These vintage bowling alleys are like stepping into Cleveland’s past

With their plastic seats screwed into the floor, classic-car fin style ball returns, and soft-soled shoes lined up behind the counter, bowling alleys are a staple of Cleveland recreation.
While many alleys upgraded to video-screen scoreboards and neon-squiggle carpeting, others are like going back in time. At its heyday in the 1950's and 60's, every city block and small business seemed to have a bowling league.
Here's a look at three classic Cleveland bowling alleys.

Dickey's Lanes

Dickey’s Lanes (3275 West 25th, Cleveland) has been a bowling alley since 1915, and bought by the Dickey family in 1946. Now in its third generation of ownership, the lane is the definition of “old school alley”.

Dickey's Lanes

No video screens here: sharpen your math skills with a paper and pencil scorecard.

Dickey's Lanes

The Brunswick Corporation ran the bowling technology game for over fifty years.

Dickey's Lanes

This ball polishing machine is still running strong after 50 years.

Dickey's Lanes

Bags from league regulars, stashed away.

Dickey's Lanes

Dickey’s has a full cocktail lounge, with themed stools.

Dickey's Lanes

This matchstick model of Dickey’s took over a year and over 30,000 matches. It now hangs in the bar area.

Dickey's Lanes

LOOK AT ALL THOSE MATCHES

Dickey's Lanes

Match facts.

Dickey's Lanes

The man himself, Dickey’s Lanes namesake George Dickey.

Maple Lanes

Maple Lanes (6918 St. Clair Ave, Cleveland) is one of the smallest alleys: only four lanes. But the nearly 80 year old bar is still kicking. Owned by the same family since 1964, this old-school neighborhood bar is becoming a popular DIY music venue at night.

Maple Lanes

When you play a frame at Maple Lanes, there’s still a person behind the scenes, re-setting the pins by hand.

Maple Lanes

A mural of burlesque performer Lili St. Cyr watches over the bar.

Maple Lanes

The bar settles into a sleepy morning.

Maple Lanes

Buddy, the bar’s most popular patron.

Mahall's 20 Lanes

Mahall’s 20 Lanes (13200 Madison Ave, Lakewood) may have had the most re-vamping of the classic alleys. But while it’s popular music stage and fried chicken-focused dining area were added in 2012, the “20 Lanes” remain much the same as they did in 1958. With the business itself going back to 1924, Mahall’s has been a staple of Lakewood life for generations.

Mahall's 20 Lanes

Pick any color you fancy.

Mahall's 20 Lanes

Another Lustre King!

Mahall's 20 Lanes

The upstairs lanes are bright and cool-hued.

Mahall's 20 Lanes

The downstairs lanes have a mysterious and warm vibe.

Mahall's 20 Lanes

Hand-carved wooden shelves have held generations of shoes.

Mahall's 20 Lanes

The bar’s light fixtures have put good use to old bowling lane parts.

Mahall's 20 Lanes

All lit up, and ready for fun.