Arcade Lanes

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A fixture in downtown Huntington since the 1920s, Arcade Lanes closed its doors
for the last time on May 28, 1976, when operator Carl Ray lost his lease.
Here Ray surveyed the closed lanes for one last time.

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HUNTINGTON May 28, 1976, was a dark day for those in the community
who loved bowling and billiards, for that was the day downtown's
Arcade Lanes closed its doors for the last time.

Arcade Lanes was located in the basement of the Huntington Arcade at 913 4th Ave..
 The arcade was built by the Ritter Family in the early 1920s.(Many people
 called it the "Bank Arcade" although it was unrelated to the
 adjacent First Huntington National Bank.)

Interviewed by The Herald-Dispatch sports writer Tim Massey, Carl Ray,
who had operated the Arcade Lanes since 1962, said he was forced
 to close when William Ritter Jr., the administrator of the
 Ritter Estate, declined to renew his lease.

The closing of Arcade Lanes brought down the curtain on a chapter of downtown
Huntington's history. Said to be the oldest bowling and billiard establishment
in the city, it was opened in the 1920s by Emil Schoenbaum, the father
 of Alex Schoenbaum, who founded the Shoney's restaurant chain.

Schoenbaum sold the business to Ashland businessman John C.C. Mayo, who took
out the bowling lanes and turned the space into a giant billiard hall, filled with
28 tables. In 1948, Max Jeffers Sr., bought the business from Mayo,
 sold 21 of the 28 billiard tables and installed eight modern
 bowling lanes. Ten years later, the pin boys were
out of a job when Jeffers installed automatic
 pinsetters, the first installed in West Virginia.

Ray, who started out working as a mechanic for Jeffers,
 bought out his employer in 1962.

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Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Nov. 27, 2017.

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