Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Bowlium, 4365 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois.

December 21, 1941 - Bowlium Holds Formal Grand Opening for Four Days.

The Bowlium, Chicago's newest half-million-dollar bowling enterprise, holds its formal opening this week, starting with two singles matches tomorrow night and continuing with a program thru Friday. One of the most ornate in Chicago, the establishment is located at Sheridan road and Montrose avenue. It features 30 bowling alleys in-line and without a post to mar the view of spectators. The alleys are open 24 hours a day, and the pin boys made 11¢ a lane working behind the alleys.

Bowlium has been in operation since October, but (Frank & Bill) Helsing's Vodvil Lounge (a restaurant & burlesque night club), to be run in conjunction with the bowling establishment, has just been made ready. The lounge capacity was 325 people with drinks starting at 50¢. It was also called "Time-In Vodvil Lounge" in later years.
Bowlium already has 23 leagues operating, newest of which is the Owl circut, begun two weeks ago and already has a membership of eight teams.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.


  1. This really brings back memories. We used to bowl there all the time. Most excellent old fashioned yellow & red popcorn machine inside. I can still smell it. Comedian Georgie Gobel got his start at Helsing's Vodvil back in 1948. Used to get hot dogs across the street and was there when I heard that the Beatles broke up.

  2. I also have many memories. My Grand Mother worked the coat , hat check and shoe room. I bowled in a junior league on Saturday mornings. The large Rip Von Winkle mural was whimsical and was the perfect set up for the fun atmosphere of the place.

  3. I believe the Harmonicats played in the Lounge.


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