Fun with Family at King Louie West

The Arts & Heritage Center’s 1st Anniversary is on Sunday, June 10th. Come and celebrate anytime in the month of June! The Johnson County Museum, located inside the Arts & Heritage Center, is open Monday – Saturday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.

After visiting the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center last year at it’s opening, I had an episode of dejavu.

I had been to the building before, but it was completely different.  I hadn’t been there for fifteen years when my sons worked at the King Louie Bowling Alley and Ice Rink during their senior year of high school in 2002. They worked on weekends for gas money, and they said it was one of their favorite jobs.

King Louie

King Louie West  Source: Johnson County Museum Collection

One of the boys worked in the snack bar cooking up any kind of fried food you could order and the other worked in the little shop where you could turn in tickets for prizes. They made lots of people happy and were even able to get a discounted bowling ball. The rest of the family used to go over while the boys where working and go bowling.

King Louie West bowling ball

One of the bowling balls the Kazmi boys bought while working at King Louie West. They were smooth balls so the owners could have custom holes drilled to fit their hand. Source: Melody Kazmi

This being near the end of the King Louie heydays I remember it being rather dark and considerably smokey-smelling. I remember it being very large, and usually not very busy when we went. Once my little girl even got to go down in the basement and go ice skating. I didn’t even know at the time that there was an ice skating rink down there!

It was the largest place of that type I have ever seen. Now that is has been renovated, cleaned, and made bright and shiny it has become a wonderful renewed source for the public to visit in a completely different capacity. But to me it will always be where my family and I spent some fun weekends bowling and skating and eating fried foods.

Six members of the Kazmi family

The Kazmi family, ca. 2002 Source: Melody Kazmi

-Melody Kazmi, Johnson County Library

1 Comment

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One response to “Fun with Family at King Louie West

  1. Brett Wyer

    As a teenager in the ’80s, I remember regularly going to King Louie to play video games. My first experience with a talking pinball machine was there with a Williams Black Knight; I still remember the first time I walked by and heard its deep, electronic voice taunting me.

    Now, over 30 years later I am a video game and pinball machine collector and have my own Black Knight machine to relive those memories.

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