SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – Thornton Hall Bowling Lanes, which for 75 years has been a part of Sharon, has been under new ownership for two years now. Partners Rick Kennett and George Farneth bought it from the Scott family, who had owned it since 1949. Earlier today, we checked out Thornton Hall Lanes to see what has changed and what has not.

The sounds of balls rolling and pins crashing echoed through Thornton Hall Lanes on Friday during warm-ups of the Friday Night Fun League, of which Ray McNight is president.

“This is a special place for me and some of our bowlers,” McNight said.

“So it is growing. It’s growing at a very steady pace,” Kennett said.

Reporter Stan Boney: “Are you glad that you bought it?”
Farneth: “We are.”

Two years ago, Kennett and Farneth bought Thornton Hall Lanes and the nostalgia that went with it. The above-ground ball returns, the wooden lanes and the orange-colored seats are straight out of the 1950s.

“So in terms of nostalgia, it’s hard, very hard to find another bowling alley that stacks up to this,” Farneth said.

But they’ve also spent money and made changes. $100,000 was spent on new pins, an oiling machine and an elevator. The orange walls were repainted blue and an ice cream shop was added, along with pool tables and dart boards. Several bowling lanes were removed and replaced with ax throwing.

“It’s worked out pretty good so far. We’ve had a lot of people come here and throw axes. A lot of groups. Most of the time women are better at it than men,” said employee Justin Nix.

All the changes have made a difference.

“When we first took this over, on a Saturday, for us to do $50 was a big deal, for the whole night. Now, if we’re not doing $1,500 to $2,000, it’s like we’re not even open,” Kennett said.

On the first floor, below the bowling alley, they also own the Nittany Pub & Grille, which could be part of future plans.

“We are interfacing the two companies and working to develop special events and things of that nature that would include some community-based events. We’re looking to do a first responders night and a teachers night,” Farneth said.

“It was nice to see that someone did purchase the place and keep it going,” McNight said.