Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.79 value).
All across California, Western Bowling Proprietors Association sends pins scattering at a network of bowling alleys, each with its own personality. In addition to open bowl on automatically scored lanes, many locations host special events that heighten the experience with enhancements such as vibrant lights, lively music, and laser systems that do double duty protecting the alleys' diamond collections. The alleys also house refreshment facilities, pro shops, and diversions that range from arcade games to billiards.
At Jillian's, a colorful, 10-lane alley, a nightclub ambiance pairs with modern d?cor and ample entertainment to host parties. A restaurant sates between-set hunger pains with a menu of American eats such as hot wings, burgers, and pizzas. On Fridays and Saturdays, Jillian's hosts club nights, during which a sound system pumps music. Four billiard tables draw pool sharks, and guests can also enjoy an arcade of 84 electronic games between songs or bowling frames. For birthday parties, a private suite hosts up to 50 people who can play Wii games on a giant projector screen. The venue itself can accommodate anywhere from ten to 1,200 guests and also provides catering.
The sound of crashing pins draws equally loud cheers from players at Ventura Bowling Center as their progress is tallied via an automatic scoring system. Arcade games and dartboards entice them to take a break from alleyways, while hunger draws them toward the snack bar. Meanwhile, a full onsite bar supplies players with enough bubbly soda and ice-cold beer to celebrate a big win or an impressive moonwalk made possible by a pair of smooth-soled bowling shoes.
It may seem odd to find a bowling alley on the busy corridor of Lincoln Blvd that leads to hulking Los Angeles International Airport, but the AMF El Dorado Lanes is normally chock full of locals and recreational league bowlers looking to get their fix. Inside, the space is a 60s retro-lover’s dream, complete with loud tonal accents, a couple of pool tables and some dusty arcade games. Anyone not in the bowling mood can belly up to the sports bar in the back, or take in some casual American food from the attached eatery, which comes complete with a private room for any birthday party needs. For everyone else, it’s all about the lanes – 32 of them in fact, with El Dorado Lanes being billed as an official PBA Practice Center. Various leagues call the alley their home, and a pro shop sells balls and assorted gear.
Don't be surprised if you bowl the best game of your life at Corbin Bowl. Each of the alley's 26 lanes is made with synthetic wood, a surface that's softer than real wood. That means the balls travel with less friction and more speed, a combination that often translates into higher scores and the thrill of a lifetime for anyone who tosses their ball, but forgets to let go.
High-scoring lanes aren't the only modern amenity at Corbin Bowl, though. The center also boasts automatic scoring systems, a fully-loaded arcade, and an on-site sports bar filled with televisions and pool tables. And, the alley is host to a wide range of special events including weekly live musical acts and karaoke.