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.
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.
As the home of the TSN Classic Bowl Championship, Classic Bowl sees its share of high-stakes bowling. Even during recreational matches, the alley’s shimmering lights reflect the competitive glint in bowlers’ eyes as they stare out at the polished surfaces of 60 lanes that span 70,000 square feet. The echoes of crashing pins resonate throughout this expansive space seven days a week and reach their zenith during cosmic bowling on weekends, when party lights set matches aglow and pins sway to the beats of popular tunes spun by a live DJ. In between games, recharge with food and drinks at a full-service bar or sharpen hand-eye rapport during button-smashing melees in the arcade. Experts at the on-site pro shop equip bowlers with gear, offer helpful advice for improving scores, and feed energy bars to the hamsters that thanklessly propel balls toward their targets.
Computerized scoring tracks bowlers’ adventures on Streetsville Bowl’s 12 lanes, documenting their every victory or defeat over an opposing army of five pins. Optional bumpers can shift the battle's odds in players’ favor, preventing balls from rolling away into the gutter or off to pacifist colonies to exist alongside pins in harmony. During breaks from the action, players can refuel with snack-bar fare such as piping-hot mozzarella sticks, or man the joysticks at the onsite arcade.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, satyrs, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise Mensa International 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 good times to all manner of dames, gents, and wee little ball-boys and ball-girls throughout the land. And with today's Groupon uniting the people in a flurry of ball-hurling fun, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $3.99 value). Each of the arena-esque alleys features between 32 and 48 lanes, so fear of arriving and finding yourself laneless is possible but minimal, like an Antarctica-sized asteroid landing exactly on Antarctica.