Two Portsmouth Bowl employees were held up at knifepoint as they prepared to shut up shop.
Brian Richardson was blindfolded, gagged and tied up by a masked raider armed with a double-bladed knife, in the boiler room of the Arundel Street centre.
Mr Richardson, 40, from Cosham, said: ‘It was like a nightmare. They were the longest 15 minutes of my life.’
His 20-year-old colleague, receptionist Wendy Beattie, was also gagged and bound by her stockings as the marauder fled with the £3,300 Saturday takings.
The intruder timed his attack seconds after the last bowlers had left the building at about 1.15am.
He hid in the roofspace, climbed along the catwalk in the roof, through the storage area, and down into the boiler room.
Mr Richardson said: ‘Not long after I had locked the front doors when the last people had gone, Wendy asked if I had closed down the boilers because she heard noises.
‘Just as I got into the boiler room, the door flew open and this masked man with a knife ran past and stood over Wendy, pointing his knife.’