email: roadarch@outlook.com

Bowling Signs (page 1)

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The photos in this section were moved here from my Signs section to accompany an article which I'm writing for the (Society for Commercial Archeology) Journal magazine. This section and article will provide information about and examples of vintage bowling signs. I will be adding more information once I begin researching and making calls for the article which will be published Spring 2024.

As with most of these "companion" sections, the pages are organized alphabetically by state.

Alaska:
Center Bowl (Anchorage)

Plamor Lanes
Huntsville, AL
Leland Lanes
Tuscaloosa, AL
The Plamor Lanes features a classic giant pin sign over its entrance. [map]

The Leland Lanes sign is probably from the 1950s. There was also a giant pin panel to the right of the ball panel which was gone by 2013. The bowling alley closed in 2019 but this sign was still there in 2022. [map]

Central
Bowling Lanes
Hot Springs, AR
Springdale
Bowl [gone]
Springdale, AR
Holiday Bowl
Texarkana, AR
Golden Pin Lanes
Tucson, AZ
The Central Bowling Lanes opened in 1960. This photo is from 2010. By 2013, the sign's neon had been replaced with backlit plastic letters. For more, see this website. [map]

The Springdale Bowl featured this colorful sign which was probably from the 1950s or 1960s. By 2016, the sign had been replaced with a plastic and LED sign.

The Holiday Bowl has been around since the 1950s. The sign is still lit at night. For more, see this website. [map]

The Golden Pin Lanes opened in 1960. These signs are probably from then. The business closed in 2019. In 2022, the building was demolished but the signs and curved, rock wall will be preserved. A new building for the Pima County Northwest Service Center will be built behind it. [map]

More Arizona:
Cerbat Lanes (Kingman)

Linbrook Bowl
Anaheim, CA
The Linbrook Bowl opened in 1958. This sign is believed to be from then. It is about 25 feet tall and features a revolving bowling pin. It reads "40 Lanes" on one side and "Open 24 Hours" on the other. The "BOWL" letters are lit with scintillating, flashing bulbs. For more, see this website. [map]

Albany Bowl
Albany, CA
Burney Bowl
Burney, CA
The Albany Bowl had been here since at least 1953. It closed in 2020. [map]

The Burney Bowl was built in 1960. This sign appears to be from then. [map]

Canoga Park Bowl
(now Winnetka Bowl) [gone]
Canoga Park, CA
Riverside Lanes
Colusa, CA
Gage Bowl
Huntington Park, CA
The Canoga Park Bowl sign appears to be from the 1950s or 1960s. This photo is from 2013. In 2014, the business became the Winnetka Bowl and the lettering at the top of the sign was changed. By 2018, the neon letters on both of the bowling alley signs were replaced with backlit plastic.

The Riverside Lanes was built around 2000. The design was based on the Crossroads Bowl sign which was built in 1963 in Williams, CA. The owner of the Riverside Lanes had hoped to restore that sign and install it at his bowling alley. However, the sign fell apart when it was removed. The paint colors of this replica sign were a best guess match of the original. [map]

The Gage Bowl was built in 1960 and this sign is probably from then. Around 2019, the sign was repainted with red on top and black for the lower panels. For more, see this website. [map]

Cedar Lanes
Fresno, CA
2008: 2019:
The Cedar Lanes opened in 1959 and this sign might be from then. By 2010, the plastic balls on this sign were gone. In 2012, the bowling alley was demolished. This sign and the former pole sign shown on the right are now at CNI Signs.

Southwest Bowl [gone]
Los Angeles, CA
The Southwest Bowl was built in 1958. These photos are from 2008. Later that year, the bowling alley closed. The signs were destroyed but part of the building was preserved. It now houses the Foundation Center. [map]

Valley Bowl
Madera, CA
Century
Bowl [gone]
Merced, CA
Surf Bowl
Oceanside, CA
The Valley Bowl sign appears to be from the 1950s or 1960s. The bowling alley is still operating. [map]

The Century Bowl sign was probably from the 1950s. The bowling alley closed in the mid-1990s. This photo is from 2014. The sign was still there in 2016 but gone by 2017.

The Surf Bowl has been here since at least the early 1960s. The sign has been updated a bit. For more, see this website. [map]

Paddock Bowl
Pacheco, CA
Country Bowl
Redding, CA
The Paddock Bowl sign appears to be from the 1950s or 1960s. It was originally animated. For more, see this website. [map]

This Country Bowl sign appears to be from the 1950s or 1960s. For more, see this website. [map]

Mels Bowl
Redwood City, CA
2008: 2014:
Mels Bowl opened in 1960. The 41-foot-tall sign was installed at that time. The bowling alley was owned by Mel Weiss who was better known for the restaurant chain which he co-founded. The first Mels Drive-in was built in San Francisco in 1947. Weiss owned three other bowling alleys in Northern California. All four were designed by Goodwin Steinberg. Around 1969, the Mels Bowl in Redwood City was renamed the AMF Redwood Lanes. However, the sign remained untouched and everyone still referred to the place as Mels Bowl. Weiss never used an apostrophe in the names of his businesses.

The Redwood City bowling alley closed in 2011 and was demolished the following year. The sign was saved by the City since it was found to have "historic merit." In 2012, the sign reappeared at the Redwood City Car Wash just up the road from where Mels Bowl was located. The owner of the car wash which is located on San Mateo County property has enthusiastically agreed to "host" the sign. During the sign's restoration, one side was left intact while the other side was adapted for the car wash. Lam hopes to install a plaque next to the sign to explain its significance. [map]

Country Club Bowl
San Rafael, CA
Cardinal
Lanes [gone]
Sacramento, CA
Park Bowl
San Francisco, CA
PINZ
Entertainment
Center
Studio City, CA
The Country Club Bowl opened in 1959. The "40" refers to the bowling alley's 40 lanes. For more, see this website. [map]

The Cardinal Lanes opened originally as the North Bowl in 1941. This sign was probably installed in the 1940s or 1950s. In 1962, the bowling alley was renovated and renamed the Cardinal Lanes. The building has been vacant since the 1990s. The sign was removed in 2015. It is believed it was sold to a private collector. For more, see this website.

The Park Bowl operated here from 1952-1996. The bowling sign on the tower remains. The building has housed the Amoeba Music record store since 1997. For more, see this website. [map]

The PINZ Entertainment Center opened in 1958 as Joe Kirkwood Lanes. This sign is probably from then. It became PINZ in 2003. [map]

Capitol Bowl
West Sacramento, CA
2008: 2014:
The Capitol Bowl opened in the early 1950s as the El Rancho Bowl. The sign shown on the left is gone now. It fell victim to a local sign ordinance change. It was replaced with a plastic sign. However, it seems the vintage sign may be in storage. The neon was also removed from the facade which was remodeled in 2012 as shown above. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

Valley Center Bowl
Salinas, CA
The Valley Center Bowl signs appear to be from the 1950s. The pylon's neon sign is animated. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Aztec Bowl
San Diego, CA
The Aztec Bowl operated from 1959-2001. This sign was installed on the roof. When the bowling alley was demolished for a housing development, the sign was saved and reinstalled at the former site. [map]

Del Rosa Lanes [gone]
San Bernardino, CA
San Gabriel
Lanes [gone]
San Gabriel, CA
Freeway Lanes
Selma, CA
The Del Rosa Lanes opened in 1961. It closed in 2016. The building was demolished and the sign was adapted for the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center which is now at the site. [map]

The San Gabriel Lanes opened in 1955. The sign is probably from then. This photo is from 2012. The business was closed for many years before the building was demolished in 2019. The sign was removed and is now at the Valley Relics Museum in Van Nuys, CA.

The Freeway Lanes opened in 1960. This sign was restored in 2006. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

West Lane Bowl
Stockton, CA
Pacific Avenue Bowl
Stockton, CA
Corbin Bowl
Tarzana, CA
The West Lane Bowl opened in 1960. This sign is probably from then. There may have been four other letters on the four poles extending from the sign. [map]

The Pacific Avenue Bowl opened in 1958. This sign may be from then or slightly later. [map]

The Corbin Bowl opened in 1959 and this sign is probably from then. For more, see this website. [map]

More California:
Wonder Bowl (Anaheim) [vintage; gone]
Kona Lanes Bowl: 1, 2 (Costa Mesa; now Cincinnati, OH)
Holiday Bowl (Hayward) [gone]
La Habra 300 Bowl (La Habra)
Java Lanes: 1, 2 (Long Beach) [gone]
Hollywood Star Lanes: 1, 2, 3 (Los Angeles) [gone]
Jensen's Recreation Center (Los Angeles)
Monterey Lanes (Monterey)
Thunderbird Lanes (Ontario)
Wagon Wheel Bowl (Oxnard) [gone]
Orange Bowl (Rialto) [gone]
Safeway (former Futurama Bowl) (San Jose)
Main Street Bowl: 1, 2 (Susanville)
former Friendly Hills Bowl (Whittier)

California Mid-Century Modern Bowling Alleys

Bowling Signs
page 2
Bowling Signs
page 3
Bowling Signs
page 4
Bowling Signs
page 5
Bowling Signs
page 6
Bowling Signs
page 7
Bowling Signs
page 8
Bowling Signs
page 9
Main SCA Article
Companion Page
Main Signs Page