Today is the 60th anniversary of the opening of Covina Bowl, one of the most elaborate bowling centers ever built and an architectural wonder designed by Powers, Daly & DeRosa where mid-century modern meets ancient Egypt. On February 11, 1956 actor Gil Stratton hosted the opening ceremonies for the fabulous complex, a 24 hour-a-day city of entertainment that included a nightclub, cocktail lounge, coffee shop, barber shop, beauty salon, banquet halls, and even a supervised playroom for children.
Your friendly Ask Chris columnist is organizing a celebration this evening, and you are invited—$3.79 gets you a game a game in this historic center. Stratton’s son Cary will present a pyramid-shaped birthday cake to management and fans in the spectacular recreation hall at 7 p.m..
A new generation of bowling centers has opened to take advantage of renewed interest in the sport. Luxurious environments that blend nightclub amenities, fancy food, and special lighting effects have been brought to older centers like Mar Vista Lanes, which was rebranded “Bowlero” by Covina Bowl’s operator BowlmorAMF last April. The 1933 Group is currently working to restore and reopen the long-closed Highland Park Bowl.
Bowling remains the number one participatory sport in the country, outpacing golf, soccer and basketball with 22% of Americans identifying as bowlers.