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Historic Houston Bowling Alleys


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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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  • 4 months later...

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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  • 8 months later...

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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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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  • 2 years later...
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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foogas66@yahoo.com  Yes.When I was a student at George Washington Jr. High and Reagan H.S. I was a regular at the Paladium Lanes.I set pins,drug and waxed the lanes after closing.Even washed dishes and issued shoes.I met Hall of Famer Billy Welu there.He was a regular along with several other pros.

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I never met Mr.Welu that I can recall.I worked part time thier after Mr. Stewart bought the place.I worked nights,and weekends. the front desk mostly,setup for league play,and whatever needed to be done. think this was '67-68.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/14/2021 at 7:02 AM, RHG said:

foogas66@yahoo.com  Yes.When I was a student at George Washington Jr. High and Reagan H.S. I was a regular at the Paladium Lanes.I set pins,drug and waxed the lanes after closing.Even washed dishes and issued shoes.I met Hall of Famer Billy Welu there.He was a regular along with several other pros.

The timeline here is 1954 to 1958

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  • 1 year later...
26 minutes ago, Nerevar said:

I used to bowl at Fairlanes alley years ago, and another alley, I think on Bunker Hill. Does anyone remember where they could have been?

There was one Bingle and Long Point. Where the Walgreens is now

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  • The title was changed to Anyone Remember Any Old Bowling Alleys Inside The Loop?
On 7/26/2022 at 7:09 PM, Ross said:

There was one Bingle and Long Point. Where the Walgreens is now

I remember a bowling alley within walking distance to that intersection a half mile or so in the 1700 block of Pech street just south of Long Point, right across the street from a Harris Co. Tax Assessor office. Also the 3 story bldg. that houses the Tax Assessor also deals with vehicle license plates. Fastest Harris Co. bldg for new license plates and maybe vehicle title transfer in Houston. It will take you longer to find a parking space (now that the old bowling alley has been torn down) than it will to get your new license plate.

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  • The title was changed to Historic Houston Bowling Alleys
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