Let’s Roll: Arrowhead Lanes, San Bernardino

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Headed to San Bernardino’s National Orange Show recently, I was delighted to pass by a bowling alley. I made a stop on my way back.

And speaking of way back, Arrowhead Lanes is a pleasant throwback. The scoring machine looks like something from the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, and it must baffle newcomers, because the woman at the counter routinely asks if bowlers would like her to enter their names for them. Meanwhile, the ball return sends balls into a teardrop-shaped bin where they swirl around like thoughts in Herman Cain’s head.

The monitors above the lanes give you your score and nothing else — no fancy graphics, no ads. Helpfully, if you bowl multiple games, it shows you the same frame from each game, so you can instantly compare, say, your fourth frame from this game to your previous two.

The lanes are in good condition and the balls are neatly organized, with all the balls of the same weight grouped together, all the same color. I really liked my experience there. I don’t know how often I’ll drive to San Bernardino to bowl (perhaps never again), but this place makes it tempting. A few particulars:

Address: 299 W. Orange Show Road

Number of lanes: 32

Owner: AMF

Year opened: 1959

Architect: Paul R. Williams

Neighbors: Maytag Superstore, Turner’s Outdoorsman

Games: Billiards, video

Bar: Yes (with vintage “Cocktails” sign)

Ambience: Scarcely updated 1960s equipment and furniture; serious bowlers; working class vibe

Deal: $10 an hour beats $3.95 per game

Website: www.amf.com/arrowheadlanes

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  • http://imagesofpomonabyren.blogspot.com Ren

    Wow this is a wayback. Instead of Then and Now you should call this one Then and still Then. Right on DA. This reminds me of an old computer game I use to have.

  • Derek Christensen

    Funny thing about the name “ARROWHEAD” with regard to the city and county of San Bernardino. I have lived in this area my entire life, but until around three weeks ago, I never realized that all the local places, etc. (e.g.: Lake Arrowhead, the S.B. County Seal) were named for a Natural-Feature in the shape of an Arrowhead on the side of a south-west facing canyon in northern San Bernardino. See the link below:

    http://arrowheadsprings.org/

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/San_Bernandino_Seal.svg

    Lots of History, plus the Arrowhead Springs and the Resort Hotel at its base that catered to Hollywood Elite in the 1930s and 40′s.