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Cosmic Blacklight Bowling on JBLM

Saturday nights are fun in the dark

Retired Air Force Col. Jim Luntzel winds up for a 10th frame throw during his last game of the night during Cosmic Blacklight Bowling at Sounders Lanes Family Fun Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord Saturday. JBLM PAO photo

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When the lights go out, there’s still a chance to enjoy a few games of bowling on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Just add some disco balls, bright neon-colored lights and a blacklight that helps illuminate the lanes.

Sounders Lanes Family Fun Center on McChord Field offers Cosmic blacklight Bowling every Saturday night from 7 to 11 p.m. With the cost being $12 per person — including the shoe rental — for two hours of bowling, it’s a good deal that has attracted JBLM service members and their families.

“We have had quite a few good turnouts,” said Sounders Lanes manager Jake Sandall. “The most people we’ve had was 55 to 60 people all at once.”

The bowling center went through several changes during its renovation from November 2013 to January 2015. Aside from the removal of eight bowling lanes, the installation of the lights for Cosmic Blacklight Bowling was big change for Sounders Lanes.

With the lights off, a blacklight and a series of bright neon lights and disco balls are turned on — creating effects on the center’s everyday bowling balls and pins. Sandall said Sounders Lanes closely resembles a disco party.

“(It’s) not so much the 1970s style, but the lights show up,” Sandall said.

The musical choice is also a little different from the 1970s disco venues. Depending on the patrons’ choice, the top hit songs from the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and the current decade can play.

Cosmic Blacklight Bowling wasn’t the only addition from Sounders Lanes’ nearly two-year renovation. In place of the eight lanes that were removed, a family fun area was established with plenty of activities for both parents and adults, including an indoor playground.

“If (parents) want to just chill out and have their kids run around like crazy, they can let them go on the playground set,” Sandall said.

There is also a laser maze game that comes with three difficulty modes: easy, medium and hard. The game can be one or two player with the goal of getting past the laser grid as quickly as possible.

Sandall has given the laser maze a try; although, he said he struggles with the laser grids.

“It always reminds me of the movie “Entrapment” with Catherine Zeta-Jones going through the lasers,” Sandall said. “You have to bend down, get down on your stomach and do an Army crawl.”

Couples and families can enjoy the retro fun of a photo booth, which usually holds up to two adults. Small children can still sit on a parent’s lap.

There’s also a standup arcade machine that includes retro classics such as PAC-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug. At only 25 cents to play, it’s certainly a popular attraction among adults — including the manager.

“I want to say (I play) more often than I should — about three to four times a week,” Sandall said.

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