Historic Lakewood Theater Prepares to Reopen As Bowling Alley

A beacon for East Dallas, the historic Lakewood Theater will soon reopen as a bowling alley.

For the last year, Lakewood residents Craig and Jennifer Spivey, have been renovating the beloved building.

"It's really special," said Craig Spivey. "People walk by every night and tell us how awesome this place is and what they did here."

Spivey said those fond memories and feelings of nostalgia guided the transformation from theater to their bowling alley Bowlski's.

"It was really important for us to keep everything that meant a ton to everybody," said Spivey.

The theater is now ten bowling lanes filled with items salvaged from a bowling alley in Mineola. The stage where famous acts performed is still there, just hidden behind the pins.

"Ten lanes is tight, but it will be fun. You'll get to know who you're bowling next to," said Spivey.

In the lobby, the iconic murals original to the movie theater still shine alongside the counter that will serve as a candy bar and shoe rental.

The arcade bar will serve food and drinks. The balcony includes pool tables, arcade games and spaces for private events, including the room that housed the movie projector.

Spivey knows there are skeptics and some who would prefer the building remain a theater, but is hopeful it honors memories of the past and will welcome new ones.

"We've got so many other areas to where people can appreciate all the old historical values of this place other than just the theater itself. It's not just a theater. It's a place for entertainment. It's a place for families to come and have a good time."

Bowlski's hopes to open by the end of the summer.

In 2016, the Dallas City Council voted to give the art deco building historic landmark status after a strong push from neighbors.

When it opened in 1938, the Lakewood Theater was touted as the first air-conditioned movie theater in Dallas.

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