Canoga Park Bowl has been known for several things through its 55-year existence.
– The venerable facility is one of the oldest bowling centers in Southern California.
– It has served such celebrities as Eddie Murphy, Whitney Houston, Will Smith and Evander Holyfield.
– It has been open 24 hours a day seven days a week, thus allowing the aforementioned celebrities to slip into the bowling house in the wee hours of the morning and escape detection by the masses.
Now, celebrities and their entourages will find it a bit more difficult to bowl anonymously at Canoga Park Bowl.
Three weeks ago, the bowling house went to a regular schedule in which it opens at 9 a.m. It will still remain open to 3 a.m. on weekend nights but no longer will be a 24-hours-a-day facility.
Mike Willis, the Canoga Park Bowl manager for 35 years, said “new owners [of the facility] thought business was not that good [in the wee hours].”
Willis added that the new hours also made for a safer situation for patrons.
Canoga Park Bowl’s reduction in hours is part of a trend of bowling centers’ moving to a more restricted schedule.
The Bowlmor AMF chain, for instance, has recently altered its centers’ hours. Many of its bowling houses now open at either 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. during the week instead of in the morning.
“That was pretty wild,” said Willis about the Bowlmor AMF change in hours. “I still can’t believe they did that. That’s preposterous to me.”
Still, Bowlmor AMF Chief Executive Officer Tom Shannon reported a month ago that his bowling company “turned a big historic loss into a profit” in the latest financial results.