Forty gleaming synthetic lanes sprawl the length of Concourse Bowling Center's 42,000-square-foot bowling gallery. Overhead screens keep score, and lane-illuminating lights lie in wait until 10 p.m. on weekend nights, when the audio-visual spectacle of cosmic tenpin induces squirrels to temporarily suspend hibernation and just dance. Larger parties can rent out one of the alley's VIP suites, which sequester lanes and lounge areas behind giant curtains to create fortresses of bowling solitude that can accommodate up to 320 simultaneous bowlers. When not immediately engrossed in clobbering pins, bowlers can seek out snippets of a sports game on 1 of the alley's 25 sports-tuned plasma screens, or scarf a slice of house-made pizza and an amber pint at Kingpin's Bar & Grill, located just aft of the bowling action.
Driving by Linbrook Bowl might inspire a double take. Not because of their classic and colorful neon signage, but because of what it advertises: the alley is open 24 hours a day. This means people can pummel pins or dance around like Fred Flintstone no matter what time it is. In addition to 40 lanes, Linbrook Bowl is equipped with an onsite coffeeshop that helps fuel players all day and night. Bowlers can also grab a drink or bite to eat at The Kopa Room, while watching a sports game on TV or listening to amateur crooners charm the crowd with karaoke.
A night at Chaparral Entertainment Centers means more than just a few games of bowling—with its up to 48 shining lanes are the main attraction. The alley's lounge hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights, so bowlers can jam out to a band, karaoke, or a DJ, who might accept requests for "We Are the Champions" after every strike. There's also a big-screen TVs, six pool tables, shuffle board, darts, and an arcade in the lounge. At a full-service snack bar, bowlers can order appetizers to tide them over between frames, and they can choose from up to 44 beers on tap, wine, and liquor.
Bowlers on a quest for either recreation or league glory can soak up the retro vibe at La Habra 300 Bowl until at least 11 p.m. every night. On Friday and Saturday, cosmic effects add a festive glow to nocturnal bowling (extra fee), evoking the excitement of outer space without the danger posed by reckless spaceship drivers. The center also offers party packages that furnish groups with lane space and shoes but require partygoers to bring their own cakes.
With 36 lanes?all with bumper capabilities?Oak Tree Lanes can accommodate kid and adult parties, groups of friends, and professional bowlers at once. Just steps away from the lanes, the younger crowd finds an arcade flashing with electronic distractions, and for adults a two-story sports bar plays up to five different games at once. Men and women of a certain?that is, 21 and older?can pop the caps off of more than two dozen kinds beer and sample nachos, pizzas, and burgers. During breaks from tossing or petting bowling balls, guests can exercise their hand-eye coordination with rounds of pool and darts, or retreat to the private party area on the second floor.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.