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AMF Bowling Center, 2601 Broad River Road: 2000s   31 comments

Posted at 11:51 pm in closing

I have bowled, I believe, four times. The first time, I had beginner's luck, the other times -- not so much. I have the impression that this alley, on Broad River Road not too far from Briarsgate, has changed hands a couple of times over the years I've been driving by it, an impression reinforced by the repainted look of the No Loitering sign. I'm pretty sure it was a going concern until fairly recently -- the plants inside are still OK, right?

As with many places, I have no idea what happened here. It seems to me that bowling used to be a good bit more popular when I was a kid -- it was often on TV on weekends, and you could send in cereal box-tops for free admission to alleys, but given that there are so many channels now it could just be that I don't run across it as much (and I don't eat cereal anymore either..). I believe that the Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone used the decline of bowling teams as a metaphor for what he thought was wrong with American society in the 90s, but I don't believe that was meant to imply the sport as a whole was on the way out, just the social/team aspect of it. I didn't notice any for sale signs on the property, so I'm not sure what the outlook for it is.

UPDATE 6 October 2017 -- It appears that something is happening here. The notices (from 2015) seem to be to the effect that the owners either need to do some minimal repairs (the building was apparently open to anyone wanting in) or tear it down. I'm not sure if that's what the dumpsters are all about or if there is actually something going in there. The cross painted on the side made me think perhaps a church was taking possession, but there is still a realty sign at the road front, so probably not..











UPDATE 5 February 2019 -- As reported in the comments, now Immunotek:


Written by ted on September 30th, 2008

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31 Responses to 'AMF Bowling Center, 2601 Broad River Road: 2000s'

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  1. For the longest time this bowling alley was owned and operated by Brunswick. I went bowling there a few times years ago, but not since Anchor Lanes in Irmo was opened.

    I dont remember when this site changed from Brunswick to AMF, as i dont get over to this particular stretch od Broad River Rd often, but it seems to me that after Brunswick closed it sat empty for a long time, then AMF moved in and was only open for a little while before it too closed.


    1 Oct 08 at 11:37 am

  2. I lived on Seminole Drive behind Brunswick for several years in the mid nineties. Three were people there 24 hours a day, just hanging out outside. It was beginning to become a rough place, if it hadn't been before. I used to have my girlfriend watch me take out the trash at night, just in case something happened to me.


    1 Oct 08 at 12:48 pm

  3. I love bowling but it has gotten really expensive. The one in cayce does pretty good business on weekends.

    MR Bill

    2 Oct 08 at 2:16 pm

  4. A lot of folk don't know that the bowling alley on Ft. Jackson, which is the nicest one in town, is open to the public. To get on base you will need your drivers license, auto registration, and proof of auto insurance.

    They have good draft beer and it's never very crowded.


    2 Oct 08 at 6:37 pm

  5. This was brand new in the 70s. I started going there about 1974 & it did a huge business on the weekends. It was the first one I knew of that had auto-scoring displays. That helped draw in many a novice (like me). They also had a nice pool room with video games, foosball & air-hockey. Those were the days of good, cheap fun.

    John R

    10 Oct 08 at 5:42 pm

  6. Brunswick divested itself of a lot of its bowling centers in the late 90s. AMF bought most of them and rebranded them AMF from Brunswick. AMF already had 2 centers in Columbia (Cayce and Bush River Rd) that were doing quite well and this one was basically turning into thugsville. It closed sometime after summer of '05 when the USBC men's state tournament wrapped up. This place really went downhill after Brunswick sold out.


    4 Dec 08 at 2:24 pm

  7. WOW...I remember this place...Going there after school almost everyday just to hang out. Man how time fly's. It just seems like nothing's opened anymore.


    24 Dec 08 at 11:58 am

  8. this was actually called AMF Capitol Lanes...apparently from what I heard the clientele left a lot to be desired...there's a 76 station and a car wash at this very same intersection that closed up within the past several years as well for similar reasons


    30 Dec 10 at 12:22 am

  9. I was very interestied in purchasing this building and it would really be helpful if the owner would contact me as soon as possible on the status at 803-542-2318,Thanks

    brandon summers

    16 Jun 11 at 3:49 pm

  10. There are better ways to flush your money down the toilet. I left the neighborhood 16 years ago, and right after I left, there was a story in the newspaper where a guy got motorcycle-jacked at the stoplight. Guy put a gun to his head in the middle of the day and took the bike on the spot. And that was 16 years ago.


    16 Jun 11 at 4:26 pm

  11. If you really care enough about this building, go by and see the commercial real estate 'for sale' sign that most for sale commercial properties have on them


    16 Jun 11 at 4:34 pm

  12. I wouldn't use my money to open a trash landfill in that area, much less a business. The city of cola is intent on making Harbison the same type of armpit, as they "moved" residents of Read St and Rosewood "projects" out there via Section 8. People who give a d%@# about anything decent just keep moving on farther, so you now have a Walmart Supercenter in Ballentine. Anyone want to take bets on how long till Columbiana Centre will be another Columbia Mall, and the next new mall will be past Chapin or Blythewood?


    16 Jun 11 at 10:10 pm

  13. Columbia is doing the same in NE Cola re :Section 8. You can read the Fish Wrap and watch the crime march down Two Notch. I know they had good intentions dispersing Section 8 throughout the city, but all it really did was bring the whole place down.


    17 Jun 11 at 6:43 am

  14. You guys are so right about how the St. Andrews area has gone to hell in a hand basket with the clientele, the crime, and abandoned buildings people and businesses will probably never occupy again. I remember when the St. Andrews area was a 'step-up' from NorthEast Columbia. Not the case anymore. Think I'll live and stay in rural Dillon county the rest of my life.

    Tom Seay

    5 Nov 11 at 9:06 am

  15. It's thoughts and comments like that which prevent progression. Putting money into a community is never a bad thing, allowing ignorance to consume our thougths and actions are. I remember when it was illegal or at least un heard of to scream out comment to a Head of State during a formal meeting regardless of his party affiliations but today that's not the case. So, I want to purchased the building to improve the lives of the community and to beautify the area, which is needed, is that wrong. My parents are from the rural Chapin and Newberry county and we wished that people would turn aroung and go back to Columbia, no such luck. Let get it together people and become the change that we want to see. If you want the area to become better, be better people. Hate percipitates hate.


    9 Mar 12 at 5:10 pm

  16. Everyone I agree with your comments on how people just don't care about anything. It is so sad. Next to Spring Valley Lanes (Now Royal Z) Brunswick used to be my favorite.

    @Regina, I understand what you mean but you have to look at the reality of it. You bring in something nice, it will only be a matter of time that the things AROUND it will make it the same way dude to the lack of respect and common sense people seem to have these days. I would honestly like to see a community center there. Like a Boys & Girls club. After school program. On weekends, family center or something. Bowling centers cost well over $1 million to operate.


    22 Jul 12 at 2:39 pm

  17. Regina,

    Take off the liberal blinders for a minute. Broad River Rd. and Two Notch are the Detroit of Columbia. You can twist perception, reality won't budge.


    31 Jan 13 at 10:07 pm

  18. I am currently looking to open this place in the near future. I an looking for several ideas, grants and sponsors. You can contact me at for serious inquiries. It is time for a change !!!


    5 Feb 13 at 1:44 pm

  19. Would like to see the inside of this building and see what is left. If anyone knows the owner/broker person and gets in please post some pictures. Thanks


    5 Feb 13 at 5:09 pm

  20. I always thought it was funny that a bowling alley had a door that led directly into the bar (note the little door to left of the main entrance). I have fond memories of drowning my sorrows in there after some really crappy scores....:^). I wish I could remember the name of the lady that bartended there. She was crazy!! But, of course, we are talking mid to late 80's.


    6 Feb 13 at 2:49 am

  21. Today I noticed two construction dumpsters out in front of the building but the signage indicates it's still for sale...


    25 Aug 17 at 11:29 pm

  22. Today I saw signage indicating that this building has sold...


    27 Dec 17 at 2:03 pm

  23. Today I noticed some interior demolition work in progress on this building...


    13 Jun 18 at 10:15 pm

  24. I finally have an answer to what this building is about to become...

    Today I noticed signage indicating that it is about to become



    Which is a plasma donation center...


    24 Oct 18 at 6:16 pm

  25. A Plasma Donation Center? That's gonna be an awfully big building for that..but then again, it's Columbia. Let's take bets on how long it'll last since it's not in the best part of town.


    25 Oct 18 at 1:26 am

  26. "Not in the best part of town" is probably on purpose. They pay donors, so it's primarily a way for people who really need a few bucks to get it.


    25 Oct 18 at 2:42 am

  27. Time will tell on how long and how successful it'll be. Lots of people on that side of town that do drugs, so they're gonna have to do a lot of screening. The last time I remember that side of town and Broad River Rd. being a decent place was in the late 60's to mid 1970's. But by the mid 1980's, it was a whole different story. I wish them the best of luck, and it's a nice thought, but only time will tell what happens with this place.


    25 Oct 18 at 10:31 pm

  28. That is almost laughable. There will be a line of people there to make a quick buck but like Del said, they will have to have one hell of a screening purpose since most of the people in line will use the money they collect there to buy some more crack.


    26 Oct 18 at 9:18 pm

  29. I think all it's gonna do is bring more trouble makers, druggies, homeless and more in that area. Curious though, with all that room in that building, what are they gonna do with all that extra space where the lanes were, and the bars and where the bowling shop was..that's an awful lot of building and space to occupy. I guess it could be worse though, and if the old Star Lanes on Assembly were still there, it would have just as many problems too. I wish them luck..but I dont see it lasting a long time at all.


    27 Oct 18 at 11:32 pm

  30. After a ≈15 year period of dormancy this building has new life as ImmunoTek is NOW OPEN...


    22 Jan 19 at 5:38 pm

  31. I've donated there. Not a bad placement. Usually busy and a lot of stores around to buy stuff and not crack (comment above). Liquor store and smoke shop!


    22 Jan 22 at 1:39 pm

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