WOODFIELD LANES: HAVING FUN IN YOUR SPARE TIME

Bowling must have been right up the alley for Schaumburg Township residents in the early years.  Even though Hoffman Lanes opened first in 1961 and Schaumburg Lanes in 1975, it clearly wasn’t enough space for local bowlers.  To fill that need, Martin Weber, who also owned Striking Lanes in Mount Prospect, decided in the late seventies, to build the biggest bowling alley in the area.  And, boy, did he ever.

Woodfield Lanes opened in March of 1980 at 350 E. Golf Road in Schaumburg with 44 lanes, a bar, restaurant and playroom.  Because of its size, it attracted a large number of leagues for men, women and children.  Leagues were begun by apartment complexes, organizations like the Knights of Columbus, and groups of senior citizens and, especially, of women.  Most prominent were the many women leagues that played in the large facility.  The sheer number of leagues also led to many tournaments being held.

Mr. Weber also tried his hand at incorporating a nightclub into the alley.  A DJ played music from stacks of records while patrons lounged at the banquet tables and danced on the dance floor.  New Year’s Eve celebrations were also held at the bowling alley, complete with refreshments, music, dancing and showtime bowling which featured special lights and cameras.  The facility was even so big that it had a meeting room available for the public to use.

Woodfield Lanes kept its customers happy until league play began to decline, and the upkeep and taxes on the large building started to climb.  The business made the decision to close and notified its leagues in late 2000 that the business would be sold and torn down to make way for a larger Woodfield Lexus dealership.

This gave many of the leagues time to find new digs at Hoffman Lanes and Poplar Creek Bowl, the other bowling alleys that were still open in the township.  An ad appeared in the April 13, 2001 edition of the Daily Herald, listing various items for sale:  showtime lighting & sound, lounge & restaurant equipment, booths, chairs, sports memorabilia and more.  The bowling equipment, including the 44 lanes, pin-setters, pins, scoring equipment, bowling balls and shoes were dismantled over a three-week  and sold to a company in Detroit.

Before the bowling alley closed, I was able to take some photos of the interior and exterior of the building with a not-so-great camera.  But, it still gives you a decent view of the exterior and interior in the last days that it was in business.

May 7 was the last day of operation for Woodfield Lanes.  Gone was “Cosmic Bowling,” the fun of league play, the music and the dancing.  The sounds of balls rolling down 44 alleys and the ten pins being whacked by those 44 balls must have been something during the heyday.  If you have any memories to share of Woodfield Lanes, please leave a comment or send me an email to the address below.  It would be great to hear the personal side of such an iconic bowling alley!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

The top photo was taken by Gus Weiner and is used, courtesy of his son, Keith Weiner.

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3 Responses to “WOODFIELD LANES: HAVING FUN IN YOUR SPARE TIME”

  1. Edward Barczak Says:

    I had my highest averages while bowling there. Loved those alleys!

  2. Fred Luft Says:

    Larry King did a live show of his when he was on CNN. It was cira 1985? I remember turning on CNN and they said now back to Larry King at Woodfield Lanes in Schaumburg, IL. I went over immediately to see this. I remember seeing him interviewing someone.

  3. Annette Garrison Says:

    I worked there for 5 years and met my husband there. Wonderful memories.

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