Friday, July 24, 2009

Dead abandoned bowling alley

This short photo shoot comprised of three of my lifelong interests: bowling, abandoned/decaying buildings, and neon signs. Mr. Bills was a longtime favorite bowling center located in the Northern Lights shopping area from the 1950s til the early 2000s. Almost directly across the street was another bowling center, Amos Lanes. Amos Lanes closed I believe around 2001 or 2002, leaving only Mr. Bills and it's cool animated neon entrance sign. Sadly, not too long after Amos' closure, Mr. Bills suffered a fire which caused extensive, if not irreparable damage to the interior. So Mr Bills decided to move to the now vacant Amos Lanes building across the street. Though I believe it has had a formal name change in the last couple years, locals still refer to even the new center as "Mr. Bills". A foot note to the bowling alley, when Mr. Bills purchased the still intact but closed center across the street after the fire, there were rumors going around from other bowling centers management and from local pros, that once the renovations to the new center were complete, that they were going to install a few candlepin lanes to go along with the traditional tenpin. This was like a dream come true for me, but unfortunately, they were either just rumors or the ownership chickened out. Either way, I would love for the idea to be revived. I grew up in New England and bowled only candlepin until coming to Ohio, and while I love tenpin, I miss candles and always bowl a few strings (games) when I am back east. A lifelong dream of mine is to own a candlepin/duckpin/tenpin center. With the recent sad closure of AMF Main Lanes, I saw possibilities...so if anyone has a few million dollars they could loan me, let's bring candlepin out of it's New England hiding place! All pics were taken a few weeks ago (were taken on my camera phone, so don't expect much in way of quality), on the afternoon of Sat. 7/4.



I know, I know, the second sign ( B O W L )is not actually neon. But it is a great sign nonetheless. And it would have been SO much nicer if the overhead wires were not there, but oh well, that's life.

4 comments:

Angel Says.... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ColumbusNeon said...

No, my name is not Bobby, sorry !

j said...

I don't see this one anywhere in your blog...for another great sign from a dearly departed bowling alley, check this out:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dania_h/159787965/in/photostream/

Cheryl Vance Veeley said...

I was in bowling commercial for Northern Lights Bowling Alley in 1977 and would like to know if anyone knows where I might get a copy. I was 16 at the time. It was a late night commercial that was played on TV after 11 pm.