A Return to Glory Days for One-Time Springsteen Host?

by Bob Johnson 0

It’s not an identity crisis, per se.  But a bowling center in Cherry Hill, N.J., is about to get a new name… for a second time.

The reason it’s not that big of a deal is that this rechristening of Erlton Bowl will be only the second in 54 years.

Erlton, which opened in 1961, became Playdome, and now Playdrome is being rebranded as “The Big Event.”

In this latest modernization project, an area once home to a gym and swimming pool will become a restaurant/pub featuring craft beers, as well as dedicated space for corporate events.

SpringsteenMoving forward also will mean moving back, as eight of the facility’s 36 lanes will be given a makeover reminiscent of the 1960s. “The retro look is coming back,” explained proprietor Jon Perper in a Philadelphia Inquirer story.

The $1.5 project is expected to be completed this year.

• BEFORE HE WAS THE BOSS P.S.: When the center was still known as Erlton Bowl, its Uncle Al’s Lounge featured an early-1970s concert by a then-unknown singer named Bruce Springsteen. Newspaper advertisements for the appearance spelled the last name of The (future) Boss like this: Springstein.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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