WONDER BOWL, ANAHEIM, CA 1958
The Wonder Bowl bowls me over!
That twisted fan splay of signposts skewering big bowling balls is one of the great wonders of the Mid-Century modern world.
Who knew a space age suburban sign could have the poise and grace of a prima ballerina or a pro bowler about to bowl a strike?
The little companion billboard strikes a rare balanced pose, too. On the bill: OPEN BOWLING 24 HRS, FREE INSTRUCTIONS DAILY, HELEN TERRY AT PIANO BAR, ROAST SIRLOIN OF BEEF TENDERLOIN $1.65, COFFEE SHOP and 95 LUNCHEON. Sounds like a feast for the senses. Let’s go!
The car show in the parking lot doesn’t disappoint either.
From the Chinese red Chevy truck to the right; is a creamy ’57 Olds, jet black ’50 Chevy, snow white “swept wing” ’58 Dodge, emerald green Dodge work truck, and a partially primered Studebaker truck.
But the darling of the day is on the street front and center. A dreamy ’55 Ford Crown Victoria, beautifully finished in a nearly hypnotic hot pink and white, inside and out. Even the wheels are pink. Who stole the hubcaps?
The building is boxy but sprawling and relieved by unexpected curves, slight angles and cheese balls on sticks spelling out Wonder Bowl in case you forget where you are. But how could you? Turquoise and chartreuse is such a rare color combo.
The Wonder Bowl lives up to its name. No doubt about that. Even more wonderful that it was tight next door to Disneyland.
Actually, it looks like what would happen if the original Tomorrowland and Cars Land had a baby. Let’s call it Googieland!
That’s a great idea! Disney are you listening?
Here’s to Wonder Bowl, Googieland and YOU!