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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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I recently found this matchcover for the endangered Java Lanes in Long Beach. Seems it was quite a bit more than just a bowling alley in its hey-day.

The inside of the matchcover had this info:

World's most beautiful bowling center

  • Show Lounge
  • Cocktail Lounge
  • Coffee Shop
  • Dining Room
  • Banquet Room
  • Conference Room
  • Supervise Nursery
  • Billiards
  • 32 Bowling Lanes

Does anyone have any info about Java Lanes past?

:tiki:

[ Edited by: Traderpup on 2002-12-23 10:01 ]

I just "shucked" the matchbook, and in the spine of the cover is a production date of 1973

T

This distressing news just came in on Otto's tikinews list:

"Java Lanes, the bowling alley that has stood on Pacific Coast Highway for 46 years, will soon be torn down and replaced with townhomes if a plan for the development is approved this week.

Today (Thursday, February 5, 2004) the Planning Commission will take up a request by Brookfield Homes of Costa Mesa to build 79 condominiums on that site, plus an adjacent parking lot.

[Long Beach, CA] City staff recommends approval of the project. If it is approved it can move forward. However the City Council ultimately will need to vote on the planned zoning change for the site."

The plan was approved unanimously.

Java Lanes is one o' the few remainin' "Polynesian-style" buildings of Googie architecture left from their heyday o' the late 50's an' early 60's. Anyone who's been their will tell ya what a bitchin' place it is, with its steep angled roof an' "B-O-W-L" sign out front.

I guess this is jus' another example of cities tearin' down ever'thing that makes this Southern California.

Say goodbye to Southern California an' say hello to "Homogenous California".
'Til Later,
The HEARSE DRIVER

"An ego unrestrained is a scary thing!"
www.hearsedriver.com

Tiki News
2215-R Market Street #177
San Francisco, CA 94114
http://www.tikinews.com

Looks like I better make another bowling trip to Southern California. Does anyone know how long it will stay open?

J
JTD posted on Thu, Feb 12, 2004 2:16 PM

Pup,
Is their East Indies Room the inspiration for your own Spectacular East Indies Room? Or is that just a really odd coincidence? In either case, long live the two!

-JTD

The Spectacular East Indies Room does indeed get its name from Java Lanes' long gone East Indies Room.... my way of keeping a Long Beach gem alive in spirit!

TB

Just what Long Beach doesnt need, more condos. Traffic circle goin to pch will be even more crowded.

Not to go off your topic Pup,
But has anyone been to Santa Monica bowling lanes?
I took my nephew there on X-mas vacation and it was one of the coolest retro\swank preserved alleys I have ever seen. I highly recommend a visit before they decide to shut that one down.

M

On 2004-02-12 13:48, thejab wrote:
This distressing news just came in on Otto's tikinews list:

"Java Lanes, the bowling alley that has stood on Pacific Coast Highway for 46 years, will soon be torn down and replaced with townhomes if a plan for the development is approved this week.

Today (Thursday, February 5, 2004) the Planning Commission will take up a request by Brookfield Homes of Costa Mesa to build 79 condominiums on that site, plus an adjacent parking lot.

[

Looks like I better make another bowling trip to Southern California. Does anyone know how long it will stay open?

Like THE jAB said--does anyone know how long it will stay open??

I knew my show journal would come in handy eventually...
There was a tiki(ish) bar attached on to the bowling alley called "the Lava Lounge" with very cool lava rock formations, fake volcanoes and giant fake flames. There were no carvings or Nautical decorations that I can remember as the decor was more geared toward being inside a volcano. There were lots of booths and some tables and a long narrow bar that lead to the bowling lanes. The bar had an entrance that was through the big A frame you can see in the match book. That's what I remember, anyway. I'll see if I can get some pics soon.
I visted this place in 1999 (to see the Tiki Tones, actually) and when I went back several years later - every cool decoration was taken out (including tables and booths) and it was turned into a hip-hopin' dance club. Needless to say I was bummed, but the business it was doing was MUCH better (only a handful of people came out to see the Tiki Tones).
I'm surprised to hear that this place is closing, as it was always hard to get lanes on the weekends. Occasionally I'd read in the paper that they would have "Rock and Bowl" where a live band would play while you bowled!
What do you say? So-Cal TC pilgramage to Java Lanes for some rootin' tootin' 10 pin?

It's funny, I was driving through Long Beach just the other week, and happened to see the Java Lanes building. My eyes opened really wide...I never knew about this place!

Typically, "Tiki Central" has more info up on this place than does anyone else. What are you guys, comprehensive or dedicated or something?

T

Here's the article from the Long Beach Press Telegram, February 5, 2004:


Homes for Java site OK'd
Council must approve zoning change to replace lanes with town houses.

By Jason Gewirtz
Staff writer

LONG BEACH -- The Planning Commission cleared the way Thursday for Java Lanes, the city's oldest remaining bowling alley, to be redeveloped into 79 town homes.

Costa Mesa-based Brookfield Homes is proposing the development, which won unanimous commission approval and support from several of Java Lanes' neighbors.

As part of the deal, the developer will be required to take "presentation-quality' photos of the Java Lanes building for a local or regional architectural conservation group before demolishing the building. The "B-O-W-L' sign outside the building will also be preserved and relocated to a city storage site until a future display site is determined.

The bowling alley at 3800 E. Pacific Coast Highway was built in 1958.

Brookfield Homes is proposing eight three-story buildings with roughly 10 units each. The buildings will straddle Grand Avenue between PCH and Esther Street.

The one- to four-bedroom units will range from 1,191 square feet to 1,929 square feet each. Each unit is expected to cost between $300,000 and $500,000.

The project, which requires a zoning change, still requires City Council approval.

In recent years, the owners of Java Lanes have received several offers for the property. The Long Beach Unified School District considered purchasing the site for an elementary school in 2002, but backed out after discovering an earthquake fault directly under the site.

As part of the plans approved Thursday, the developer will have to conduct a geologic investigation and submit a report by a state-registered geologist before construction.

Neighbors of the property have complained in recent years about noise and trash coming from the bowling alley's clientele. Several neighbors said Thursday they were pleased with the development plans.

"I'm sorry to say we're not sorry to say that Java Lanes goes,' said Guy Taylor, who lives adjacent to the site.

Other neighbors echoed his sentiments.

"We couldn't be more pleased with what the final use of this property is going to be,' said nearby resident Don McMullen. The developer also won praise for its involvement with the bowling alley's neighbors.

"You don't know what a pleasure it is to have a neighborhood understand a project, let alone come in here and support it,' Commission Chair Charles Greenberg said.


Well, at least there will be some archival photography done of the place before it goes.... and who knows what'll happen to the cool B-O-W-L sign? Sounds like a project for a local preservation group to find a home for it...!

A

While Java's still standing, let's generate a groundswell of support!

I've posted the issue here http://www.recentpast.org

and drafted an online petition which just went live: http://www.ethical-business.com/default.asp?sect=detail&pet=974

Please forward to everyone you know!

Maybe we'll even have to organize a Tiki rally...Java should stay!

Thanks, everyone! Adriene

Adriene Biondo
Commercial Architecture Chair
Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee

[ Edited by: Adriene on 2004-03-18 03:53 ]

T

I just signed the petition, and forwarded it to my friends. Stop the blandification of our cities! Sign now!

I just signed the petition!

CA

I tried to book APE here on their first southern cal tour in early 2002, only to be told there was no hope and the place was to be bulldozed... hmmm... Maybe I should not have listened... the place is still up and now no entertainment license for the perfect venue ever for ape to play........

cut down a tree, put up a parking lot... ooooo la la la

Sign! sign! SING!

On 2004-03-18 19:46, crazy al wrote:
I tried to book APE here on their first southern cal tour in early 2002, only to be told there was no hope and the place was to be bulldozed... hmmm... Maybe I should not have listened... the place is still up and now no entertainment license for the perfect venue ever for ape to play........

I was the person that told you that the place could not be booked. Back when the place still had shows it had them in a show area called DiPiazza's Lava Lounge. You can call this number (562) 498-2461 and ask for Mark DiPiazza to get the exact date that they lost their Entertainment liscense. It was long gone by the Ape tour. I love Ape and was eager to help when asked to, but honestly at Kozmos the overhead was $250, I booked shows at Java Lanes in the old days and I can tell you from experience that the overhead there was $1000. You can verify that with Mark too. Remember after paying for the overhead, DJ, and money spent on flyers how much the bands actually made at Kozmos? Imagine that minus an additional $750 toward overhead. The bands would have actually gone into debt doing that show. Regardless though their entertainment liscense was long gone by then. You can call up Mark and get the exact date from him.

I signed it even tho I live in Chicago!

Hope it works. :)

J

Please help sign the SAVE JAVA LANES petition. It's only our hope to force the city to realize that we do care. Java Lanes is the last of it's kind and the DEMOLITION PERMIT was pulled April 1. Please help spread the word and write to your local Long Beach City Council.

Thank so much for your support. Everything "Tiki" appreciates it!

J

Please help sign the SAVE JAVA LANES petition. It's only our hope to force the city to realize that we do care. Java Lanes is the last of it's kind and the DEMOLITION PERMIT was pulled April 1. Please help spread the word and write to your local Long Beach City Council.

Thank so much for your support. Everything "Tiki" appreciates it!

I do hope the petition works. After signing (I don't know how many) petitions, can someone positively say what amount of signatures can actually make a difference in stopping the demolition of Java Lanes. Is this merely a way appease us and to voice our opposition or can signatures make a true difference in the real money world?

I don't know about other issues, but in the Historic Preservation world, when a member of a group, say like the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee goes before a city council on behalf of a building, it can be quite impressive (and sometimes even influential) to councilmembers if the speaker is accompanied by a qualified petition. So sign sign sign...
http://www.ethical-business.com/default.asp?sect=detail&pet=974

Well, I passed by Java Lanes last night.... and their marquee is blank! No league info or anything at all.... not a good sign. I'll have to stop by there again and find out when their final day is.

I did hear that that this treasure of Polynesian Pop architecture is gonna get torn down end of summer....!

Does anyone know if the Java Lanes is still open?

Check out this thread:

Java Lanes History Info

Well, the marquee now reads:

***Thank you to our bowlers for their loyalty

After 50 years, Java Lanes is bowing out with class***

I've tried calling, but no one answers... but there were still quite a few cars in the parking lot.

[ Edited by: Traderpup on 2004-05-21 10:59 ]

On 2004-05-21 10:59, Traderpup wrote:
Well, the marquee now reads:

***Thank you to our bowlers for their loyalty

After 50 years, Java Lanes is bowing out with class***

Traderpup on 2004-05-21 10:59 ]

SNIF!!!!! That doesn't sound good! :(

Java Lanes officially closes its doors forever on June 1st..... this weekend and Memorial weekend are the last chances to enjoy the last of its kind......!

Demolition is expected by end of summer, and the development of a high-end condo complex will begin.

[ Edited by: Traderpup on 2004-05-21 17:06 ]

Thank you, yes, I have read the thread and signed the petition. Hope it can be saved! Just wondered if it is still open.

Just talked to Java Lanes. They are open and they said that their lounge still has the Polynesian decor. We will definitely try to get there on our trip.

T

On 2004-05-21 13:07, sparklegem wrote:
Just talked to Java Lanes. They are open and they said that their lounge still has the Polynesian decor. We will definitely try to get there on our trip.

The lounge has no Polynesian decor, but there are some nice rock details.

I know the gal that's been trying to save the place from dooms day but they do plan to close the doors permanently to make way for an apartment complex.

Again, please refer to the above referenced topic for details about the fate of Java Lanes.......

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