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Demolition nears for Kona Lanes bowling

May 31, 2003

Deirdre Newman

A 45-year landmark will soon disappear from the city's landscape.

C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, which owns Kona Lanes, plans to demolish

the bowling alley within the next two weeks, company spokesman Paul

Freeman said Friday.

The alley, which closed May 18, reflects Tiki googie architecture,

the quintessential "look-at-me" style that began in Southern

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California in response to the car culture and explodes with

Polynesian flavor.

Support for the aging alley swelled in April when the City Council

considered a Kohl's department store for the area of the Mesa Verde

Shopping Center where the alley and the now-defunct Edwards movie

theater and Ice Capades Chalet are.

But that did not translate into economic support for the alley,

which survived the last few years only because of rent concessions

from the Segerstroms, owner Jack Mann has said.

For the past two weeks, Mann has sold off items such as bowling

pins, shoes and larger pieces of equipment. On Monday, Mann will

vacate the property and a fence will be installed around it, Freeman

said.

At the request of Planning Commissioner Katrina Foley, the

Segerstroms will save and restore the popular Kona Lanes sign,

Freeman said.

"A lot of people wanted to see the sign saved," Freeman said.

The Segerstroms aren't sure what the future holds for the

property.

"We don't have any specific plans right now," Freeman said. "We're

looking at a number of options."

During the discussions on Kohl's, many residents bemoaned the loss

of a place that provided family fun.

"I'm really concerned with the social impact of losing another

recreational area," Cheryl Kerr said. "A bowling alley offers a

socializing opportunity. Psychologically, it's very important in

developing children into safe adults."

* Editor Tony Dodero contributed to this report.

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