RISBJ Staff | Feb 03, 2017
Lang’s Bowlarama is proud to introduce The Nelson Event Center, a new event space located inside the bowling alley. The Nelson pays homage to Lang’s Bowlarama founder, Edward Nelson Lang, and embraces the aesthetic of the 50’s and 60’s. The Nelson has a capacity of 125 and offers a 16ft projection screen and wireless mic, stage with lighting, full bar, private or semi-private space and more! They offer delicious, affordable catering. Plus, options to add on bowling to any event — an amazing way for guests to mix, move, and have a great time together. Great for rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, engagement parties, showers, corporate events, social events and more.
A History of Ed Lang and Lang’s Bowlarama
Edward Nelson Lang was a larger-than-life character; he was a salesman with a dream. Throughout various career ventures, such as roller-skate messenger, chauffeur, and pen salesman, he never gave up on his dream of opening a bowling alley. And then his dream came true: on April 22, 1960, Lang’s Bowlarama was incorporated, and opened on October 2, 1960.
Ed Lang’s Bowlarama flourished during the 60’s. For many Rhode Islanders, it was the place to be. Hundreds of league bowlers flocked to the Bowlarama every day of the week for league competition. Ed’s son, Bruce Lang, continued his fathers’ legacy in 1972. Bowling was huge in the 1970s, and the pro tour came to Lang’s in 1977-78. Ed and Bruce Lang worked side by side for many years. Their legacy spanned beyond just the walls of Lang’s Bowlarama – both were active in charitable fundraising, in fostering the arts in RI, and in the sport of bowling in general. In the 1980’s the American landscape changed drastically, and bowling fell from its former glory. In 1983, the family made the decision to retain ownership of the building, but to lease the center to AMF Corp., a national bowling chain operator. AMF operated Lang’s, retaining the Lang’s name, for many years.
Over the years that the Lang’s were not at the helm, the alley had fallen into a state of neglect. The rich legacy and history of this iconic RI business had to be restored. Rich and Dave Lang, grandchildren of Ed Lang, decided to revive and rejuvenate their family legacy. The changes they have made are not just cosmetic — they breathed new life into the building and restored the warm, familiar, family-operated feeling that makes Lang’s so special. It was a new era, and a fresh new chapter in the long, Lang’s story.
Lang’s Bowlarama has been an iconic Rhode Island Business for over 55 years. The future of Lang’s Bowlarama is bright, with plans to upgrade and expand the Lounge and other amenities. One thing Rich and Dave are committed to is constantly improving the business, whether that is the physical appearance of the building indoors and out, or enhancing the customer’s experience. There’s always something fun going on at Lang’s, and they thank all patrons for continuing with them on this journey that started so long ago.