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Anyone remember any old bowling alleys inside the Loop?

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does anyone know of any old bowling alley locations inside the loop, preferably in the northwest quarter?

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Do you want existing buildings or just where they were located? For example, there used to be a bowing alley in the Fulton Theater building, and after that it became the Stardust ballroom. But now the building is gone and the location is part of an HISD campus.

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Palace Lanes is on Bellaire. Stadium Bowl was where the South Main Target is now. I think there's still one out 290.

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Are you mainly looking for bowling alleys that are open as something else now?

I have found a couple on HCAD that are still under the "bowling alley" building use code (8306) but I can run a check on some directories soon.

Most I know of off the top of my head are not inside the loop like Bellfort Lanes (http://arch-ive.org/...bellfort-lanes/)

and Meadowcreek Bowling Alley on Richey:

meadowcreekbowlingalley.jpg

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There WAS a bowling alley on the SE side of town, on a street close to the Gulf Freeway, west side, I'm guessing, in between College Rd. & Almeda Genoa Rd. and of course, the one at Gulfgate was cool, demolished.

Think there was one near Gessner and I-10, side st. North of I-10 & Memorial City. Became a gun range.

Edited by NenaE
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If we're going outside the loop, there were two on Little York close to 45 and one on 529. One on the south side of Little York was fairly small, and I can't remember the name. The building stood for years after it closed and it became a church. Don't think the building is still there now. On the north side was Big Texan lanes. It went into a former store, again don't remember, and after it closed it became the Food Town that is still there. On 529, Imperial Valley Lanes, an AMF location, was open until about 2004 or so. That building is still there and unoccupied.

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If we're going outside the loop, there were two on Little York close to 45 and one on 529. One on the south side of Little York was fairly small, and I can't remember the name. The building stood for years after it closed and it became a church. Don't think the building is still there now. On the north side was Big Texan lanes. It went into a former store, again don't remember, and after it closed it became the Food Town that is still there. On 529, Imperial Valley Lanes, an AMF location, was open until about 2004 or so. That building is still there and unoccupied.

I have bowled at all three. I was a member of the bowling club in junior high (Stovall, Aldine ISD) and we would go on Wednesday afternoons to that small alley on Little York. I can't remember the name but it seemed old even then (around 1973). Could it have been Canino Lanes? That half way makes sense in that Canino was the name of a prominent family in the area (think Farmers' Market) and there is a Canino Road that runs parallel to Little York. Firebird65 are you there?

Big Texan was, at first, a Grants or some other discount/variety store. It seemed huge compared to any bowling alley I had seen up to that time. It was a great late-night hang out for a bunch of teenagers.

A good friend of mine worked at the bowling lanes on Aldine-Bender (FM 525, not 529. That is in the northwest part of the county near Copperfield). His family lived in the Imperial Valley neighborhood so he could even walk to the place. I got some free games and soft drinks at that place as one might imagine.

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There WAS a bowling alley on the SE side of town, on a street close to the Gulf Freeway, west side, I'm guessing, in between College Rd. & Almeda Genoa Rd.

You're thinking of Mimosa Lanes? It was on Mosely between Airport and Gulf Freeway. I believe there's a hotel there now.

I ate more than my share of grilled cheese sandwiches in the snack bar there as a kid. First place I ever bowled.

After that we spent a lot of Saturday mornings at Meadow Creek, and later Armadilla II off of Fuqua. Armadilla II had the fancy automated scoring on TV's!

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Back in the 70's there was a bowling alley on Shepherd or maybe Durham between I-10 and 11th st.?

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Thanks everyone...keep them coming! I am mostly looking for existing buildings that were bowling alleys, but all memories are welcome.

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There was the Bellaire Lanes on Bissonett just about 1/4 mile outside the West Loop near the "new/moved" location of Don's record Shop. It is till there but redesigned and has new clients.

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Pan African Church on MLK near Albermarle uses the old South Park Bowling building

On Luell just east of Jensen there's a (vacant?) building that was Luell Bowling Lanes (right next door to the Centre Theater)

The Christian Assembly building on S Post Oak near Willow was Post Oak Lanes

The bar on Lawndale near 75th (El Portal Disco?) was Lawndale Bowling Center

The medical offices at 7015 Almeda (just south of OST) was apparently MacGregor Bowling but you can't tell

I *think* the old Ayala Tortillas on Fulton @ Woodard was Lindale Bowling Center

Also, Clear Lake Lanes on Diana Ln. recently closed up shop :(

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You're thinking of Mimosa Lanes? It was on Mosely between Airport and Gulf Freeway. I believe there's a hotel there now.

I ate more than my share of grilled cheese sandwiches in the snack bar there as a kid. First place I ever bowled.

After that we spent a lot of Saturday mornings at Meadow Creek, and later Armadilla II off of Fuqua. Armadilla II had the fancy automated scoring on TV's

Yes, that was the name, TimmyChan...I think there is an HISD school in that location.

I forgot about the one at Lawndale, Sevfiv.

Guess we didn't exactly stick to locations asked for, but it's fun to remember them. I went to Gulfgate, Meadowcreek and the Bellfort one, once.

Edited by NenaE

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There was the Bellaire Lanes on Bissonett just about 1/4 mile outside the West Loop near the "new/moved" location of Don's record Shop. It is till there but redesigned and has new clients.

It was at Bissonnet and First by what is now Charlies BBQ. Not much left of the old building now that the surgery center has taken over most of the area.

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thanks for the correct about 525. I knew that, just had a senior moment i guess. is that how it starts?

From personal experience I can say "Yes, that is how it starts." Another great thing about HAIF is it gives me the opportunity to 'exercise' my memory which is getting pretty flabby these days. :(

Also, Clear Lake Lanes on Diana Ln. recently closed up shop :(

That's a pity. My family and I bowled there just last July. My two grown children took their mother and me there to celebrate her birthday. The four of us going bowling was something we did more frequently when the children were young and living at home.

This is a little off-topic but: I've 'bowled' on the Wii and there is no comparison to real bowling. I sort of suck at bowling (just like golf) but I enjoy it none-the-less. We as a society need to shut off the laptops, I-pads, etc., get off our rear ends, and socialize face-to-face while doing something that is at least a bit physical. In my warped mind even playing 42 is physical compared to staring at a screen and clicking a mouse.

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Windsor Bowling Alley on Sage Rd. Don't go inside now unless you like seeing naked ladies.

Does it still smell like bowling shoes?

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I remember the bowling alley in the Merchant's Park Shopping Center on North Shepherd at West 11th. It was where I bowled the best game of my life one night back in the 60s.

I bowled 8 straight strikes spread out over two games, and finished that second game at 238. It was a memorable night, but, sadly, I never even came close to that again.

Thanks for the memories.

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Couple of alleys in or very near the Loop that I frequented back when:

North Shepherd Bowl- 701 N. Shepherd. This was mentioned earlier. Became a night club called NRG in the 80's, and building was razed in the overhaul of Merchant's Park. The location of the alley was where the Chinese Buffet currently sits.

Del Mar Lanes- Mangum Rd. Still in existence and still stuck in the 60's last I was in there. Still has the old Reagan National Bank signs above the lanes from the old RNB on W. 19th.

Little York Bowl- This was the small alley directly across from Big Texan on Little York @ N. Fwy. Became a church, as mentioned, with absolutely no renovation whatsoever...including the lanes still intact under the "new" floor. (Read that as a carpeted plywood covering) Building is no longer there, as it is now a large strip mall with Famsa as the main anchor.

Big Texan Lanes- This was the grandaddy of bowling alleys. Seems like it had nearly 100 lanes. At least that's the way it appeared in my childhood. Closed in mid 90's. Part of it became Goodwill Thrift store which in turn closed and is now Food Town.

Edited by osr403

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The El Portal on Lawndale (near 75th) was originally (since the '50's) called the Tropicana.

The building is still there.

There was also a bowling alley at the corner of OST and Scott that was built off of the ground and which had parking under the building. I don't remember the name of it, but it was probably built in the 1960's. The building is no longer there.

Edited by msteele6

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Reading FilioScotia's post about the bowling alley on N. Shepherd reminds me of the people who, I believe, owned that alley. They were Don Ellis and Pete Treybig if I'm not mistaken. They also owned the Tropicana on Lawndale. Both men are members of the Texas Bowling Hall of Fame.

I can still remember watching Mr. Ellis practicing during slow times at the bowling alley on Lawdale, rolling strike after strike. When he didn't throw a strike, he just reset the pins.

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Reading FilioScotia's post about the bowling alley on N. Shepherd reminds me of the people who, I believe, owned that alley. They were Don Ellis and Pete Treybig if I'm not mistaken. They also owned the Tropicana on Lawndale. Both men are members of the Texas Bowling Hall of Fame.

I can still remember watching Mr. Ellis practicing during slow times at the bowling alley on Lawdale, rolling strike after strike. When he didn't throw a strike, he just reset the pins.

My wife knows Don Ellis's wife, so I contacted her about your comments. She replied as shown below...

The name of the bowling center on North Shepherd was Merchants Park . They bought it in 1968, bought the Palace in 1973, built another one named Diamond on the far North, on 1960, in 1977 and another one named Emerald in 1978. In 1983, they built another one named Copperfield on the west side. He had two partners, Pete Treybig and Bill Lillard. Don and Bill are in the National Hall of Fame, State and Local. Pete is in the State and Local.

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In the very early 90s, perhaps '91 or '92, my 2 son's Boy Scout troops had their annual banquet in the old Tropicana location on Lawndale. Victor Trevino attended and even presented some of the awards. It was clearly not a bowling alley any longer but was interesting anyway.

I've not been in it since then but it does draw a crowd on weekends.

You may want to drop in some Saturday evening.

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I've not seen a post for a "downtown" alley.  The one I'm thinking of had a huge mural of RipVan Winkle right as you walked in the door.  My dad bowled there in the late 50's, early 60's.  I want to say it would have been on the near east side, but unsure.  It may also have been upstairs.

 

There was also the Turn Verein on Alameda near Hermann Park.  I believe this was a German social club of sorts.  Never got to go there.  

 

The N. Shepherd Lanes was located at N. Shepherd at Crosstimbers.   Merchants Park was at Shepherd just south of 11th. 

 

We always called the alley on Little York -  Little York Lanes.  It used to host professional tournaments.

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I also remember a bowling alley on Harrisburg, don't know what the original name was. It's long gone now but turned into a night club called "Soul World" I believe. With the changing demographics of the area it eventually became known as "Latin Soul World" if that makes any sense.

 

I was only in it a couple of times since I lived much closer to the Tropicana on Lawndale but thought I'd mention it in the thread.

 

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During the late 40's and I think mid to late 50's, there was a 4 or 6 lane bowling alley located on the corner of Travis and Prarie. There's a place called 'Cabo' located there now (according to Google maps). On the Prairie Street side, there was a walk up window where you could order hamburgers five for a buck. My mom worked across the street at a place called Columbia Dry Goods (which now it looks like it's been turned into a parking garage).

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Lubbock Evening Journal, 4/12/1956

 

 

 Bowling Palace At Houston Destroyed HOUSTON <* — A three alarm fire destroyed the Recreation Bowling Palace widely known among devotees of the sport in the Southwest, early today, and causing an estimated loss of $250,000 . The building housing the 20 alley establishment was owned by Dr. Ralph Cloud of Austin Fred Magee, owner of a bowling syndicate, operated the place. chairman and vegetable growers in some 30 High Plains towns are among charter members.

 

http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/51078781/

 

 

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I'm resurrecting an old thread here to comment that the Palace Lanes changed their name to Bowl on Bellaire last year, then went out of business about a month ago.  

 

 

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I would like to know more about the Fulton bowling alley.  I know it started as a movie theater, was converted to a bowing alley, and then became the Stardust Ballroom that I walked past almost every day going home from Davis.  But I have no idea of when those events occurred.

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On 1/31/2017 at 4:02 PM, csears said:

I'm resurrecting an old thread here to comment that the Palace Lanes changed their name to Bowl on Bellaire last year, then went out of business about a month ago.  

 

 

That's a shame.

 

There's something on the open-source mapping site Wikimapia that explains a bit more about Palace Lanes. No idea how true it is.

The building was built in two parts with the western half being completed in the late 1950s and the eastern half in the early 1960s. Its hard to tell the what original purpose of the building was, but there is a sign facing Belllaire Boulevard revealing that the original name of the building was simply "Bellaire Building" and that it had a different address (4189 Bellaire Boulevard instead of 4191 Bellaire Boulevard). By the early 1990s it was a bowling ally owned by AMF (a large chain of bowling centers). At some point in the late 1990s or early 2000s, the bowling center broke away from AMF and became an independently owned center, yet still some AMF decal remains. 

 

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On 5/24/2017 at 1:13 PM, IronTiger said:

That's a shame.

 

There's something on the open-source mapping site Wikimapia that explains a bit more about Palace Lanes. No idea how true it is.

 

 

Back in the late 60's I worked for a very old bowling alley on McDuffie St. and W.Grey.It was called Paladium Lanes.It was quite the alley in its day.Built in the 30's I think.Originally had "duck pins". It was once owned by PBA man Billy Welu.The building was later remodeled into an office complex.

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On 5/13/2013 at 9:56 AM, msteele6 said:

I also remember a bowling alley on Harrisburg, don't know what the original name was. It's long gone now but turned into a night club called "Soul World" I believe. With the changing demographics of the area it eventually became known as "Latin Soul World" if that makes any sense.

 

I was only in it a couple of times since I lived much closer to the Tropicana on Lawndale but thought I'd mention it in the 

Glad you mentioned that bowling alley.I worked for the guy who owned that alley but at his other alley off of S. Shepherd.He wanted to turn the one off Shepherd into a Country western dance club but they wouldn't let him in that area so close to River Oaks.So he remodeled the one on the eastside. That was about 1967 I think.I saw quite afew CW stars pass thru their.

 

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Use to be an old alley off W.Grey & S.Shepherd.The Paladium.Had like 32 lanes.1960's for me.No video games just pinball.

Edited by bonappettit

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Anyone remember what bowling cost back in the early-mid 1950's?  A friend of mine said $.35.  I thought it was more like $.75.

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Wasn't the bowling alley on Aldine Bender known as Spare Time Lanes?   I bowled there in the early 80's, but I want to say that was the name.  Even if it's not there anymore, does anyone know the address?  

 

Thanks in advance.

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15 hours ago, Rodzilla said:

Wasn't the bowling alley on Aldine Bender known as Spare Time Lanes?   I bowled there in the early 80's, but I want to say that was the name.  Even if it's not there anymore, does anyone know the address?  

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Assuming we're talking about the same place, the AMF North Lanes were at 74 Aldine Bender. The building is still there, but it was gutted after the bowling alley shut down. It was advertised for sale on Loopnet afterward:

 

https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/74-Aldine-Bender-Rd-Houston-TX/15355433/

 

I haven't been by that section of Aldine Bender in a long time, so I'm not sure if the building is occupied now, and if so, by whom. 

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On 3/29/2020 at 3:19 PM, mkultra25 said:

 

Assuming we're talking about the same place, the AMF North Lanes were at 74 Aldine Bender. The building is still there, but it was gutted after the bowling alley shut down. It was advertised for sale on Loopnet afterward:

 

https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/74-Aldine-Bender-Rd-Houston-TX/15355433/

 

I haven't been by that section of Aldine Bender in a long time, so I'm not sure if the building is occupied now, and if so, by whom. 

Well thanks for the information on the location.  I could have sworn they were once known as Spare time lanes.   Thanks again.

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South Post oak bowl was not to far from Palace bowl on Bellaire. After the alley fell to money problems, it became a church and still remains that today. 11120 So. Postoak rd.

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Odd I didn't see anything about the   Bellfort Bowling Lanes at 6111 Bellfort.  Built in ~1959.  My parents  went to most of these listed but Bellfort was their home alley, 

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