Slide Show: Bowlarama at the Architecture and Design Museum


There was a time when the streets of Southern California were teeming with jaunty rooflines, giant neon signs, and factories that made rocket ships. Enthusiasm for the space age colored the modern architecture that dotted our roadside, and restaurants, schools, and even religious buildings embraced the futuristic style. Some of the most extreme examples were the wondrous new bowling centers that sprang to life after the introduction of the automatic pinsetter in the early 1950s. The sport with a seedy reputation was reimagined as a family friendly paradise at lavish complexes like Covina Bowl, which featured a restaurant, nightclub, cocktail lounge, beauty parlor, barber shop, billiard hall, community rooms, and complementary child care.

A new exhibit at the A+D Architecture and Design museum (curated by yours truly) explores this era of extravagance through the art, culture, and technology of the modern bowling center and shines a light on the remaining giants of the era. Enjoy this slideshow, and then go roll a game at one of these fabulous mid-century complexes to experience it for yourself.  

Bowlarama: California Bowling Architecture 1954-1964
Opens April 11th with a public reception from 7-9pm
6032 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036

Bay Shore Lanes
234 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica

4666 Holt Blvd., Montclair

Covina Bowl
1060 San Bernardino Rd., Covina

Friendly Hills Lanes
15545 Whittier Blvd., Whittier 

Linbrook Bowl
201 S. Brookhurst, Anaheim

Mar Vista Lanes
12125 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles

Palos Verdes Bowl
24600 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance 

12655 Ventura Blvd., Studio City 

Shatto 39 Lanes
3255 W. 4th St., Los Angeles 

5925 Calle Real, Goleta