A vintage photo of Mallwitz’s Island Lanes, presumably from the 1980s, shows a much different alley than the one that stands today. Its patrons are dressed and coiffed for the times, bright yellows and reds flash across the walls, and strikes and spares are scrawled by hand. A modern-day snapshot illustrates the transformation that has occurred since the center's 1980 opening: 24 lanes feature computerized scoring systems and freshly oiled surfaces that glisten in the muted glow of black lights like a newborn’s head after his first waxing. Other contemporary touches include a full bar, complete with a food menu headlined by popular wings.
Tonawanda Bowling Center's 42 lanes reverberate with the thunderous roar of clattering bowling pins. Over the course of two hours, bowlers hurl multicolored bowling balls down polished wooden lanes as they challenge pins' right to assemble. Automated scoreboards announce budding rivalries between competing rock-slingers, and optional bumpers facilitate gutter-free voyages for on-duty bowling balls. Bowlers waiting their turns can slip into lane-side tables and chairs, where a pitcher of soda washes over parched lips and tongues tired from directional commands issued to defiant balls. For further sustenance, lanesmen can retreat to the full-service lounge and restaurant and partake of its full menu or sing along to Saturday night karaoke.
Bowling balls trundle down Splitsville's 34 slick lanes as touchscreen scoring tracks each player's strikes and splits. At this interactive entertainment mecca, computer-controlled bumpers emerge automatically whenever players requesting them step up to bowl. Friday and Saturday night cosmic bowling sessions enhance frames with black lights and drop-down screens. More than 20 plasma screen televisions and five projectors over the lane enthrall players awaiting their turn. Further overhead, Splitville's lounge, The Loft, treats guests to two stonewalled fireplaces and an entertainment stage as they munch on the kitchen menu's pub eats. Splitsville also pits drivers against each other in a bumper car arena, lures gamers to more than 55 redemption and video games in the arcade, and baits pool sharks at the billiards table by dangling chum from cues.
Sherwood Centre offers bowlers 48 newly renovated five-pin bowling lanes. Computerized scoring machines keep track of fallen pins, allowing bowlers to focus on strategy. The centre hosts leagues for children, adults, and seniors, and it also offers a range of video games so players can further develop their accuracy without the senseless destruction of innocent pins. After a famishing game, bowlers can retreat to Sherwood Centre’s bar and lounge area for a full menu of appetizers, burgers, breakfast sandwiches, and beverages.
Bowl Inn provides a warm and inviting atmosphere in which customers can unwind, indulge in classic cuisine, and enjoy the noble sport of bowling. Unlike most inns, which are staffed by pieces of reanimated taxidermy with mommy issues, Bowl Inn features a friendly staff and numerous bowling lanes. Outfitted with a pair of comfy bowling shoes ($2), bowlers can roll through three invigorating games ($2.75 per game) while they practice laying down telepathic bumpers to keep balls out of the gutters. With the additional savory benefits of a pizza slice ($2) and a nourishing soda ($1.75), customers will have everything they could possibly desire from a bowling alley, unless their desire is for a private grill for slow-roasting all 10 pins.
Burlington Bowl's 48 lanes stretch across 42,000 square feet and have welcomed orb-slinging gamers for decades. Guests begin games by choosing a ball from a selection of spheres weighing anywhere from 4 to 16 pounds and suited for all skill levels. The centre also boasts a pro shop and its own bowling leagues with more than 1,000 members. On select nights, Burlington Bowl transforms into a cosmic glow-in-the-dark bowling show palace, complete with special-effect lighting and the latest music. It also happily host kids' birthday parties that can include bumper bowling and lightweight balls while offering free WiFi for parents.
Checkerboard patterns dominate Brooklyns Bar & Grill, their eatery that was featured on the Food Network's Restaurant Makeover in 2006. Two full bars, a snack bar, and vending machines also fuel pin-battling victories, whereas pool and air-hockey competitions in the games room help guests work up appetites. The bowling centre and its full-service restaurant welcome companies, teams, schools and fundraising efforts throughout the week.