On Sunday, for the last time crowds will arrive to trade in flip-flops for tricolor bowling shoes at Lanes and Games in Cambridge.
The mecca for fans of candlepin and tenpin bowling has been in business since 1983 when the current owners took over the Turnpike Bowladrome that opened in 1942.
Now, the retro palace is closing. Where Lanes and Games now stands on Route 2 near the Arlington line, the plans call for a new development that includes luxury housing.
WBUR's Sharon Brody paid a visit last week to meet folks dedicated to one final night of strikes, spares and gutter balls before their bowling destination becomes just a (very loud) memory.
Lanes and Games has been a mecca for fans of candlepin and tenpin bowling since 1983. Under previous owners, the business was named the Turnpike Bowladrome, which opened in 1942. (Sharon Brody/WBUR) A few days before Lanes and Games closed forever, 63-year-old Michael Czitrom, of Jamaica Plain, was spending one last evening there with his friends. "Of course I love bowling, but the atmosphere in this place is just unbelievable. The bar also is pretty kickass." (Sharon Brody/WBUR) Lanes and Games customers express a lot of affection for the lounge-promoting rug as they climb the stairs from candlepins to tenpins. Emma O'Leary, of Newton, sums it up: "It's a little retro without being over the top. You really can't go wrong with carpeting on the walls." (Sharon Brody/WBUR) Just before Lanes and Games is no more, manager Bruce Brown spends some time alone playing candlepins. "It was never emotional until 10 days ago when I put that closing sign up. I've been here 24 years and it wasn't affecting me. Then all of a sudden all the emotions came running back." (Sharon Brody/WBUR) Craig Leverone, left, has worked at Lanes and Games for seven years. Brian Kennedy, right, has worked here for nine years. Long-time customers sing the praises of the staff, saying they make the experience feel more like a fun family hangout than a business transaction. (Sharon Brody/WBUR) Candlepins are on the first floor, with tenpins upstairs. (Sharon Brody/WBUR) There is no one right way to bowl. Eight-year-old Eddie Paget, at Lanes and Games with his family for a farewell experience, has developed his own style. He says he is having fun, "except I am losing!" (Sharon Brody/WBUR) A lot of people say they come for the bowling but stay for the décor. Kyra Shishko, of Newton, is 26 and has been a Lanes and Games regular since high school: "I don't know if I'm old enough to say it feels like a throwback, but it's nice to not have it be obnoxiously trendy." (Sharon Brody/WBUR) On Sunday, august 13, Lanes and Games offers one last chance for strikes, spares and gutter balls before changing from a destination to a memory. (Sharon Brody/WBUR)