People & Places

Comments (0)

Best Urban Legend Phoenix 2010 - Downtown's Abandoned Underground Bowling Alley

Ever hear the story about an abandoned underground bowling alley between Matt's Big Breakfast and The Westward Ho? Turns out it's totally true. As weird as it is to believe, a subterranean bowling alley called The Gold Spot existed at Central Avenue and Pierce Street up until about 1950. Look closely and you can still see glass blocks on the otherwise abandoned lot, which allowed sunlight to filter through to the bowlers below. According to a 2003 story in the Arizona Republic, it's now "little more than a cellar held up by concrete columns," though the words "Please Stay Back of Foul Line" are painted on one of the support beams, while a bowling-pin graphic is painted on another beam. So, yeah, it's definitely not worth risking life, limb, or legal trouble to see for yourself — but feel free to pass on the legend, now that you know it's actually true.
My Voice Nation Help
maryellen clark
maryellen clark

The Gold Spot Bowling was on 3rd avenue and Adams from the late 40's to the early 60's. It was owned by my grand parents, Jess and Beaulah Carr. My mother, father, and brother helped them operate it. My grandfather ran the desk, my dad set the pins, my brother cleaned the alley's and my mother and grand mother ran the dinner attached. I was born in 1955 and the dishwasher pushed my carriage while doing the dishes. Next door was a TV station my brother won a Howdy Dudy contest for the most freckles. We were on the Wallace and Ladmo shows and Lou King hour. As my parents always said "Those were the days".


Kelsee Ishmael
Kelsee Ishmael

Do you have any old photos? It would be amazing to be able to see it in it's glory days!