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Posts: 115
Reply with quote  #1 
Akron Ohio, I am an OTR Truck Driver, and Str8 is meeting me Sunday and taking me to bowl here Sunday evening if anyone is in the area and wants to join us for a little action I would love the experience

Posts: 1,763
Reply with quote  #2 
I've only been there once, and it's been quite a few years ago (1997).  But by that time, the Firestone Tournament of Champions had already moved from Riviera Lanes and I think might have already become the General Tire Tournament of Champions.  But I still wanted to bowl at Riviera Lanes, at least once.  We managed to sweet talk the gal at the counter into letting us bowl on the TV pair, 27 and 28 (as I recall).

One thing I didn't do while I was there that I wish I had...because cellphones with cameras weren't quite as common back when I visited...was to take pictures of the "Wall of Fame" they have.

Yes, there's a corner of the bowling center (it's on the wall behind the lanes at the low end of the house) where they have dozens of framed photographs that were taken of the bowlers, some taken during the telecasts -- photos of bowlers, of Chris Schenkel, of the TV lights and crew, of just about everything you could think of relating to the glory days of bowling at Riviera.

Bring your cellphone.  And please, please, PLEASE take lots of pictures of that Wall of Fame and share them with us.  I know taking pictures ---OF- pictures doesn't sound all that interesting.  But there's a lot of bowling history in that little corner of the bowling center.  And assuming they still have that display hanging up on the wall, it would be really neat to get to see it again.


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Posts: 11,770
Reply with quote  #3 
I made my pilgrimage back in 1996...bowled 8 games on a Saturday morning on the TV pair, 27-28.  Kids leagues were finishing up, and I basically had the place to myself.  The counter manager was Mike Durbin.  The Saturday I was there, was just after the tournament where Ernie Schlegel defeated Randy Pederson after his stone 8.  "I am the greatest".  We spoke about that, and told him I was a fan of his.  At that time, they still had the banner by the front door, "through these doors...", and they still had the pictures of each of the previous Firestone's on the wall...I doubt they are there today.  Like Randy, I didn't have a camera with me either.  I didn't even have a cellphone.

I agree with Randy....take lots of pictures and post them, or email them to me, and I'll post them.  Sounds fun!

Posts: 717
Reply with quote  #4 
Pretty sure AMF took Riviera over quite a few years ago. No telling what they have done to or with the place now.

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Posts: 1,665
Reply with quote  #5 
Originally Posted by Crankenstein300
Pretty sure AMF took Riviera over quite a few years ago. No telling what they have do to or with the place now.

Looks like they did. What a shame. 

Posts: 1,763
Reply with quote  #6 
They did......what?

Posts: 1,763
Reply with quote  #7 

Good God!  When I saw your post, I was afraid they closed it down.

This is apparently not the case, as evidenced by this:

As you see the pictures cycle through, I remember they had that same maroon colored paint on the interior walls when I was there in '97.

It'll be interesting if they still have their "Wall of Fame."  Hard to imagine them taking down all those great old pics.


Posts: 65
Reply with quote  #8 
Been away from bowling for a while, and I'm wondering when AMF started running bowling allleys. Riviera's web site looks exactly like the AMF place here in Austin, TX. I guess all AMF locations have the exact same site. How corporate.

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Posts: 643
Reply with quote  #9 
Lanes 27 & 28 at Riviera Lanes was the most prestigious pair of lanes in the world during the Firestone T of C's glory days of the 60's through the 80's.  I've never been near Riviera Lanes, yet have often had bowling fantasies of visiting & bowling on that pair with some of the PBA greats from that era!  That pair of lanes was the holy grail of bowling during that era.  Sure miss the masking units that pair had during that era, those units had character that meant something!

Posts: 1,763
Reply with quote  #10 
I know that AMF purchased King Louie West Lanes in Overland Park, Kansas, longtime home of the King Louie Open, and site of Mark Roth's first PBA title (where he bowled 299 in the title match).

Sadly, shortly after purchasing the center, AMF closed it.  Not sure why.  It's in a neighborhood that should support bowling, and the facility itself was iconic, with its ice skating rink and billiards room.  Nice part of town, too.

Hope the same fate doesn't meet Riviera.  That would be a real shame.

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Posts: 927
Reply with quote  #11 
There's 4 AMF centers in the Cleveland to Akron corridor so anything is possible. I'll snap some pics when I'm there. Get all my ball work done there. Don Hoge is the best in Northeast Ohio.

Cleveland Ohio

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #12 
I always wanted to take a pic under that sign, so I went there today and learned the sign was taken down over ten years ago. They have it stuffed in a closet somewhere in the building. Very sad...
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