30th, 2007, 12:52pm
 
Thanks, Eric -- that was super-quick!  Cheesy
 
Look at that thing; is that not ridiculous? The shear height and width of that extended structure looks to have been really amazing. I wish I could have experienced this place in person.
 
I don't know of the exact relationship of the bowling alley to the park. But, yes, somewhere on the grounds of where the mall is today, the bowley alley used to stand.
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Reply #29 - Mar 30th, 2007, 1:57pm
 
Wow, what a gem!
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #30 - Mar 30th, 2007, 3:06pm
 
That is a hoot, Al. Like a hunk of the Sydney Opera House broke off, took flight and landed in Pennsylvania. Smiley  Eric, thanks for going into the vault for that one. Nothing beats a little comic relief on a long Friday afternoon. Of course the therapeutic effect only lasted until I started thinking about the fact that this monument to pure fun was replaced by our 11,000th house of credit-card worship... er... shopping mall...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #31 - Mar 30th, 2007, 3:29pm
 
Yeah, that was one heck of a unique-looking structure, huh?
 
The mall, at least, does pay tribute to the old amusement park in several ways these days. It is adorned with various 'tributes' to its past, including a full-scale carousel that still operates proudly in one of the entrance vestibules.  
 
As you come into the main entrance, there is an information desk, which is often staffed by members of the local historical society. They are very knowledgable, and are more than happy to answer any and all questions about the park's history.
 
They also sell videos, books, t-shirts, and other such items, with proceeds going back into the funding of their society.
 
At least the memory of WGP lives on, and is still celebrated... Usually, when a special place like this is replaced by new development, it is largely forgotten. That is not the case here.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #32 - Mar 30th, 2007, 3:44pm
 
It's a shame how many amusement parks are largely ignored by the things that replace them.  I wonder if it's indifference, or the fact that people don't want to be reminded of what was lost.  Even the greatest of the lost amusement parks are rarely acknowledged, and if they are, it's usually by the name of the strip mall (like Riverside Mall).
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #33 - Mar 30th, 2007, 3:54pm
 
In most cases, I guess it all comes down to whether or not money can be made off of the names of places that are 'replaced.' Willow Grove Park Mall is somewhat unique in that the local historical group is extremely dedicated, and the people who run the mall accomodate them with space and such.  
 
But, generally, the memory of an icon of the past doesn't seem to serve any purpose if it can't be 'capitalized' on.
 
$ad, but true.  Sad
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #34 - Mar 30th, 2007, 4:50pm
 
Its completely different now.. Not nearly as elaborate..Sad
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #35 - Mar 30th, 2007, 10:52pm
 
Quote from Al Alven on Mar 30th, 2007, 12:09pm:
Incidentally, I was talking to my dad about old bowling alleys in the Philly area last night.

 
Did you guys by any chance mention Longshore Lanes in N.E.Philly? The building had/has no charm at all, but inside it was just a nice old fashioned bowling alley. Twelve lanes wide, exposed ball returns, boards used to pop up as your ball rolled down the lane! We were in a fun league there for years through the '80s, a nice mix of young and old bowlers on each team. Not sure what occupies the building now.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #36 - Mar 31st, 2007, 9:14am
 
Longshore Lanes didn't come up, but I'll be seeing my dad this afternoon and I'll ask him. If it was in Northeast Philly, I'm sure he'll remember it. Do you remember exactly where it was?
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #37 - Mar 31st, 2007, 9:22am
 
I have no recolection of Longshore lanes.. hmmmm
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #38 - Mar 31st, 2007, 9:27am
 
The only bowling alleys in Northeast Philly I have a recollection of (and, actually, these are all still there) are:
 
* Adams Lanes (Adams Ave. near Rising Sun Ave.)
 
* Thunderbird Lanes (Oxford Circle)
 
* Thunderbird Lanes (Holme Ave.)
 
* Boulevard Lanes (on Roosevelt Blvd., just below Holme Ave./Nazareth Hospital)
 
* Erie Lanes (At M & Erie... I think... not really N.E. Philly, but close...)
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #39 - Mar 31st, 2007, 10:59pm
 
Quote from Al Alven on Mar 31st, 2007, 9:14am:
Longshore Lanes didn't come up, but I'll be seeing my dad this afternoon and I'll ask him. If it was in Northeast Philly, I'm sure he'll remember it. Do you remember exactly where it was?

 
Al, it was on the southeast corner of Longshore and Gillespie streets. The building is still there.
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Reply #40 - Apr 1st, 2007, 9:24am
 
im drawing a blank Dave. What else is there? Gimme some landmarks...
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Reply #41 - Apr 1st, 2007, 12:30pm
 
Quote from FlyinGN on Apr 1st, 2007, 9:24am:
im drawing a blank Dave. What else is there? Gimme some landmarks...

 
It's across the street from Disston Rec.
Got this aerial image from Local.Live.com, neat site:
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Reply #42 - Apr 1st, 2007, 12:53pm
 
Quote from scca on Apr 1st, 2007, 12:30pm:
Quote from FlyinGN on Apr 1st, 2007, 9:24am:
im drawing a blank Dave. What else is there? Gimme some landmarks...


It's across the street from Disston Rec.
Got this aerial image from Local.Live.com, neat site:
http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/7228/longshornr2.th.jpg

 
My dad remembered the name, but come only recall that it was on Longshore, Ave.; he couldn't pinpoint where.
 
Thanks for posting the image ('Local Live' is terrific!). Now, I know exactly where that is. I had no idea that that was a bowling alley at one time. Do you know what business (if any) runs out of there these days?
 
I'm going to have to swing by and take a closer look at it...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #43 - Apr 1st, 2007, 6:25pm
 
Quote from Al Alven on Apr 1st, 2007, 12:53pm:
Quote from scca on Apr 1st, 2007, 12:30pm:
Quote from FlyinGN on Apr 1st, 2007, 9:24am:
im drawing a blank Dave. What else is there? Gimme some landmarks...


It's across the street from Disston Rec.
Got this aerial image from Local.Live.com, neat site:
http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/7228/longshornr2.th.jpg


My dad remembered the name, but come only recall that it was on Longshore, Ave.; he couldn't pinpoint where.

Thanks for posting the image ('Local Live' is terrific!). Now, I know exactly where that is. I had no idea that that was a bowling alley at one time. Do you know what business (if any) runs out of there these days?

I'm going to have to swing by and take a closer look at it...
it's some kind of building supply  or window supply
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Reply #44 - Apr 1st, 2007, 7:47pm
 
I now know where it is too. I too never realized what it originally was..
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Reply #45 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 8:52am
 
i lived on disston st for a few years it was open as late as 1986.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #46 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 2:04pm
 
I was doing a little Googling and found this thread... it called for a response!
 
I am a Mechanic for Parkway Lanes. Right now, the alley is going under some new ownership... it should reopen sometime in April... maybe early May because it will also be renovated in the inside.
 
But I really posted to respond about the neon sign... I have e-mailed the owner of Roadside Peek a few weeks ago letting him know that, yes, Parkway's neon sign is -fully- functional. Here is my evidence, a movie I took with my cell once the repairs were complete.
 
http://www.parkwaylanesnj.com/host/parkway_lanes-sign.mp4
(I suggest right clicking and saving as, then using Quick Time to view - mp4s are tricky).
 
I'll also apologize for the website, parkwaylanesnj.com, but I had to take it down while it gets it's own renovation as well.
 
PS: In the picture of the alley posted above, sorry for the shabby giant 7 & 10 pins, I also did not get to finish painting and repairing them before the closure. XD
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #47 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 2:27pm
 
Hey, thanks for letting us know what's what! I was a little worried. From what you say it sounds as though the new owners are preservation-minded, and we're all about that here (well, most of us  Tongue), so three cheers for them.
 
Your movie works for me with the routine you suggested (on a PowerMac G5). A bit blown-out (I'm sure you don't have much video exposure control on a phone camera), but it definitely does demonstrate the functionality of the sign.
 
Welcome to our doo-wop joint—hope you'll stick around and talk neon with us! Smiley

 
Quote from dhofmann on Apr 2nd, 2007, 2:04pm:
I was doing a little Googling and found this thread... it called for a response!

I am a Mechanic for Parkway Lanes. Right now, the alley is going under some new ownership... it should reopen sometime in April... maybe early May because it will also be renovated in the inside.

But I really posted to respond about the neon sign... I have e-mailed the owner of Roadside Peek a few weeks ago letting him know that, yes, Parkway's neon sign is -fully- functional. Here is my evidence, a movie I took with my cell once the repairs were complete.

http://www.parkwaylanesnj.com/host/parkway_lanes-sign.mp4
(I suggest right clicking and saving as, then using Quick Time to view - mp4s are tricky).

I'll also apologize for the website, parkwaylanesnj.com, but I had to take it down while it gets it's own renovation as well.

PS: In the picture of the alley posted above, sorry for the shabby giant 7 & 10 pins, I also did not get to finish painting and repairing them before the closure. XD

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #48 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 2:38pm
 
It's really cool that you found us, d-hof. Wink
 
I guess you never know what'll turn up on a Google search, huh? This is also a nice little example for us here on the forum, of how our posts and discussions have the potential to reach out into cyberspace (and, thus, draw more attention to the Wildwoods, in our own small way).  
 
At any rate, though, thanks a million for the information. Like fuzzy, I'm relieved to hear that Parkway Lanes will be re-opening in the near future and glad to learn about the functionality of the neon sign. I correspond with Syd at 'Roadside Peek' every now and then, so I'll drop him an e-mail to let him know, also.
 
So, while we have you here (and I also hope you can stick around), what can you tell us about the history of Parkway Lanes: When did it open, etc. ... ?
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Reply #49 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 3:08pm
 
Hm.. okay, here's a try..
 
Before I start, I'll state I'm only 24 years old. I haven't grown up in the alley like some of its bowlers, or even a few of the employees. What facts I do know are from stories I hear from everyone, and from simply what I've seen inside the place..
 
The previous owner was George Astrella. He started bowling there the first year it opened in 1959. He was a bowling there for about ten years and began to work at the front desk until the first owner decided that they wanted to sell the alley. So, George and some friends got together and bought the place. To cut a long story short, the partners slowly dwindled by either selling their share or by passing away, leaving George to be the sole owner for at least almost 20 years. In 1995, George and his wife decided to retire from the business and sold Parkway to Mark Roth, a professional bowler. George retired leaving Parkway as one of the busiest Bowling Alleys in North NJ for Mark, having this little 36-lane place packed with over 25 leagues per week.
 
Within a year, Roth ran the place down to bankruptcy and an almost closure.
 
George and his wife came on back and repurchased the Alley, replaced all the damage left behind (whole new bar, new snack bar, new rugs, etc) and has had Parkway until early 2007.
 
Because of what happened in 95, many of the leagues found other houses to bowl at and left Parkway behind due to frustration on how it was ran that year. Although some have come back, Parkway was having trouble to earn the trust of bowlers for professional league bowling up until today. I've been working at Parkway for over two years now, and it was easy to see the decline in business. The alley was struggling, but we managed to keep afloat. But, in 2007, it all caught up to George and he was sadly forced to retire.
 
A few weeks later, George Astrella passed away at age 86...  
 
As for the alley, it's currently any retro-fan's dream. For the most part, George always repaired and ordered new parts to fix rather than replace everything like other places do. The alley still has the AMF 82-30 Pinspotters running from 1959 (which are actually simple to fix and troubleshoot, from a Mechanic's point of view - despite the age, we rarely have breakdowns that will last longer than a moment or two). The lanes were the same old wood lanes from 59 as well, of course treated and maintained by a professional service every year before the Winter bowling season would kick in. Up front, there was the "AMF Magic Circle Ball Return," as they were called in the sales book from that year, and the old-fashioned seating.
 
Inside, we have hanging on the wall the old wooden, hand-painted sign that was hung up outside in 1959 announcing the opening of Leagues at the new alley. "Summer Leagues Now Forming! Call the Manager at SW-1-1488!" In the back is a large bowl-up photo from Paramus Bowling, a famous old alley that closed in the 80's.
 
I'm running out of characters..!
 
Anyway, when the alley reopens, it will be renovated.. the old lanes and ball returns will be removed and replaced with modern bowling.. erm, technology. I'll of course be taking many photos of before and after shots, so that although the old look of the place might be changed, it will still be documented.
 
Did I miss anything? I think I rambled.  Grin
 
Quote from Al Alven on Apr 2nd, 2007, 2:38pm:
It's really cool that you found us, d-hof. Wink

I guess you never know what'll turn up on a Google search, huh? This is also a nice little example for us here on the forum, of how our posts and discussions have the potential to reach out into cyberspace (and, thus, draw more attention to the Wildwoods, in our own small way).

At any rate, though, thanks a million for the information. Like fuzzy, I'm relieved to hear that Parkway Lanes will be re-opening in the near future and glad to learn about the functionality of the neon sign. I correspond with Syd at 'Roadside Peek' every now and then, so I'll drop him an e-mail to let him know, also.

So, while we have you here (and I also hope you can stick around), what can you tell us about the history of Parkway Lanes: When did it open, etc. ... ?

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #50 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 6:00pm
 
Welcome dhofmann!!!!
 
Regardless of what age you are there's  
 
lots to be learned from everyone on this
 
board.
 
Thanks for the info.   Smiley
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Reply #51 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 7:08pm
 
What a classic history that is. (Remind anybody of a place that used to be in Wildwood by any chance...?) George's sudden decline is not unusual, I guess, for small business owners who persevere as far into old age as he did. When frailty finally forces them to let go, collapse easily follows. You could say his work was done, but it's still kind of a sad ending. I hope the new owners will take good care of the place, without destroying all its vintage qualities, and will treat you well, too.  
 
Quote from dhofmann on Apr 2nd, 2007, 3:08pm:
As for the alley, it's currently any retro-fan's dream. For the most part, George always repaired and ordered new parts to fix rather than replace everything like other places do. The alley still has the AMF 82-30 Pinspotters running from 1959 (which are actually simple to fix and troubleshoot, from a Mechanic's point of view - despite the age, we rarely have breakdowns that will last longer than a moment or two). The lanes were the same old wood lanes from 59 as well, of course treated and maintained by a professional service every year before the Winter bowling season would kick in. Up front, there was the "AMF Magic Circle Ball Return," as they were called in the sales book from that year, and the old-fashioned seating.

Inside, we have hanging on the wall the old wooden, hand-painted sign that was hung up outside in 1959 announcing the opening of Leagues at the new alley. "Summer Leagues Now Forming! Call the Manager at SW-1-1488!" In the back is a large bowl-up photo from Paramus Bowling, a famous old alley that closed in the 80's.

I hope those will be kept!
 
Quote:
Anyway, when the alley reopens, it will be renovated.. the old lanes and ball returns will be removed and replaced with modern bowling.. erm, technology.

Ugh... I have been meaning to stop in there and bowl a few games for at least a year now, and of course I never got around to it. Ouch, ouch. What a shame the traditional set-up has to go. I guess the new owners probably thought that it couldn't last too much longer and preferred to undertake its replacement as a start-up expense. Or maybe they're convinced the leagues prefer high-tech bowling nowadays...?
 
Quote:
I'll of course be taking many photos of before and after shots, so that although the old look of the place might be changed, it will still be documented.

Please let us know if you'll be posting these somewhere.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #52 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 8:57pm
 
welcome dhoffmann!!!!  Thank you for the parkways lanes history lesson.. You know quite a lot for being so young.. Its so neat that the 1959 era systems are still in place and did work fine..
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Reply #53 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 8:57pm
 
You guys caught me on my "be an internet junkie day"...
 
I've been hunting around for some old photos I took in the few years I worked there and began to post them on Flickr. Here's a link to the collection I'm still building up.. I have some shots of the pinsetters and the "backend" (that's what we call the area behind the lanes, where the pinspotters are) I was going to post as well.
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7267265@N06/sets/72157600042737162/
 
As for the new owners, they're really nice guys. While the alley is closed and is in the courts for the transfer (this is why it's closed, it's trapped in the typical legal red tape) we bowl in another house every Sunday morning and talk about what to do and such. I've had a discussion with him about attempting to upgrade the "guts" of the old equipment so we could keep the old style, but with some research we find that it simply won't work out. The sad part is, we can't keep what we have now, it's really beginning to get harder and harder to repair all the time (mainly the ball returns). They constantly cause what we call "subways" (this is when a ball is sent from the back after you throw it and follows the track on back to the seating area). The old wheels that these ball returns use have trouble gripping certain bowling balls, especially 6 and 8 pound balls, which causes them to all get stuck under the approach and causes damage to the balls.
 
So, like many other businesses, we have to move on and upgrade so that we can once again mop the floor with the other local lanes like the place did 20 years ago. Grin
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #54 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 9:26pm
 
Quote from dhofmann on Apr 2nd, 2007, 3:08pm:
Hm.. okay, here's a try..

In 1995, George and his wife decided to retire from the business and sold Parkway to Mark Roth, a professional bowler. George retired leaving Parkway as one of the busiest Bowling Alleys in North NJ for Mark, having this little 36-lane place packed with over 25 leagues per week.

Within a year, Roth ran the place down to bankruptcy and an almost closure.

 
 
My father used bowl with a guy named Tommy Politt.  The two of them would bowl against Roth and Marshall Holman many times years ago, and would often kick their a**es (figuratively).  My father was good, but this Tommy supposedly was amazingly good.  Holman and Roth could be big babies (in their attitudes/personalities).  Maybe some of the guys that go way back would remember Tommy?  My father has the same name as I, Martin Melucci.
 
Great info, and welcome.  Too bad about the old stuff being removed.
 
BTW - Have you been to The Wildwoods?
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Reply #55 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 9:32pm
 
thanks for the pics.. I never saw 'behind' the lanes but always wondered what it looked like..
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #56 - Apr 2nd, 2007, 9:39pm
 
Maybe. The one guy that comes to mind that would maybe remember would be the Head Mechanic, Jules. He's been working there in that position for the past 24 years.
 
Quote from MMM on Apr 2nd, 2007, 9:26pm:


My father used bowl with a guy named Tommy Politt.  The two of them would bowl against Roth and Marshall Holman many times years ago, and would often kick their a**es (figuratively).  My father was good, but this Tommy supposedly was amazingly good.  Holman and Roth could be big babies (in their attitudes/personalities).  Maybe some of the guys that go way back would remember Tommy?  My father has the same name as I, Martin Melucci.

Great info, and welcome.  Too bad about the old stuff being removed.

BTW - Have you been to The Wildwoods?

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #57 - Apr 3rd, 2007, 12:56am
 
Dennis, this goes back further than that, but if he was bowling in the area before then, he may know.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #58 - Apr 4th, 2007, 10:53am
 
Hm.. I might not know who to ask then, besides Tony Lakawitz. George Astrella would have known, I'd place money on that bet since he remembers everyone, but...
 
Anyway... Sure, I'll stick around here! I have a small thing for the era you are trying to save, I always found it much more creative then today's styling. I finished a new logo for Marty for the alley recently which was a little inspired by some "retro" colors and details, at least for 50's Bowling allies (or so I think it looks that way) that is now on the site...
 
As for a comment I saw about lane designs and Allies being different.. north NJ is loaded with some unique places. Bowler City has a classic alley design, 50 lanes, straight across, one side. Lodi Lanes and my Parkway Lanes is known as a "Split House," which is what they call allies in two halves. Lodi has lanes 1-20 on one side, 21-40 on the other, and you walk in to be in the middle of the sides as you mentioned. Parkway has lanes 1-18 (the "Low slide" as we called it) on the left, and 19-36 (the "High side") on the right. Wallington Lanes... well, that place is a mutt. I haven't been there in ages, but I remember one side has two floors and the other has three floors of lanes - very odd construction. Paul's Bowling is an OLD bar in the Clifton area with eight lanes that I would date to the 40's, although they put in the Brunswick A-2 Pinspotters there many years ago - it's possibly going to get leveled soon to make more room for the bar. If you are ever in the North NJ area, I highly reccomend finding Paul's Bar and bowling at least a game before the amazing little place is gone for good.
 
A co-worker and I after working at Parkway Lanes would go to Paul's and try to help them a little bit by fixing the pinspotters and getting them better pins.. one night we spent over two hours there, evn though I had to get up at 7 the next day for my real job (Workin' at the alley is far from my career job! Cheesy).
 
Kathi, if you don't mind, I would love to use your photo of Parkway closed up in darkness on the new website while the alley is closed, I really like that shot.
 
Also, I rushed and got some sort of website online just because I saw you guys Googling it. parkwaylanesnj.com no longer gives a dumb telescore comment.  Shocked
 
As for Neon.. a bit off topic.. but, did anyone catch the White Mana on River Road in Hackensack yet, or the Carwash near Teneck? The Carwash just had thier sign fully repaired - removed all the neon, removed all the paint, had a new paint job, then replaced the neon again. If not, I'll try to remember my Camera - I pass both places on my way to work.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #59 - Apr 4th, 2007, 11:39am
 
Quote from dhofmann on Apr 4th, 2007, 10:53am:
Paul's Bowling is an OLD bar in the Clifton area with eight lanes that I would date to the 40's, although they put in the Brunswick A-2 Pinspotters there many years ago - it's possibly going to get leveled soon to make more room for the bar. If you are ever in the North NJ area, I highly reccomend finding Paul's Bar and bowling at least a game before the amazing little place is gone for good.

Thanks, I will definitely seek this out. Somebody has to! Wink (Since this is a Wildwoods group, many members here are from central Jersey, south Jersey or metro Philly.)
 
Quote:
Kathi, if you don't mind, I would love to use your photo of Parkway closed up in darkness on the new website while the alley is closed, I really like that shot.

By all means, Dennis, I'm pleased you can use it. PM or e-mail me if you want the high-res version.
 
Quote:
Also, I rushed and got some sort of website online just because I saw you guys Googling it. parkwaylanesnj.com no longer gives a dumb telescore comment. Shocked

Looks d@mn good for a quickie! I do wish that logo were based on the neon—the newer type style makes me nervous...  please say the new owners aren't going to mess with that neon just yet... Smiley
 
Quote:
As for Neon.. a bit off topic.. but, did anyone catch the White Mana on River Road in Hackensack yet, or the Carwash near Teneck? The Carwash just had thier sign fully repaired - removed all the neon, removed all the paint, had a new paint job, then replaced the neon again. If not, I'll try to remember my Camera - I pass both places on my way to work.

I haven't. I think someone might have posted a photo of the White Manna a while back? I will look for these too, do you remember what street the Carwash is on?
 
Glad you've joined the conversation. Smiley Now we just have to get you to Wildwood...

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #60 - Apr 4th, 2007, 12:18pm
 
Well the type style was one I've been using for a few years now, even with an older logo I made a year ago for them. I tried matching the font of the Sign, which was an Aerial/High School Football Jacket-like mix, and it seemed a bit plain. So, I picked this sharp/blocky one which everyone likes. We have to remember to make sure to appeal to the younger crowd as well as the old customers.
 
For now, the neon sign is sticking around, the problem is that it's simply old and huge. When I go to the roof to check why a letter might have gone out or whatnot, the sign towers over me, and I'm 6 feet tall! It's falling apart, rusting, and sadly the bars that are bolted to the roof to hold it up have caused the roof to leak in to those spots. It took me a year to get George to put the money down to fix all the neon and the animation (no joke on a year - I talked to him every day I was there asking "George, when can we fix the sign?" and one day he gave in and gave me the project. I was very happy. :3 ) and it was a little pricy for that alone.
 
A few ideas the landlord and the new owner was is to remove it and rebuilt it with newer materials - but non-neon - and not on the roof but on it's own pillars in front of the entrance (example, over the two huge bowling pins we have). There is some sort of modern neon-replacement that looks the same but is easier to maintain.. I don't know anything about it, maybe you guys do.. Another problem is that the sign is not protected, so if someone feels like being mean all they need to do us chuck a rock and the glass of the neon shatters - sadly, it's happened. Three of the letters had to be rebuilt because of this.. another expense..
 
Right now, they aren't fully focused on getting rid of it - that sign makes the place and everyone admits it. It's a love/hate relationship. I'm hoping to tar up the base of the sign when we get back in there if the leaks are truly from it - if this works, I'm sure it'll save the sign for a least a few more years. The sign they -do- want to get rid of and replace is our nasty yellow sign on the side of Rt. 46. It's the short, dull, yellow thing that's falling apart. It's style is like a 70's Muffler/Car Repair shop place with each letter on it's own yellow block. One of them fell off a month ago - one that hung from the bottom that had a bowling ball and pin... that sits in my living room right now as I repair it to use it like a lamp (a 4-foot tall lamp!).  Wink
 
Here's a shot of it on Flickr: http://flickr.com/photos/maureenmiranda/364256017/
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #61 - Apr 4th, 2007, 2:31pm
 
PPS: NO PROMISES... I might be able to have the sign of Parkway turned on tonight for a quick picture. Depends on if it's raining and if the Landlord can make it there (no one is allowed inside except him). It's been off for almost two months now, so, I have no idea on it's current state, any damage, etc... Back in Feb. It all worked except for a dimmed "A" in Parkway... last I remember it had a neon leak in the glass..  undecided I'll try to be there between 6:00PM-6:30PM...
 
Normally I run in to him and other bored employees there.. he's almost always there like a guard to make sure no one messes with the alley. That's been my fear this whole time - people seeing it closed and trying to break in. I mean, the alarm is still on and linked to the cops and every door is chained/locked up, but who can you trust these days?..
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #62 - Apr 4th, 2007, 3:33pm
 
Quote from dhofmann on Apr 4th, 2007, 12:18pm:
Well the type style was one I've been using for a few years now, even with an older logo I made a year ago for them. I tried matching the font of the Sign, which was an Aerial/High School Football Jacket-like mix, and it seemed a bit plain. So, I picked this sharp/blocky one which everyone likes. We have to remember to make sure to appeal to the younger crowd as well as the old customers.

 
Yeah, yeah Wink Lettering is something people can argue all day and get nowhere for sure. Your logo is terrific, but to my eye, its font (Kabel? or something close to it) actually looks more tied to a specific period than the letters in the neon sign. There's such a thing as "classic" in lettering and you've got it there, IMO. Then too, all styles have their period(s) of renaissance, and it seems that 50s styles are beginning to go through that.
 
 
Quote:
I talked to him every day I was there asking "George, when can we fix the sign?"

Yep, you are definitely our kind of people Smiley
 
Quote:
There is some sort of modern neon-replacement that looks the same but is easier to maintain..I don't know anything about it, maybe you guys do..

I wonder if that's what was used in the Red Carpet Inn sign next door? It kind of looks like fake neon somehow. I'm no expert either.
 
Quote:
Another problem is that the sign is not protected, so if someone feels like being mean all they need to do us chuck a rock and the glass of the neon shatters - sadly, it's happened. Three of the letters had to be rebuilt because of this.. another expense..

Maintenance is a dirty word nowadays as we've recently discussed, one reason the Wildwoods (and many other areas) are all vinyl-encrusted now... Smiley
 
Quote:
Right now, they aren't fully focused on getting rid of it - that sign makes the place and everyone admits it. It's a love/hate relationship. I'm hoping to tar up the base of the sign when we get back in there if the leaks are truly from it - if this works, I'm sure it'll save the sign for a least a few more years.

My fingers are crossed.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #63 - Apr 4th, 2007, 3:57pm
 
Quote from dhofmann on Apr 4th, 2007, 2:31pm:
PPS: NO PROMISES... I might be able to have the sign of Parkway turned on tonight for a quick picture. <...> I'll try to be there between 6:00PM-6:30PM...

Wish I could catch that. Won't get off work in time.
 
Quote:
Normally I run in to him and other bored employees there.. he's almost always there like a guard to make sure no one messes with the alley. That's been my fear this whole time - people seeing it closed and trying to break in. I mean, the alarm is still on and linked to the cops and every door is chained/locked up, but who can you trust these days?..

Yeah, I'd be concerned. Like I said, I was pretty nervous while taking those pictures, imagining all sorts of things jumping out of the trees behind the deserted parking lot... Gotta love Route 46 if you grew up with it (pre-I80) the way I did, but I don't think it's the safest choice for a solo photographer on a secret mission after dark Smiley.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #64 - Apr 4th, 2007, 4:06pm
 
speaking of classic bowling alleys. We jsut passed one on rt 1 (city line ave) leaving Philly into springfield today. It had a old classic entrance that was about 30' in diameter.. It was a half circle with 'spokes' coning down vertically. Wish I had my camera..
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #65 - Apr 4th, 2007, 5:58pm
 
Quote from FlyinGN on Apr 4th, 2007, 4:06pm:
speaking of classic bowling alleys. We jsut passed one on rt 1 (city line ave) leaving Philly into springfield today. It had a old classic entrance that was about 30' in diameter.. It was a half circle with 'spokes' coning down vertically. Wish I had my camera..

 
Hey Frank, did you catch the name? The only one I can think of up that way is Center Bowling Lanes (7550 City Line Ave.), which, from what I can remember, would seem to fit your description...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #66 - Apr 4th, 2007, 6:49pm
 
Quote from dhofmann on Apr 4th, 2007, 10:53am:

Lodi Lanes and my Parkway Lanes is known as a "Split House," which is what they call allies in two halves. Lodi has lanes 1-20 on one side, 21-40 on the other, and you walk in to be in the middle of the sides as you mentioned. Parkway has lanes 1-18 (the "Low slide" as we called it) on the left, and 19-36 (the "High side") on the right. Wallington Lanes... well, that place is a mutt. I haven't been there in ages, but I remember one side has two floors and the other has three floors of lanes - very odd construction.

 
IIRC, Wallington is has 1 level of lanes on one side (the middle level), and 2 on the other (the upper and lower).
 
I live minutes from Lodi Lanes, and drive past it basically every night.  Bowled there regularly for years when I was younger, but I was horrible.  Never got past 182.  Haven't picked up a ball in about 15 years.  I used to love it though, but I got disgusted with my abilities and lost interest.  Maybe someday I'll try again...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #67 - Apr 4th, 2007, 6:57pm
 
Quote from dhofmann on Apr 4th, 2007, 10:53am:

Hm.. I might not know who to ask then, besides Tony Lakawitz. George Astrella would have known, I'd place money on that bet since he remembers everyone, but...

 
 
It'll be interesting if someone does.  They bowled in a few different places...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #68 - Apr 4th, 2007, 7:02pm
 
Quote from dhofmann on Apr 4th, 2007, 10:53am:

As for Neon.. a bit off topic.. but, did anyone catch the White Mana on River Road in Hackensack yet

 
Quote from MMM on Mar 26th, 2007, 6:02pm:
Quote from watchthetramcar on Mar 25th, 2007, 9:49pm:

you want to know what else I miss... White Castle!  we don't have not a 1 in the entire Florida (yeah, I know I can buy them frozen,  but it's not the same)  Now I know alot of People will say  "White Castle" Yuck!   but when you don't have them in your neighborhood, you miss them!


If you ever make it up to NE NJ, go to White Manna in Hackensack...

http://www.ahamburgertoday.com/archives/2005/06/white_manna_a_n.php

http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/2006/07/25/nj-dining-white-manna/

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1787499/posts

http://www.hollyeats.com/WhiteManna.htm

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #69 - Apr 4th, 2007, 7:28pm
 
Quote from fuzzyscorpio on Apr 4th, 2007, 11:39am:

do you remember what street the Carwash is on?

 
Cedar Lane and River Street, not far from the White Manna.  It's near Sears.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #70 - Apr 4th, 2007, 7:38pm
 
yes Al I believe that is the alley..Smiley Man, you Do know em all!
 
Quote from Al Alven on Apr 4th, 2007, 5:58pm:
Quote from FlyinGN on Apr 4th, 2007, 4:06pm:
speaking of classic bowling alleys. We jsut passed one on rt 1 (city line ave) leaving Philly into springfield today. It had a old classic entrance that was about 30' in diameter.. It was a half circle with 'spokes' coning down vertically. Wish I had my camera..


Hey Frank, did you catch the name? The only one I can think of up that way is Center Bowling Lanes (7550 City Line Ave.), which, from what I can remember, would seem to fit your description...

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #71 - Apr 4th, 2007, 7:39pm
 
Dennis,
 
My father told me he used to bowl with George as part of a team called the "The 5 Untouchable Mutts".  George, my father, George Penn (who owned either a pet store or was a dog breeder, which is where their name came from) and two other guys.  My father bowled with them for 2 or 3 years when he was about 18 (he's 59 now) at Parkway, so this is around 40 years ago.  He said George was a really great guy.  At the time they bowled together he *thinks* George owned a piece of Parkway Lanes.  He also said he once owned a local oil company called Woodmere Oil or something like that?  He feels bad now that he knows he passed...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #72 - Apr 4th, 2007, 11:16pm
 
Wow. All that nostalgia AND great burgers... going to have to make a dinner stop soon. Thanks, Martin, for reposting these links. (And, thanks also for the location of the Carwash.) For the benefit of anyone who didn't click the links the first time around, here are the views from the "Hamburger Today" site:
 

 
Philadelphia must have plenty of good burger joints, not to mention the oh-so-satisfying cheese steak alternative, so it's impressive that a Philly foodie would travel all the way to Hackensack for White Manna's fare (as per "Holly Eats" at the fourth link).

 
 
Quote from MMM on Apr 4th, 2007, 7:02pm:

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #73 - Apr 5th, 2007, 6:49am
 
kathi. Id ride all the way from philly too just to see that place!!! I love it!
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #74 - Apr 5th, 2007, 10:01am
 
@MMM: Oh well, I haven't stepped foot in Wallington in ages and I remember a co-worker calling me from there saying that after one of his shifts. Maybe a few too many drinks for him..  lips sealed But Geroge was a great guy, even to this day. As a boss he was good to me, and always came to the front desk to thank me for working before he went home. It's a little odd and strange working at Parkway now that he won't be the boss any longer, but I made too many friends to walk away from the place as well. Right now on some nights walking in to Lodi Lanes is like walking back in to Parkway, since that is where most of the Leagues went when the alley shut down. Every time one of us employees walks in we get questioned "So, whats the latest news? When are you reopening? Will you be working there again?" I know his wife really hates me for working there with the new bosses but...
 
As for the pictures of the sign lit up - no luck, he didn't show last night. But it's okay, since later on last night I got word that the alley is basically in the Landlord's control now and some lawyers are looking over contracts to reopen the place.. I might get a phone call as eary as this weekend that we will all be goin' back there. It won't be open to the public though - to quote the new owner "I refuse to let anyone from the public inside until I have new ladies and mens restrooms!" (Eh they were nasty) But I'm sure I can get in there next week to turn it on myself for the picture (if we don't leave it on during the renovations).
 
As for the food form the White Mana.. very tasty going down, bbuutt.....  Shocked
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #75 - Apr 10th, 2007, 10:11am
 
Erm.. not to turn this in to some horrable Parkway ad but...
 
...Our (Employees') fight is over, we won control of the Alley again. The new Owners are talking to the landlord and writing up/filling out agreements. Supposedly, we will be in there as early as tomorrow, but no later then Friday unless something -really- bad goes wrong.
 
The first thing I'll do for all of you is turn on the sign again, I promise. Smiley (Well, unless the new owner wants to wait until we are open to the Public!!)
 
We'll be open to the public when construction for the new restrooms are complete. I'll let you guys know so that some of you who mentioned you wanted to come in can actually do that before we renovate the lanes/retro equipment.
 
If anyone, also, wants to take any of the old-school stuff for personal use, let me know. I'll see what I can do (I'm sure there will be no problem).
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #76 - Apr 10th, 2007, 8:03pm
 
Thanks.  I might be able to take a look...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #77 - Apr 11th, 2007, 1:24pm
 
Good news, and looking forward to your updates, Dennis. I definitely would like to stop in and pay my respects to the old school before the wreckage begins in earnest (don't mind missing the restrooms).  Cool
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #78 - Apr 23rd, 2007, 1:56pm
 
Well, I don't know when anyone might be able to go in and see the old equipment before it's removed, but I'll try to give you guys a heads up on when I'll be in there so I can maybe let you in.
 
In the meantime, this thursday during a cleaning session I took a few shots of the place again. I uploaded two to Flickr that I thought you guys might like...
 
 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dchofmann/466993128/
This is a shot of the lanes/approaches/ball returns on the low side
 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dchofmann/466991010/in/set-72157600042737162/
This sign was found in the attic about a year ago as we were looking for one of the fuses for the AC unit. The whole time it was being used as a board to cover a hole in the catwalk up there. No one, including George at the time had any idea it was still up there. This sign was hung up (either outside the front door or on the side of the road on Route 46, which used to be called the SW Expansion or something like that I believe) the opening year of Parkway Lanes to advertise that it was now open. It's thick wood and all hand painted. Funny fact: we still have the same phone number - 201-791-1488. We plan on keeping it as is: no cleaning, no restoration, nada - it's aged for 47 years that way and we don't want to alter that.
 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dchofmann/470175667/
AmF Logo on the seats from it's origional installation in the 60's. There are a few still intact and in above average condition like this one.
 
Theres another sign that I'm trying to dig through junk to get to. It's about 15 feet long and three feet high and mentions the years around the 50's and Budwiser. I can only see some of it right now, and it's showing some frames of bowling on it. I have -no- idea what it's from. I also found in the basement some old score pads that the Landlord dated in the early 60's. It still has the old AmF logo saying "Bowl where you see the AmF Magic Triangle" from that era. Theres at least four pads of 100 sheets down there and in extremely good condition (it was in the corner of a wine fridge! Never got wet or heated!)
 
Hm.. that's all for now, again. :3 Enjoy the great weather down there on the shore! I envy you all right now!
 
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #79 - Apr 23rd, 2007, 8:21pm
 
Nice - thanks!
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #80 - Apr 24th, 2007, 8:26pm
 
Thanks Dennis! Love that sign... hope to see it in an appropriate place of honor after the dust settles at Parkway.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #81 - Jun 14th, 2007, 11:15am
 
My goodness I'm running on a lack of sleep here...
 
I apologize for not looking/psting here like I promised.. I put all my spare time at the alley. Buttt... here is what I've done  Smiley
 
Your neon sign is saved. There are no plans to rip it down and I've been looking for some quotes to have it repaired - it took a little damange for the three months it was not cared for - the letter Y needs a new balist (whoa, bad spelling there I think) from the way it's acting, along with some of the pins in the animation. If anyone knows a good person/company in the North NJ area that might want to submit a quote, let me know, otherwise i'll keep the guy I have now. He's okay, but needs to return phone calls more often.  Wink
 
There was loose talks between the new owner and I about maybe redoing the Neon to it's old fashioned animation (in the 50's/60's the yellow bowling ball started at the right and "bowled" on the building's roof and in front of the letters to hit the pins) but right now that's not too realistic. I set the sign to be on it's old timer again and it once again lights up the parking lot in red from 8PM until 12:30AM (usually this is like 2/3AM in the winter).
 
The "Now Booking" sign on the wall for now is not going anywhere - it hangs on the wall over lane 1. It will be moved when the alley gets it's walls carpeted/soundproofed & painted and will find a new home elsewhere in the Alley.
 
All of the old ball returns are bring ripped out and are being stolen from the dumpsters like crazy. There should be some more today or tomorrow (I'm not sure) so if you wan tto steal 'em, get there!
 
I got my old job back in managing the lockers, but this time around I also got a budget for them. So, I had some options.. my option was to restore the old ones we had. I've got my hands on new and used parts for them (they are the old-school AMF "Magic Triangle" brand lockers from '59) and right now I'm busy repainting them all. It's hard to describe what exactly I'm doing, but, it'll be more of a restoration rather then a "rip them out and put in new" deal.
 
If anyone is actually ever curious you can stop by anyimte - the place is open again but not celebrating a "grand Opening" so to speak - that will be done in August when all of the upgrades are finished. there will even be a live band there playing (so far they agreed I believe!) caleld the Cameo's - they're four guys like like to sing oldies and are also bowlers of Parkway.
 
It's really exciting - I'm seeing faces there that have left the place in disgust years ago that are back there with smiles and enjoying the new atmosphere with old friends. Last night I was bowling and at the other end of the alley I heard someone yell out loud "IT'S GOOD TO BE HOME AGAIN!"
 
I have to thank you all for your interest and support! To know that there wre others out there that enjoy what Parkway had, even from a distance is what (at least for me) made the decisions a pushover. But now it's time to go back to work at one job, then to work at the alley again tonight until I pass out.  Cheesy
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #82 - Jun 14th, 2007, 8:04pm
 
It was a heartwarming sight to see the Parkway Lanes sign finally lit up again last week. I didn't say anything here because one of the "A"s wasn't quite working, it was only the fourth day of the alley's reopening, and the interior was clearly still a work in progress. Figured we'd hear from you soon. I wandered in and talked with the guys who were still around at the time, just briefly, as it was quite late and they were in shutdown mode. They seemed in good spirits. If you saw a little person in black with a mane of gray hair making a brief appearance last Thursday night, that was me. Smiley As for renovating the lockers, glad you won another battle in the war of preservation—every one counts!! Best of luck with the ongoing revitalization of this great old hangout. I'll definitely be in at some point to roll a few games. Cool
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #83 - Jun 14th, 2007, 9:40pm
 
Thanks Dennis - good to hear!  Sounds like you're doing good things over there...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #84 - Jul 12th, 2007, 11:03am
 
I was there when you stopped in! I'm the quiet kid.. the only kid that really works there, as they call me. Everyone else there is around 40+, then lowly me at 24.  Cheesy You'll know me by my hat, it is all black with a yellow question mark on the front. I always thought it fit me well.
 
Oh man, this place makes you feel like you are married to it. I highly suggest never working at a bowling alley. Ever. Whew!
 
But please, feel free to stop in. I work constant Saturday and Sunday nights there floating around (either at the desk or as a Mechanic), just ask for Dennis. Anyone please feel free to stop in! Mention this board to refresh my memory and I'll make sure to set you up with a retro price.  Wink I'm also there randomly during the week, and for the next two weeks i'll be filling in for the owner who is going on vacation, so i'll be there every night after 7 except for Tuesday and Friday.
 
the Neon sign is.. uhm.. making me angry. i have other choice words, but that fits. If anyone knows anything about neon and has tips please.. help!! Heh. I have a sparking/shorting wire that goes from a glass tube of neon to the transformer.. can I just use electrical tape/cut it and replace it with fresh wire or does it have to be repaired differently? The wire used to be enclosed in glass as well, but somehow o nthe roof the glass got smashed and cut the rubber on the wire. If I can fix this with replacing it with new wire instead of having it enclosed in what seems like (to me) a special neon way, please tell me! i'm too nervous to try it without some knowledge.
 
Oh, the A on Parkway Lanes works now.  Cool It was a ripoff to fix, but we didn't know any good Neon people in North NJ. If anyone wants to reccomend a friend in the business, pelase do!
 
Thank you all again for your support. It's done more then you might actually believe to allow me to rant here in whatever free time I have.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #85 - Jul 12th, 2007, 10:45pm
 
Quote from fuzzyscorpio on Mar 30th, 2007, 1:16am:
Soooo... I decide since I'm leaving my office at a reasonable hour for the first time all week, I might as well take the route that goes by the Parkway Lanes—the Elmwood Park/Garfield exit off the GSP. I always look forward to seeing that rosy-colored neon peeking through the trees as I turn onto US 46. Well, guess what? The darn thing's dark. I'm horrified. Not this, too!... I turn into the drive that runs alongside the Red Carpet Inn, which sits in front of the bowling alley, and park by the lanes. Mine is the only vehicle in the lot. I go up to the front door, and much to my relief I see this:

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/305/pkwylnsignwkx6.jpg

So, no neon, sorry, but here's a picture of it anyway...

http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/1807/pkwylnswlf9.jpg

This is the best I can do for neon tonight, from the neighboring hotel...

http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/5586/redcptinnsignwhl1.jpg

 
 
The Red Carpet Motel, a favorite of drug dealers and prostitutes. They had a big standooof there with an armed man a few months back
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #86 - Jul 13th, 2007, 1:47am
 
Thanks for the update, Dennis.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #87 - Jul 13th, 2007, 7:54pm
 
Quote from dhofmann on Jul 12th, 2007, 11:03am:
Thank you all again for your support. It's done more then you might actually believe to allow me to rant here in whatever free time I have.

Oh, we believe—trust me. This forum does something like that for most of us, I think. "Sharing the passion" as one of our foremost fanatics recently put it. Smiley
 
Thanks for the open invitation, hope to see you one of these days—maybe with a group from my office. They've been talking about organizing a bowling party so of course I've started pimping for Parkway. Wink
 
Wish I could help you figure out how to make that sparking wire behave. It might help to post something separately with a subject line that would get the neon geeks' attention, but I wouldn't count on it. I'm pretty sure at least one of the experts we know in the Wildwoods isn't registered on this forum. I do know the sign has been looking great lately, at least from a drive-by perspective from the GSP and 46. I've been enjoying that. So, hats off to you once again.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #88 - Jul 14th, 2007, 10:38pm
 
Kathi,
 
You will be happy to know i drove past parkways lanes this evening and it is once again lit up in all its glory.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #89 - Nov 5th, 2007, 11:30am
 
Anybody remember the bowling alley at rt 9 and delsea dr? Oh and my favorite place the wildwood drive in movies.  Oh the pile of beer bottles we would leave.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #90 - Nov 5th, 2007, 11:59am
 
Quote from bornwild on Nov 5th, 2007, 11:30am:
Anybody remember the bowling alley at rt 9 and delsea dr? Oh and my favorite place the wildwood drive in movies.  Oh the pile of beer bottles we would leave.

 
Cant say I remember the bowling alley on Rt. 9. Do you remember when it closed?  
 
Where exactly was the drive-in in Wildwood? Wasn't it somewhere off of Rio Grande Ave., or back in that area?  
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #91 - Nov 5th, 2007, 12:07pm
 
I can't remember the bowling alley, but I do have fond memories of the Drive-In. I always think of the Jimmy Buffet song, "Grapefruit Juiceyfruit" when I think of it. The drive in sat on what is now the parking lot of the shopping center where Shop Rite and Penney's is today.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #92 - Nov 5th, 2007, 12:21pm
 
Ah, so the drive-in technically was not in Wildwood?
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #93 - Nov 14th, 2007, 6:53pm
 
Is there still a bowling alley near the boardwalk or is it gone?
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #94 - Nov 14th, 2007, 7:56pm
 
Aren't there some lanes inside the Boardwalk Mall?  Other than that, there's 3J's, by Alfie's.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #95 - Nov 15th, 2007, 7:19am
 
I do not recall any bowling lans inside the mall..  
 
 
Quote from MMM on Nov 14th, 2007, 7:56pm:
Aren't there some lanes inside the Boardwalk Mall?  Other than that, there's 3J's, by Alfie's.

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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #96 - Feb 10th, 2008, 3:20pm
 
The Ypsi Arbor Bowl in Michigan has always been a favorite of mine.
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/i_am_jacques_strappe/65209050/
 
 
 
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #97 - Feb 10th, 2008, 10:03pm
 
I've passed the Yspi a few times, during my travels in Michigan. That state is loaded with classic bowling alleys. Maybe it's a Midwest thing, I don't know. Seem to be a lot of them out there, and many with their original signs still standing/working.
 
That's one of the coolest ones I've seen. Thanks for sharing that, Mark.  Cheesy
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #98 - Feb 12th, 2008, 3:02pm
 
I think it is.  My friend has pictures of bowling alleys all over the place in Michigan, maybe Indiana and Wisconsin as well.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #99 - Feb 12th, 2008, 3:07pm
 
I've mentioned my wife's family's place out in the boonies up in NW Michigan. Town has a population of under 100 and the entire area is sparcely populated. Yet, there are at least three or four bowling alleys within an hour drive. All sport really cool 'mid-century' looks, too. I'll have to get pics of them this summer. I've seen a lot of bowling alleys in Indiana also, now that I think of it. Never been to Wisconsin, but I can only imagine you'd find plenty there.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #100 - Mar 7th, 2008, 10:46am
 
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #101 - Sep 29th, 2010, 4:06pm
 
I just came across this and it was a lot of fun to read about Parkway Lanes. I've gone there a lot in the past and never knew the history or even the details of their renovation. It makes me miss home...
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #102 - Sep 30th, 2010, 7:26pm
 
Quote from LittleMissBarbs on Sep 29th, 2010, 4:06pm:
it was a lot of fun to read about Parkway Lanes

I'm not commuting from north Jersey any more, but I travel through that area fairly often for other reasons and always use Route 46 unless I'm in such a rush that I feel compelled to use I-80. I always glance at Parkway Lanes when I drive by and do my best to send it "keep on truckin" vibes. They are still having trouble maintaining the neon, of course, but it's a great sign even when it isn't 100% lit.  
 
Although in more than three years since that conversation with Dennis Hofmann I've never gotten inside to see how the renovation turned out, I still hope to actually bowl there one of these days before the curtain falls on either Parkway Lanes, my car or me  Cool.
 
I see it has had a Web update and a change of home page URL in the interim...but it looks like the update needs an update Smiley.  
http://www.parkwaylanesnj.com/pway/
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #103 - Oct 4th, 2010, 11:18am
 
I was there last year and it looked really nice inside. I can remember a time when the place seemed to really be falling apart.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #104 - Oct 4th, 2010, 11:27am
 
Happy to hear that!  Smiley
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #105 - Oct 9th, 2010, 11:04am
 
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #106 - Oct 14th, 2010, 10:34pm
 
Oh come on now, the site isn't that bad.. is it?  Cheesy
 
I saw the traffic hitting the site from your boards, and decided to pop over and say hello and a thank you for those seeing/thinking/mentioning us. We have been busy.. we just became the #1 bowing center in bergen county on league signups and brought back the PBA Regional Tour to Bergen County for the first time in 20+ years (since the old Paramus Bowling) so we are a bit stoked and I and the owners are running on a lack of sleep to keep up (eh, it's fun anyway!).
 
As for the sign, we haven't done any work as of late because we hope to give it a bit of a paint job before Winter hits. Also some customers or whoever thought it was fun to throw rocks. Bah. Either way, she will light again for you and drape the cars in the lot in red once more.  Smiley
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #107 - Oct 15th, 2010, 1:18am
 
Welcome back!
 
If I could find my bowling ball, I'd come down to try and maybe bowl an 82. Wink
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #108 - Oct 15th, 2010, 10:57am
 
Hi Denis, nice to hear from you. So glad you are still working with Parkway and that things are going well for the lanes.
 
Quote from dhofmann on Oct 14th, 2010, 10:34pm:
Oh come on now, the site isn't that bad.. is it? Cheesy

Didn't say it was bad—just that it needed an update. Wink I see you've added some things since I visited a couple of weeks ago, when what I mainly noticed was that the text promising a message board (forum) bore a six-month-old date stamp. Although that's still there, the site seems much more alive and inviting now. (Maybe you don't really need a date on that material—restyle as intro rather than blog post?) Still no forum that I can see but now there are registered members displayed, which should help to promote the idea of a Parkway Lanes "community." The "Opinions" in the sidebar are great. Love the ball-and-pin favicon (which I may have overlooked previously). Just, please, correct the spelling of "Forum" in the nav bar—it hurts my brain every time I look up there  Wink.
 
Was the bar always called Ruffian's Lounge or was it rechristened after the renovation? Great name, anyway.
 
Best of luck!
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #109 - Oct 15th, 2010, 7:20pm
 
I'm actually making a few brains hurt with that. It started as a simple typo when I was getting the BETA version together and one employee said that same comment and blew it up just to get under my skin so I am determined to keep it wrong until the boards are up. Grin
 
And.. you're right, I should remove the stamp.  
 
To keep on the topic that started all this though, I still plan on getting a small group of employees together and showing that sign some love next week. I do know, though, she needs more work then what everyone sees (the frame is starting to rust away, and some broken neon). Every time we find a guy, he is just some dude in signs and does neon on the side, so, the quality and price is usually insane. Does anyone know any company or person that works with neon that might actually have a little passion for it? I usually order the transformers and lug those bricks up there myself, but, it could really use some professional work. If anyone can refer some friends or whomever, I would appreciate it greatly.
 
Also, opinion; the letters are painted yellow. Since the neon is red, do you think the interior letters should be a shade of red, or, keep it yellow (daytime reading I guess)? Maybe white instead? I'm a noob at this; I need the pros' opinion (badly)!
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #110 - Oct 16th, 2010, 12:03am
 
Maybe you can get Fred Musso to come up from Wildwood, or he could recommend someone up here?
 
Ultra Neon - 609-972-5008 OR 609-523-4255
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #111 - Oct 16th, 2010, 2:05am
 
I would second Martin's suggestion, Fred Musso certainly should be able to help if he's willing.
 
Another guy who's responsible for a lot of neon TLC in the Wildwoods is Randy Hentges of ABS Signs. See Web site here:
 
http://www.absneon.com/index.html
 
If neither pans out, the best way may be the hard way—go out on a neon expedition after dark and ask for referrals from the businesses that have signs you admire, anywhere from the Elmwood Park Diner to downtown NYC (and places in between where I'm sure you know the pockets of vintage treasure better than I do).  
 
I love this one on West 14th St. It's simple but I think it's pretty old, and it's always been fully lit when I've gone by (disclaimer #1: I don't get downtown nearly as much as I'd like, so I really can't be sure how well the sign has been performing; disclaimer #2: excuse crappy photo from old mobile phone camera that was accidentally set to output smallest image size).
 
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #112 - Oct 16th, 2010, 2:14pm
 
Quote from dhofmann on Oct 15th, 2010, 7:20pm:
Also, opinion; the letters are painted yellow. Since the neon is red, do you think the interior letters should be a shade of red, or, keep it yellow (daytime reading I guess)? Maybe white instead? I'm a noob at this; I need the pros' opinion (badly)!

Needed to refresh my mind's eye before commenting on this, if at all. (Not that I'm any kind of a neon "pro," just a beginning-level enthusiast.)  
 
Having reviewed the video Mark posted upthread and this old shot of mine,  
 

 
I would cast a pretty emphatic vote for leaving the painted color of the letters as is. Red as you anticipate would probably not read well during the day and likely would not have the same brilliance at night either. White would pick up the red-white theme of the bowling pins but I think there's enough of that and white would be ugly in daylight IMO. The yellow, to me, is "organic," I love the way it echoes the bricks.  
 
My $.02 is you really don't need to redesign this sign; you need to focus on rescuing it. And it sounds like you do need a "pro" for that at this point.
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Re: Bowling Alleys
Reply #113 - Oct 17th, 2010, 9:43am
 
What about those bowling pins? Very cool.
 
I agree with Kathi. Yellow is right on the money.
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