Portsmouth's bowling alley set for plush £750k movie makeover

THE bright lights of Gunwharf Quays will become home to a dazzling Hollywood Bowl this month, as the Bowlplex undergoes a £750,000 refurbishment.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 5:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:12 pm
Bowlplex in Portsmouth is set to be transformed into a Hollywood Bowl with a £750,000 refurbishment
Bowlplex in Portsmouth is set to be transformed into a Hollywood Bowl with a £750,000 refurbishment

Work is under way – with the centre remaining open for the duration of the refurbishment – and is set to be completed on Friday, April 28.

The redesign will see the bowling centre undergo a full rebrand and refurbishment to include a new Hollywood Diner, serving hot dogs and burgers, shakes in retro milk bottles and desserts.

The diner will sit alongside a new American-style bar serving house speciality cocktails.

Reece Badger, general manager of Hollywood Bowl, said: ‘We’re incredibly excited about the transformation that is taking place and can’t wait to bring the full Hollywood Bowl experience to both new and existing Portsmouth customers.

‘As a premium retail and leisure outlet, Gunwharf Quays is the ideal location in which to be developing from Bowlplex into the world-class bowling experience synonymous with Hollywood Bowl.’

Hollywood Bowl Portsmouth will become home to four VIP lanes, giving visitors star treatment in a plush roped-off area.

They will be named after favourite American legends; ‘Marilyn Monroe’, ‘Han Solo’, ‘Audrey Hepburn’ and ‘Elvis’.

Any of the centre’s 26 lanes can also be pre-booked.

The centre’s amusement area has also been part of the transformation and features games such as Jurassic Park and MOTO GP Bikes, retro games like Crossy Road and old favourites like crane games.

There is the added opportunity to ‘Play for Prizes’, where customers can collect tickets won on their favourite games and exchange them for goodies, from sweets to remote-controlled Bugattis.

Gunwharf Quays general manager Colin Wilding said he was delighted to see an investment into the centre.

He said: ‘We aim to provide visitors with a day out to remember. As one of the south coast’s most popular destinations, we offer guests the opportunity to relax at our waterfront restaurants, shop for the latest designer trends in our 90 retail outlets and enjoy leisure facilities from sailing and RIB rides to the cinema and bowling complex.

‘The introduction of Hollywood Bowl will transform our leisure offer and we can’t wait to welcome guests later this month.’

Hollywood Bowl bought 17 bowling alleys from Bowlplex last year in a deal worth £30m.

The company was valued at £240m when private equity owner Electra Partners floated the company on the stock market in September.

The Gunwharf Quays upgrade will also create new jobs – the firm is recruiting at the moment.

Visit bowlingcareers.co.uk for more information.