Miniature version of popular activity transports participants back in time


In duckpin bowling, everything is scaled to a smaller size than in the normal version. “Strikes and spares are very rare in this game,” employee Thom Dantzer said. Photo by Madeline Hittel

Madeline Hittel

As soon as I stepped through the doors of the Atomic Duckpin Bowl, I immediately felt like someone had taken me back in time into the 1950s era. I couldn’t believe how the toothpaste blue colored paint job and posters all over the walls could really create a vintage atmosphere.
Thom Dantzer has been an employee at the Atomic Duckpin Bowl for five years now and he believes that the atmosphere really makes it a special place.
“The vintage feel really sets it off from other (Duckpin Bowling) places,” Dantzer said. “It is incredible how it really transports you right into another era.”
After the initial shock of excitement, Zach Smith and I started our game. To rent a lane, the price is $30 per hour no matter how many people you decide to bowl with. Sure, if you have a party over 15, you may have to get a second lane. But, if you have a party of two, finishing a game in a matter of 30 minutes is easily attainable, so our charge for a thirty minute game was $15, which is quite a deal.
To my surprise, my speculations were incorrect. The game of Duckpin bowling was very difficult. The game balls are about the size of a shot-put ball and shockingly heavier than you would think. Because of the awkward size and weight getting a good grip is very difficult (especially if you have skinny fingers like me.)
“Strikes and spares are very rare in this game,” Dantzer said. And of course, my partner, Zach, got both a strike and two spares throughout the duration of the game.
Caitlin Bruns and her boyfriend, Brian Roscoe, made a trip back in time and also spent their evening Duckpin Bowling in Fountain Square. The couple was walking through the area and decided to take an hour to bowl.
“I love the atmosphere up here,” Roscoe said. “I love how they haven’t changed a thing, it really gives you a new kind of experience.”
So, as you can imagine, the game went swimmingly with an ending score of 21 to 63. Smith pretty much crushed my existence into the concrete as though I were a bug.
But overall, the game was such a blast. The walls covered in old vinyls and vintage bowling jerseys made the experience that much better. Duckpin Bowling is a place I will be returning to in the near future.