Abandoned bowling alleys

My friend Noel Kerns likes to crawl around in abandoned buildings, light them up and photograph them. (I've written about him on Boing Boing, here.) The results are lovely, and the dereliction of the buildings always tugs at my heart a little — all that promise, all that future, all used up. But the emotional punch of photographs like these is a little glancing, it seems to me. You can imagine the buildings when they were shiny and new and invested with the owners' hopes and dreams, and probably invested with their actual money too. But you rarely get to see them in that early, optimistic phase. That's why I was so excited when these pictures of derelict bowling alleys popped up at WebUrbanist.

(Photos by cityeyesphoto)

These gorgeous, empty images are the end result of an entropic process whose hopeful beginnings were documented in this spectacular 1960 promotional film for the Brunswick company. (It was, like most films of its kind, rescued from obscurity by master archivist Rick Prelinger.) From this to that, in just 50 years.