Discrimination | News | Portland

Portland, Oregon Bowling Alley Tells Gay League to Leave


The owner of Portland, Oregon's Hollywood Bowl bowling alley doesn't like gays.

From a Towleroad reader:

I am part of a LGBT bowling league (above) in Portland, Oregon that has been a fixture in the city since the '70's. For over a decade we have called Hollywood Bowl our home alley. However, within the last couple of weeks we have watched Hollywood Bowl become increasingly unfriendly to our league.

We received notice through our league administrator that bowling leagues do not fit Hollywoods new business model and thus we are being asked to find a different alley. We were sad at the news but accepted the scenario as we were assuming that all leagues were being asked to leave. Recently, we became aware that the only leagues that were being asked to leave were the two gay leagues and a league that is administrated by two lesbians. All other leagues are being allowed to stay as they fit into Hollywood's new family friendly business model.

This has not gone over very well in the league at all. We feel really alienated as we have families too and brought a lot of revenue to the alley both during and outside league meets once a week.

Hollywood Bowl's contact info can be found here, should you wish to tell them how you feel about this. HB's Facebook page is here.

UPDATE: The lane's owner Mark Frank denies the accusations to the Portland Mercury.

Our reader responds:

The timeslot offered is already taken by a smaller "straight" league. About ten or so teams. The house has started a new promotion on Sundays that would leave no room for non-league bowlers if we took the 6:30 timeslot offered. Why start a new promotion only to have the entire house filled with league bowlers? It doesn't seem legit to us as a league. And this offer was presented to us after we contacted the local media. It feels like a ploy to save face. We are a league of 26 teams with four people each. There's no way that we could be accommodated in that timeslot and the owner knows that.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Seems like this would violate Oregon's public accomodations law:


    Posted by: Mike in Houston | Feb 16, 2012 6:14:21 PM

  2. That may not be quite accurate: http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2012/02/15/hollywood-bowl-says-gay-bowling-league-not-asked-to-move-because-theyre-gay

    They've stopped all league bowling on Friday and Saturday nights.

    Posted by: oregonized | Feb 16, 2012 6:21:50 PM

  3. Thank you for sharing. This has been especially vexing in such a progressive town. I'm on the Friday night league and am more than happy to take my weekly bowling money elsewhere. Supposedly they want to open up Friday, Saturday and Sunday for open bowling, but only LGBT leagues have been asked to leave/move.

    Posted by: Corey | Feb 16, 2012 6:24:47 PM

  4. just spoke to the manager who said that they were putting in an Arcade, and wanted more open bowling lanes on fri/sat. apparently this was the owners decision. the manager and employees are very upset.

    Posted by: mymy | Feb 16, 2012 6:34:39 PM

  5. I wonder if the original Hollywood Bowl...you know, the iconic outdoor amphitheater in Los Angeles where thousands of musicians have entertained crowds since the 1920s...would like to know that their name is being infringed upon by this establishment?

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 16, 2012 6:42:45 PM

  6. What bowling alley would remove all league bowling on Friday and Saturday nights? That's insanity on their part. It's guaranteed revenue!

    Posted by: John | Feb 16, 2012 6:51:09 PM

  7. I live in Portland and am in a bowling league at Hollywood Bowl with a bunch of my (straight) friends. I just texted everyone. You can be goddamn sure that we're not going back there anymore.

    Posted by: matt | Feb 16, 2012 6:58:18 PM

  8. @OREGONIZED: according to people in the comments of the article, the only teams asked to move from the weekend slots were the gay teams.

    Posted by: RandySF | Feb 16, 2012 7:05:48 PM

  9. If you live in Portland, don't forget to write a review on their Yelp page (http://www.yelp.com/biz/hollywood-bowl-portland) so that other people know what they are like

    Posted by: Kyle | Feb 16, 2012 7:14:37 PM

  10. They are deleting all the comments about this from their facebook.

    Posted by: John from MN | Feb 16, 2012 7:19:49 PM

  11. Previously mentioned but deserves to be re-mentioned. The ONLY leagues being asked to move are the gay leagues. The non-gay leagues on these nights are apparently okay.

    Posted by: u huh | Feb 16, 2012 7:20:14 PM

  12. FYI all negative posts to their Facebook page have been removed (except as of this writing, the negative "recommendations"). There has also been no response or comment on this situation.

    Posted by: richardb | Feb 16, 2012 7:29:07 PM

  13. Their facebook page is being scrubbed of negative comments minute-by-minute. Such actions only reveal that their intent was homophobic in nature. Lambda Legal, anyone?

    Posted by: Michael | Feb 16, 2012 7:34:50 PM

  14. I see a new episode of Portlandia.

    Posted by: Daniel | Feb 16, 2012 7:35:48 PM

  15. Can't they get sued for this crap?

    Posted by: Bans Gender | Feb 16, 2012 7:58:37 PM

  16. They have removed their Facebook fan page completely.

    Posted by: SFBuddy | Feb 16, 2012 8:18:09 PM

  17. The Hollywood Bowl website lists all the other leagues that they have, but not the three that are being discriminated against. Perhaps the league name "PDX Pride" wasn't family-friendly enough for their tastes...

    Posted by: Steve | Feb 16, 2012 8:21:12 PM

  18. Looks like they didn't expect the backlash.

    Posted by: sylvatica | Feb 16, 2012 9:24:21 PM

  19. I'm really surprised. I thought bowlers, in general, were pretty cool people.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Feb 16, 2012 9:25:49 PM

  20. I know this won't make me any less unpopular than I currently am with Towleroad readers, but I support the right of gays to have bowling leagues that are treated equally with other groups' bowling leagues. I mean it may be necessary to protect traditional marriage......but traditional bowling leagues? Something tells me that even Santorum would be on your side on this issue.

    Posted by: Mary | Feb 16, 2012 9:42:21 PM

  21. MARY - You seem inordinately fond of santorum...

    Posted by: TJ | Feb 16, 2012 9:53:21 PM

  22. Did they check to see if the gay league had any Polish players on it? This may be the problem...

    Sorry...little midwest humor there. Ahem.

    We had tons of yuka yuka with this back home.

    "How do you tell a groom at a Polish Wedding?"

    He's the only one with a clean bowling shirt on!!

    **slaps leg and laughs to herself whilst crickets chirp all around her**

    Hi TJ!!!!

    Posted by: Rin | Feb 16, 2012 10:24:37 PM

  23. I guess you can tell, TJ. But hey what can I do, he's already married - and with 7 kids. So I missed my chance. It's a lousy position to be in - all frothed up and nowhere to go.

    .......(just joking!)

    Posted by: Mary | Feb 16, 2012 10:46:10 PM

  24. RIN: depending on spelling, my last name is either German or Polish in origin. Tread softly.

    Of course, I know you don't mean it.

    PS - did you see my response to you on the "What gay is not" thread?

    Posted by: TJ | Feb 16, 2012 10:52:20 PM

  25. It amazes me that people like the new owners are so clueless about their own clientele and the easy PR opportunity that the Internet offers.

    You'd think they might have learned a little something from the big pile of doo doo that Komen stepped in.

    Posted by: David R. | Feb 16, 2012 11:03:09 PM

Post a comment


« «Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1066« «