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Fountain Square duckpin bowling transports visitors back in time

Action Duckpin Bowl gives visitors a chance to play in an atmosphere that's frozen in time.

INDIANAPOLIS — There's nothing flashy on the fourth floor of the Fountain Square Theatre building.

“This is the only traditional and authentic duckpin bowling alley in the Midwest," said Linton Calvert, the president of the Action Enterprise of Indianapolis. “This is actual duckpin regulation lanes, with everything about this game is exactly the same as 10 pins except the ball and pin size.” 

Calvert bought the building almost 30 years ago after it had been sitting vacant for decades.

“This fourth floor was a bowling alley. It opened in 1928," he said. "When we came here in ‘93, the building was really destitute. It was all closed, windows were broken out, it was a mess.” 

It was a massive effort to bring the right pieces together to bring his vision to life.

“We acquired the bowling lanes from Lynhurst Bowl on the west side," said Calvert. "We got all the score tables, ball returns out of Columbia City.” 

Receiving these pieces in the same shape they’ll always be in. 

“When I put this back together somebody thought I should get scoring machines and scoring tellers," said Calvert. "I said, 'No! Pencil and paper, just the way it was.' Our approach to this was to keep it as original as possible.” 

Giving visitors a chance to play in an atmosphere that's frozen in time.

“The character in this place, you just don't want to make it look modern and new," said Calvert.

Through duckpin bowling, he brought life back to the building and the area. 

“We assembled this with the desire, or my desire, to really create an authentic 1928 bowling alley with a unique game of duckpin bowling and we accomplished that," said Calvert. "We've been very well rewarded.” 


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