When Suburban Bowlerama opened its doors on South Queen Street in York in 1958, the United States was in the throes of a bowling boom.
The boom was fueled by the advent of automatic pin setters, which replaced pin boys, and the construction of hundreds of modern, well-lit bowling centers with appealing amenities, such as snack bars, pro shops and babysitting services.
Millions of people discovered that bowling was affordable entertainment for the entire family. The number of league bowlers jumped from 12.5 million in 1946 to 22 million in 1958.
Over the years, Suburban Bowlerama expanded a couple times from its original 20 lanes to its current 30 lanes in an effort to accommodate demand. Sixty years later, the center continues to thrive.
This weekend, proprietor Terry Miller is showing his appreciation with bowling, food and drink specials, fun activities, giveaways and a drawing for a grand prize of $1,060.
From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 18 and 19), Suburban Bowlerama is offering 60 percent off all bowling games and bowling packages. Rental shoes are 60 cents. Hot dogs, french fries, a slice of pizza and a small soda all are 60 cents each. Giveaways include $60 gift cards, bowling equipment and a bowling party.
Special activities on Saturday include a balloon artist from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., a magician from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., a face painter from 2:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. and a fire truck from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
"It's special to be part of a business that has been part of the community for 60 years," Miller said. "And, we want to show our appreciation to the community for its longtime support."
Miller said he's always looking for ways to keep improving the center. Future plans call for a series of renovations.
"I believe Suburban Bowlerama reflects how the best centers have evolved over the years," Miller said.
He pointed out that the center offers a variety of leagues, open bowling, cosmic bowling, bumper bowling, birthday parties with a birthday room, social media marketing, up-to-date automatic scoring and a lounge.
"Most importantly, outstanding customer service and a memorable customer experience are extremely important to us," he said.
Reach Barry Sparks at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was provided through the York County Bowling Proprietors Association.