Dayton Memories > Bowling alleys in Greater Dayton
Bowling alleys in Greater Dayton
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59 posts
Feb 28, 2010
1:40 PM
The old Academy Lanes was once called the Federation Alleys. I knew former owners' Bill Gaines (slightly) and Bill Peters, Sr. who I believed owned Academy when it finally shutdown, complete with pinboys, in about 1971 or thereabout. That was the only time I had ever seen pinboys! His son, Bill, Jr., worked there as a 12 year old pinboy and later went on to a successful career on the pro tour. The Dayton Daily News, just this morning, wrote how Jr. won the prestigious city tournament all events total last week. That was the only time I had ever seen pinboys!
3 posts
Mar 01, 2010
3:39 PM
hey doug, i do not remember palace lanes , but that is where my uncle shot his 300 in 1960
4 posts
Mar 02, 2010
5:38 PM
Centerville Lanes on 48 at Spring Valley, closed just a few years ago to make way for another Walgreen's/Rite-Aid/CVS/whatever!!!!
70 posts
Apr 12, 2010
11:36 AM
When National Lanes shut down the side located on Jasper Street (the other side was on Brown Street), was "The Echo" nightclub the place that opened up there soon after?
3 posts
Apr 13, 2010
7:21 AM
I think it was actually called the 1st Stop, with a stop sign with the name on it. And they shoved all the lanes left on that end together to make the dance floor, arrows, dots and foul lines included
10 posts
Aug 04, 2010
11:41 AM
Doug68 Go to Dayton History Books, links to Historic Districts--- McPherson Town and you will find the school in question.
22 posts
Aug 04, 2010
4:09 PM
There was also The Palace on West 3rd St.`
19 posts
Dec 14, 2010
9:27 AM
GOD! I still remember pin spotters at Belmont Lanes
2 posts
Dec 19, 2010
10:50 AM
I remember that Walter Cook guy at McCook Bowl he was crazy for sure lol OH wait that's ME. lol Jerry thanks for saying I looked go! not many people have said that lol I loved my years at McCook, notice I didn't say working at McCook? It wasn't work doing what you loved so much.

one thing I'm enjoying on this site is the use of the words "bowling ally(s)" these days of "bowling centers" just dont seem the same. you go in them and they feel so cold and unfriendly.

one of my favorite sayings is "if it was gonna happen it will happen at McCook ! and it did happen lol Jerry in my book you were always a good guy K and carla I remember you and tom also ! and many others for sure.

Sadly to say when I became part of the McCook family in 1980 only 2 of the ones there are left well 3 counting me, thats Linda Coston who last I heard was working at the gift shop at dragon field and Loretta Hughes who was selling houses and still goes to watch her son bowl in the Monday Traveling Mixed Doubles League.

KEEP POSTING STORYS OK I love hearing old "bowling ally" storys !

8 posts
Jan 09, 2011
10:55 PM
Used to spend all my paper boy money at the Belmont Lanes back in the late 50's...we called it the "Smoke House" because the cig smoke was so think u could barely see!....a lot of us tried to be want to be hoods and would gather there comparing condoms in our wallets which we never Mom bowled there before me and I recall finding the secret way onto the roof when I was like 6 and threw a pop bottle off to the sidewalk below...Mom was pissed....I remember the lanes pro's name was George George and was rumored to have bowled a few 300 games...we never missed professional bowling on Sat TV...Ray Bluth and the rest...
146 posts
Jan 11, 2011
1:17 PM
There was a bowling alley in Huber located on Fishburg just east of Marian Meadows ("The Big M" as we called it). I went there once, but my idiot brother got us all banned for running down the lane and sliding into the pins like a baseball player.
Salt in the wound: he left a split. Sheesh.
8 posts
Jan 19, 2011
10:28 PM
How about the Steel St lanes behind the Steel and Xenia Ave SW corner business where I set pins in about 1937 for all of three games before it was decided my hands were too small. I would have appreciated it if the day manager had checked 'em out before he let me 'try out' for the pin setter job. I also remember those guys bowling that PM were awful in a hurry, made me jump out of the way more than once with their impatience. Never bowled there or set any pins but, nobody has mentioned the Fifth Steet Lanes, on the south side of 5th between Main and Ludlow. I must be the oldest one posting on this site?
87 posts
Jan 20, 2011
3:01 PM
The 'alleys' near Steele and Xenia Streets was the Academy. It was the last center in Dayton with pinboys.

The lanes on Fifth Street was probably the old Royal. Today the building houses the Spaghetti Warehouse. It used to have old black and white photos of the Royal. I think that pool tables were on the first floor and several "alleys" were located on both the second and third floors - or something like that.

And don't forget the Main Street Recreation where the Loft Theater is now and the old Riverdale Alleys a few miles north on Main Street in the basement.

9 posts
Jan 21, 2011
5:56 PM
Right D68, the name comes back to me now, like The Royal but, did you know that right across the street there was a bar at No 18 or so, that if you knew the password, you could go down the hidden stairway and get a bet down at River Downs or any other track if you wanted. Ah, the good old days, wish I could say I won a bundle there but truth of the matter, I only played once and guess what, I lost but, it was the KY Derby and probably only a nickle or dime. Wish I could remember that nags name.

Up the street right behind Greens five and dime was Sams, where you could get a giant sandwich made with ham sliced right from the hock on the bar with a beer for about a buck or less, in the 50s? Or was it more?
10 posts
Jan 21, 2011
6:07 PM
About George George the 'Pro'; With a name like that isn't it strange that in 50-53 or maybe longer since those were the years I knew him, there was a George George machinist who worked at the Stanley Ave plant of the Univis Lens Co. He never mentioned being even a amature bowler but, maybe he was and turned pro when ULC moved to Porto Rico??? He'd have to be in his 90s now, the one I knew whose only hobby at that time was to get to work 1/2 hr early and greet all the ladies clocking in with dirty jokes and dodging a few slaps in the kisser all the while. Go GG. I hadn't thought of him in 50 yrs.

Last Edited by on Jan 21, 2011 6:10 PM
1 post
Jan 26, 2011
9:16 AM
When I was 17 I started bowling in my first adult league at Crossroads. I bowled on the same team with Tykie (the manager). I believe his last name was Vasilakos. He used to let me come in and practice for free before the league started. He was a great guy. They used to be me bourbon and coke so it would look like I was just drinking coke instead of alcohol. He managed the Athenian restaurant which was across the street from the air force museum after he managed the bowling alley. I remember a lot of other stuff poasted here like The Academy Lanes. That was the first place I ever bowled.
43 posts
Jan 28, 2011
4:25 PM
I'm always amazed at the information you come across on this site. Sometimes quite by accident.
jfox 68's post about bowling alleys mentioned the name of Tykie who I remember from the Athenian across the street from the AF Museum. He and his wife ran a great restaurant and bar. I worked at DAP next door and we used to go there after work for drinks in the mid to late 70s.
I wasn't able to remember his name but now I have it.
jfox68, do you remember his wife's name?
7 posts
Feb 08, 2011
9:17 AM
To DebCB, I do not remember Tykie's wifes name but I believe she was part of the Zavakos family. There is a Zavakos family web site that has a family tree on it. You might be able to find it there or contact them and ask.
45 posts
Feb 08, 2011
1:31 PM
Thanks jfox68. Just curious.
115 posts
Feb 08, 2011
4:39 PM
DebCB, I saw Tykie about 10 years ago. He was the manager, or maybe the owner of a restaurant in Dayton called Tomatoes. He said he lived in the Fox Burro development in Vandalia.
119 posts
Feb 08, 2011
5:42 PM
Since becoming ambidextrous in my forties from roller skating Marathons and being in events I decided to try bowling here in Phoenix. Old alley, built in the fifties, clean, neat, tidy. I switched by starting off with my left hand then my right, back and forth. Did this each time I went with a group I am a member of who met at the alley once a month.

Since it was like 43 years since last bowling and having been born in the summer of 42, I didn't get high scores but it was fun and my left and right were both equal and in fact I was born right handed and made my first strike with my left.
10 posts
Feb 24, 2011
4:17 PM
I remember Pla-Mor when it was on Salem Ave. I also went to high school with Gus (Zeke) Zavakos
89 posts
Mar 05, 2011
5:54 PM
When the east wall at Crossroads caved in several years ago, I stopped by to take a look at it. Perhaps 2/3's of the wall was on the ground; it looked more like it had been bombed during WWII. It was wild to look inside and still see the lanes and the Brunswick machines still intact. Strewn about the rubble, lanes and channels were numerous bowling balls. I remember when George Overfield was the manager and had some masking units made up that looked just like the newest AMF ones. A lawsuit was filed by AMF and Crossroads was forced to remove them - or so the story goes.
10 posts
Mar 07, 2011
6:08 AM
Doug68, I remember seeing the Crossroads building like that also. I also remember George Overfield and the masking units that you talked about although I never heard about the AMF lawsuit.
36 posts
Mar 09, 2011
6:15 PM
Doug68...I remember you from my bowling days...just don't remember where. Did you work at Beaver-vu or Pla-mor. Might have just bowled against you at some point. Did you bowl at either of those houses? Possibly Fairborn Rec? Bugs me when I can't remember things.
24 posts
Mar 28, 2011
8:36 AM
Woodman Lanes on (here comes the surprise), Woodman Ave! My parents played on leagues there so I spent a lot of time there also. I also remember bowling on a Dayton Daily News team at a bowling alley I believe was either on Wayne Ave or Smithville Rd..I do remember it was just down the street from a library.
67 posts
Mar 28, 2011
11:41 AM
Clamper - That would have been Belmont Lanes which used to be on Watervliet just down from the Belmont Library. There is a Wahlgreens there now.
25 posts
Mar 28, 2011
8:51 PM
Thats the one! Thanks carlatm75
26 posts
Mar 29, 2011
6:30 PM
I bowled in a DDN paper boy league also but that was at Nationl lanes on Brown and Jasper streets
131 posts
Mar 29, 2011
8:30 PM
I set pins for a paperboy league at McCook's Bowling Alley, I also earned a free pass to McCook Theater for carrying candy up the stairs to the storage. I was around 10 and that would have been 1952, saw such movies as Frankenstein, Invisible Man, Belli Lugosi as the Vampire.

I was afraid to go upstairs to bed because I might meet one of them, really, A Vampire liked to bite humans on the neck and drain their blood. They live forever as long as they have their coffin near by containing dirt from their homeland. I just remembered the Mummy, wow, lots of scary stuff and I was a little boy.

Then later lots of cowboy movies getting us kids ready to smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and alcohol. Shooting others almost looked like fun, they made it so easy. They were given their script and had to read the lines to the best of their ability, lines like, "I've earned a drink (or cigarette)" and it worked as I was heading that alcohol way, it was the drug of choice of my generation, I was totally addicted to nicotine and had been addicted to Coke Cola since a little boy with their frequent ad campaigns to get us to purchase their product knowing that they are really addictive, still being pushed on the working class though. Controlling such a product and knowing that all you had to do was create an addict base and your empire would be set for life and that they did. I smoked for 47 years. The last cigarette I had was in July of 2004 and it's been easy to no become addicted again. I was lucky, tried to quit a few times, didn't but had a brain stroke and slept for 6 weeks. It was great, I remember that morning feeling dizzy and tired trying to roll a cigarette from my tobacco pouch and the tobacco kept rolling out of my paper. I didn't like that I wanted/needed a fix. Nicotine.

I slept for the next 6 weeks, woke up, did not want a smoke, lost the physical addiction during my stay in intensive care, 2 weeks and until my memory made a connection 4 weeks after that and if fact I woke up, so to speak the day my wife Jasmine was told to place my 99 lb. carcass in a nursing facility. I fooled them although I am awaiting our Next Logical Step, being human is good for a while but after learning a few values, don't have as much of an interest of being a species of animal drifting in space around a really huge, hot ball of nuclear fire. No thanks, I gave at the office.

Rod Williams

Sorry I am getting off topic unless we include personal history. I/We were being lead down that path to becoming a steady drinker, smoker, coffee and pop consumer and to be a good worker to boot. Ads are continual, daily, by the hour, drink beer, be the life of the party, increases odds of intimate relations. lol

I really have a lot of personal history this boy from Dayton would be willing to share. Born, 1942 at Good Samaritan Hospital on Salem and Fairview. My experiences have been anything but normal. I lived on a mountain in Laguna Beach Cal, I have been homeless, stone cold broke, have had a Baby qqmfRuth for dinner on my hitchhiking trip by myself with 95 cents (after panhandling 5 pennies). I went through Cherokee North Carolina not knowing the meaning of Cherokee and now know too well, I was not taught about the Cherokee Trail of Tears in School. Our nation needs our help, we must (lol) update our ailing code, we also must stop burning oil which kills oxygen and leaves a mess.
90 posts
May 30, 2011
11:35 AM
Many people have told me even though they weren't bowlers, their families often ate at local bowling centers because they were known to have nice restaurants and great food. A few of those around town included Pastime Lanes on N. Dixie Drive, Bar-Jan Bowl (later became Dixie Bowl, then Driftwood Bowl) on S. Dixie Drive, McCook Bowl on Keowee Street, Belmont Lanes on Watervliet,and the Varsity on N. Main Street downtown. All have since become a thing of the past.
2 posts
May 31, 2011
10:17 PM
i've bowledwith the little red headed Jimmy Mack ,ALSO FLOYD (BIG HOOK )BELDEN , TOSSY ZAVAKOS ,SHELBY MOON MULLINS ,ED JARVIS JIM Poelking AND MANY OTHRES As I've WORKED at several houses includng VARSITY ,NATIONAL ,McCook and BELMONT .

Last Edited by on May 31, 2011 10:18 PM
106 posts
Jun 01, 2011
10:34 AM
Moon, who later moved to Ocala, Florida, died a couple of years ago. His wife, Lois, sent me alot of his memorabilia and is a lot of fun to go thru, including his Schoenling All Star team stuff.
14 posts
Jun 13, 2011
9:13 AM
125 posts
Jun 13, 2011
9:30 AM
Academy is long gone (about 1973 or thereabout). But the building is still there, now occupied by another business. It was known as the Federation Alleys in its early days from what I understand. I never set pins, but I know that it was tough and could be very dangerous. Did you know that Al Capone was a pinboy (probably in NY before he moved to Chicago) before he started his path to crime?

Last Edited by on Jun 13, 2011 9:31 AM
2 posts
Jun 15, 2011
11:05 AM
I grew up in the 60's and 70's bowling at McCooks, while living on Homewood Avenue. My Dad bowled in a KofC league there and then when I was old enough to join the KofC I started bowling in the league. The league was there until we finished the season in 2002 then moved to Poelking on Wilmington. I miss everything about McCooks, Leo, John, Linda, Elmo and everybody else who worked there through the years. I remember a hawaiian guy that used to cook, can't remember his name. Every Christmas Leo would bring in a bottle of homeade Ozzo, what a treat. The Zavakis family really kept out the riff raff that came over from Parkside homes and made it such an enjoyable experiance.
3 posts
Jun 15, 2011
11:06 AM
I don't want to forget one of my favorite barmaids at McCook's either; Jill
128 posts
Jun 15, 2011
12:15 PM
Patman, do you remember Ruby and Dee in the lounge? They were there in the 60s and 70s. The restaurant served great hotshots.
79 posts
Jun 17, 2011
6:33 AM
Patman - I used to know Jill and her husband Tad. They later got divorced. I saw Jill last probably about 15 years ago and at that time she was working at the Xenia Walmart.
5 posts
Jun 17, 2011
9:45 AM
Doug68 - Yes, I do remember Ruby and Dee. After I graduated form High school in '79 I worked at Toolcraft Products as a CNC prgrammer and would go there for lunch at least twice a week. Great lunch food including those hot shots. carlatm75 - I remeber when Jill and Tad were divorced. I got divorced in '96 and she and I went out a couple of times, but I haven't seen her since.
8 posts
Jun 24, 2011
10:55 AM
Hey laserbeemer, is it true that the lanes were blocked for Earl Anthony so that he could win the PBA tournaments?
142 posts
Aug 10, 2011
2:43 PM
Russ Maiden, a former manager at Trotwood Lanes in the 1960s and 1970s, passed away suddenly on Saturday (August 6, 2011). He worked in several other centers over the years, including Centerville, Driftwood, and Beaver Vu. RIP, Russ.
143 posts
Aug 10, 2011
2:55 PM
Patman1961, I've heard that about Earl Anthony for years. I rather doubt that the oil patterns were actually set up for him......otherwise other PBA members probably would have initiated a lawsuit - sooner or later. The righthander vs. lefthander controversy had been going on forever,especially after the 1969 San Jose Open(?)when every player who made it to match play were lefthanded. On the other hand, Del Wick once told me that he crossed lanes with Anthony for an entire tournament (qualifying); that he watched him throw approximately 60 balls. Del said that Anthony never missed his target. Not once! With that kind of accuracy, he probably didn't need too much help.
144 posts
Aug 10, 2011
3:00 PM
To slap65, I read where your uncle shot a 300 at Palace many years ago. Can you tell me what his name is? BTW, Palace was a very small house, maybe 10-12 lanes. I bowled there once in a youth tournament in 1965.
5 posts
Dec 03, 2011
6:16 PM
Doug, I bowled with both Bill Gaines and Bill Peters Sr. Bill Gaines was in his 70`s when I bowled on his team in the old Inland Owl League at Bowlero, but you could sure see the talent that he had, even at that age. Bill Peters Sr. was a class act, and also was a good bowler in his own rite.
33 posts
Apr 16, 2012
7:53 PM
patman that hawaiian guy at McCook was named john but his nicname was pineapple hehehehe and yes jill was a sweetheart for sure.
8 posts
Apr 21, 2012
9:21 AM
I remember that Miamisburg had 2 bowling alleys. One was Forteners and the other was Miami Lanes. Miami Lanes was gone by the early 70's and Forteners by late 80's. Also I believe there was a bowling alley named (Bar-Jan?) in either Kettering or where the Capri Lanes are now. In high school phys ed class, we would walk to Miami Lanes and we would all bowl 2 games each for our P E class and then walk back. The sad part was that the class was not co-ed.

Last Edited by on Apr 21, 2012 9:26 AM
46 posts
Apr 23, 2012
7:57 PM
Laura, I went to high school with Zeke. I remember him well. I have a yearbook from Fairview High School and I will look for Zeke's picture. How is Zeke anyway? I remember McCook's bowling alley and how it degraded to an adult book store and all that. It was a going place when I was in high school. The bowling alleys on Siebenthaler Ave., and the Trotwood Lanes were a hangout for me. A buddy and I siphoned gas out of a car in the Trotwood parking lot when we were kids. I also remember Pla-Mor on Salem. Ahhhh, the days!

Last Edited by on Apr 23, 2012 7:58 PM
34 posts
Apr 26, 2012
11:24 PM
Pat??? where did ya go to school ? I graduated from Patterson co-op (aka picnic area) in 79. I remember Dee and Ruby very well cause the fisrt time I worked with them I was scared to death of them lol didnt take me long to find out they were just a couple of good ole gals I love them hotshots too lol and dont forget gravy fries mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
35 posts
Apr 26, 2012
11:28 PM
GYPSO whats your name ???? I worked at McCook and Crossroads.

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