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.
The passionate, experienced instructors at Tonawanda Dance Arts, which houses two air-conditioned studios, transform pint-size fumblers of any skill level into prima ballerinas with a bevy of enriching classes. Dancers can choose from a blossoming assortment of styles, opting for the rigorous-yet-graceful ballet, the passionate and expressive lyrical, or the stoic and dignified standing still. Hosts of classes populate Tonawanda’s busy schedule, allowing budding Fred Astaires to express themselves in myriad manifestations.
Paintballs and BBs whiz through the air across Buffalo Battleground's 13,000-square-foot indoor area, where opponents snipe enemies from behind obstacles or engage them head-on with wide-open barrages. Although the action can get intense, the staff takes every precaution to keep guests safe. Before arming them with their choice of shotgun, pistol, or assault rifle, the staff outfits guests with full-face protection and limits the velocity of ammo to 351 feet-per-second.
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.
The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum gives visitors a view of the inner workings of a company whose products became part of the American amusement landscape throughout much of the twentieth century. A network of seven different interconnected structures, the museum occupies the production facilities of the Allan Herschell Company, the carrousel cartel credited with thawing icy relations between humans and horses. Examine exhibits such as the Lockman Collection, an assemblage of 20 different hand-carved creatures that illustrates the stylistic evolution of carrousel animals, and the Wurlitzer Music Roll Shop, showcasing manufacturing equipment and more than 1,600 hand-punched music rolls designed to coax wooden beasts from their lumber slumber. Admission to the museum includes a complimentary ride on one of two on-site carrousels: a 1940s-era aluminum ride equipped with miniature mounts for kids only, and a carrousel sporting 36 adult-sized steeds that dates to 1916, the year it was discovered that horses aren't poisonous.
The historic 85-year-old Riviera Theatre welcomes moviegoers to experience the show-stopping splendor of an original 1920s movie palace, boasting no less than 1,150 seats and myriad perching possibilities for taking in a roster of Streisand's most beloved films. Beginning June 30 with What's Up, Doc? and concluding with The Way We Were on September 1, the film series presents nine of Babs's best flicks for ultimate fan perusal and trivia-night upsets at Fran Drescher's house. Bask beneath the crystal-laden chandelier on July 21 and August 11 to chortle along to Barbra's portrayal of famed comedienne Fannie Brice in both Funny Girl and Funny Lady respectively, and mark your calendar for July 7, when A Star is Born examines Streisand's brief foray into celestial midwifery. Pummel your senses in The Main Event (July 28), extend greetings to Hello, Dolly! (August 4), witness the charged banter during The Owl and the Pussycat (August 18), and don cloudless glasses during On a Clear Day You Can See Forever(August 25).