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cadet bowl


Published in Explore Claremore History on February 17, 2024 by Christa Rice at

Revisiting the site of Claremore’s Cadet Bowl, 1957.  Though league bowling is a sport of focus and skill, many recreational bowlers remember Claremore’s Cadet Bowl as a prime entertainment location, where family and friends met to socialize while enjoying the camaraderie of a gratifying game of 10 pins.

How can anyone forget the joy of performing a perfect approach, heaving the weighty bowling ball down the polished wooden alley, then waiting expectantly to hear the anticipated crash as all 10 pins hit the floor in a strike? Who also remembers the frustration of rolling a gut-wrenching gutter ball?

April 16, 1957, the Rogers County News enthusiastically announced that a significant main street building was about to be transformed: “The former Cadet theatre building, recently purchased by Harold Wilson (of Wilson’s Hardware), has been leased to Art Stanislaus, Pryor, who will put a bowling alley in the location… Wilson purchased the building several weeks ago from the Griffith theatres and is presently remodeling the location. Stanislaus… plans to open here as soon as the building is remodeled.”

To get the ball rolling, in August 1957, the old Cadet Theatre sign was repainted to read “Cadet Bowling.”

The Rogers County News further explained, on Sept. 10, 1957, that Doyle and Dorothy Stanislaus, “the owners, said that regular league play is expected to get underway here next week.” Sparing no expense, the new bowling lanes featured “semi-automatic pin spotters on each of the four lanes. The firm will be open afternoons and evenings each day in the week. Featured also are a concession counter and locker rentals… Stanislaus said today that persons or firms interested in sponsoring of teams could get further information from him at the lanes here the remainder of this week.”

More details were advertised in the Claremore Daily Progress, Sept. 11, 1957, as anticipation for the grand opening intensified: “You are invited to the Cadet Bowl’s Grand Opening, Thursday, September 12th. Open seven days a week, afternoon and evenings. Locker Rental. Modern, 4 Lane Alley. Open Bowling (non-league bowling for practice or pleasure. Come in any time and try out our new alleys. League Bowling will start next week. You are invited to come in and get all of the information. Teams for league bowling are now being formed. If you are interested in sponsoring a bowling team, please let us know and we will help you get set up as a sponsor. Lunch counter will be open during bowling hours. CADET BOWL… 418 W. Will Rogers. Phone 797. Claremore, Okla.”

With great zeal, local businesses welcomed the new business owners with this advertisement. “Welcome Neighbor! We welcome Doyle and Dorothy Stanislaus to Claremore and wish them the best of luck in their new business, the CADET BOWL – Wilson Hardware in Claremore since 1902. Harold J. Wilson. H. Jim Wilson.”

Early in the game, many Claremore young people were tasked with the job of participating by “setting pins” and doing other odd jobs at the Cadet Bowl.

The Cadet Bowl served the Claremore community and its “kegling” enthusiasts for many years. It was not until December 1961, however, that the Cadet Bowl, having outgrown its original downtown Claremore facility, moved to a more accommodating location and had its grand opening on Sunday, Dec. 17, at the new Cadet Bowl, south of Claremore on Highway 66.

The old Cadet bowling alley served its patrons where the Pickin’ Queen now resides. When you stop by to shop there, try imagining the sights and sounds of eager bowlers casting their heavy bowling balls down four wax-polished alleys, anticipating the crash and the exultation of a Lucky Strike executed in the distant past at Claremore’s Cadet Bowl.

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