In 1973, a fire decimated many of the lanes at Eastgate Pro-Bowl, erasing nearly 30 years of history at an alley that had hosted such professional bowlers as the great Earl Anthony. But just as pins grow back after every cataclysmic strike, Pro-Bowl's owners managed to convert the disaster into opportunity, renovating and reopening the facility as Eastgate Lanes. Today, the alley hosts open-bowling hours and leagues throughout the week, rounding out its automatic scoring with a game room and banquet hall. Each weekend, the staff dims the lights for Rock-N-Bowl sessions and karaoke parties, and at the full bar, six flat-panel HD television screens mask players' discussions as they share strategies for sneaking bites of opponents' nachos between frames.
Throughout the 1,500-square-foot indoor playground of Inflatable Insanity, kids surmount air-filled fortresses, only to slide down their slopes or jump on their bouncy interiors. Children under 39 inches retreat to the Tot Lot, and supervisory adults receive free admission to keep an eye on their tykes and make sure they share with their imaginary friends. Party rooms hold groups of up to 20, and hosts can parse out party favors such as self-stuffed teddy bears for an extra fee.
With this deal, movie buffs can scarf down popcorn while watching action-packed celluloid at one of seven different locales, including Cleveland Heights' Cedar Lee Theatre, which won a Scene magazine readers' poll for Best Movie Theater. Catch a flick at the historic Capitol Theatre, nestled in the Gordon Square Arts District, a renovated three-screen spot featuring Hollywood, specialty, and 3D films. Arty cinephiles can catch an independent or foreign film at the Cedar Lee Theatre, where the concession stand slings out tasty baked goods, sandwiches, specialty coffees, and more. Many of Cleveland Cinemas' other theaters boast multiple screens, digital sound, a Groucho Marx robot that quips one-liners from the balcony, and stadium seating for ideal movie gawking.
Dustin Oliver has served as the choir and drama director at Akron North High School and the fine-arts director at Celebration Church, so he knows a thing or two about putting on a performance. Add to that nearly 15 years practicing the guitar, nearly 20 years honing his piano and voice skills, and at least a few minutes humming the theme to M.A.S.H., and it becomes obvious that this artist is a multi-talented whiz. An accomplished musician and composer with a Bachelor’s degree in music from Southeastern University, Dustin is earning his Master’s in theatre from the University of Akron, making him a veritable double threat and a valuable resource for aspiring musicians and actors. When not adding to his own skill set, he leads private and group music lessons in guitar, piano, bass, and voice for students ages 5 and older—as well as private and group acting lessions—following well-established curricula.
Commissioned by local industrialist John Henry Hower and designed by renowned Akron architect Jacob Snyder, the Hower House fills its 28 rooms with mementos from a storied past. The National Historic Landmark?built in 1871?is well preserved, from the 2.5-acre lawn to the mansard roof. Eleven months out of the year, the Victorian mansion hosts tours and programs, wherein visitors can examine treasures from the Howers' world travels.
For more than 35 years, the sound of crashing pins has echoed from the lanes at Stonehedge Family Fun Center. During open hours, bowlers can catch the latest scores on the lounge's 55-inch flat-screen TV, share a pitcher or soda or freshly baked pizza from the kitchen, or head to the arcade to keep their wrists and fingers from atrophying between games. Starting at 10 p.m. every night, 16-foot screens display music videos amid the glowing light show of Lunar Bowling.