Oahu bowling centers disappearing

Annette Silva
Annette Silva
Art Machado
Art Machado
Cody Santiago
Cody Santiago
Emma Tamala
Emma Tamala

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

KAILUA (KHNL) - At one time, Oahu had more than 30 public bowling centers. Today there are only three left.

And one of them, will be closing at the end of the year.

It's a dying sport bowlers are trying to keep around.

Officials say Waialae Bowl is re-opening by the time Pali Lanes closes. But that still leaves the sport in dire need of some help.

Annette Silva has bowled for most of her life and like many, she still strives for that perfect game.

"I enjoy it, gives me incentive to do better, still haven't got my 300," she said.

But perfection will not happen at Pali Lanes.

"We're talking from teenagers up to seniors, we need to give them something for them to do," Oahu Bowling Association manager Art Machado said.

Cody Santiago is a Special Olympian. He and his friends come to Pali Lanes once a month.

"I feel sad, I feel sad they going close in December," he said.

Bowling leaders say the closures are happening because more and more owners feel they make better profits pursuing other businesses.

Kamehameha Bowl on School Street became a Walgreens earlier this year. There were close to 400 leagues on Oahu and now there's only 72.

"I remember it used to be hard to get into lanes, bowling was a very incentive sport, but now, it's just sad to see it dwindle down to nothing," Silva said.

Or close to it. Leeward Bowl and Aiea Bowl remain open, while Waialae Bowl opens its doors just before Pali Lanes closes.

"I feel sorry for the people, for the bowlers, especially seniors and the handicapped," Pali Lanes general manager Emma Tamala said.

It's leaving Silva and Santiago with less and less options to play the sport that's disappearing with every strike they make.

There are six military bowling centers. They do let civilians play there, but that may end once more troops come home.