The historic Cedar Lanes Bowling Center plans to close its doors after 50 years of service. Employees and staff were notified of the closing last week, it is to be made effective June 3rd. For some of the center’s longtime patrons, the closing will be emotional, the memories made on the lanes will be the most missed of all at the Fresno center, which saw all walks of bowler as Mike Shaban of Fresno tells KMPH,
“They had the professional bowlers here for a long time. They’ve had state tournaments here. They’ve had a lot of tournaments, big draw.”
The Wathen Group and founder Spaulding G. Wathen, who built the center in 1959, have sold the center and its adjacent building to a new developer. It is unclear what the bowling center will turn into. The Group issued a statement about the closing, however not elaborating about what would go in its place stating,
“After a great deal of thought, investigation and outlook to the future, the ownership has come to the difficult decision that it is time for the property to be redeveloped so that it may begin a new history..”
Nevertheless, it is the history that will live on forever in the minds and hearts of those who had the opportunity to experience the center both in person and during the 1992 broadcast of the Fresno Open, an event that put the center on the map.
“I have to get over the shock, get a few days, a few weeks to figure out what I’m going to do,” said Lee. People who’ve made Cedar Lanes part of their lives are still trying to grasp what the community will be without the historic fixture.” says Cheryl Lee, a Cedar Lanes employee.
A group of supporters plan to meet to see what they can do to save the center from its scheduled June 3rd closing and ultimate demolition, but for some patrons giving up the center won’t be done without a fight. One of which is Christine Golden, who has chosen to organize a protest,
“I just want these people to know what they’ve. There’s hundreds of people that come here every single day of the week-seven days and they now have no place to go.”
Here is a match from the ’90 Fresno Open played at Cedar Lanes,