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Burbank bowling alley closing its doors after 62 years

Pickwick Bowl has been serving the Burbank community for over six decades, but after 62 years, it is closing its doors for good.

Roger Desgroseilliers is dreading next Tuesday.

On that day, his routine of turning on the lights, opening up his pro shop, and lining up the bowling balls his customers have left behind for precision drilling will come to an end.

A Pickwick bowler himself since the 1980s, Desgroseilliers came out of retirement to run the little shop in the 90s.

“This was just a hobby, and I loved working here,” Desgroseilliers said. 

Pickwick bowl will close forever on Aug. 15, along with the bar and the banquet hall.

Many bowling centers have struggled in recent years, like shopping malls and movie theaters, places where people can just meet and enjoy each others’ company.

“What are people gonna do anymore, you know? I mean, the way this world is now. Nobody can have any fun,” Desgroseilliers said.

Pickwick Bowl and Gardens will be replaced by nearly a hundred townhomes.

Those who spent countless hours here, over the past 62 years, will have only photos to remind them.

Desgroseilliers thinks about this when he sees the dark, idle lanes.

The pins, standing like lonely soldiers. The empty bucket seats.

Desgroseilliers says this is more than just a bowling alley.

“You just make a lot of friends, and they’re more like family to you,” Desgroseilliers said.

Marti Townsend, who lives right across the street, says she’ll miss stopping in for a game with friends and a beer.

“We’re all sad in the neighborhood,” Townsend said. “A group of us are getting together before next Tuesday, to play one last bowling game.”

“And after that, it’s gone. No more Pickwick,” Desgroseilliers said. 

Desgroseilliers  says he’s going to “retire for real” now, but won’t stop bowling.

The LA Kings bought the Pickwick ice arena, which is just down the street.

That property will remain open, unaffected by the condos that will be built.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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