Back in the days before television, Akronites—like everybody else—liked to get out of the house. There were always movie theaters to visit, and vaudeville shows, both professional and amateur. Live music was enjoyed just about everywhere, and dancing to it was equally popular. Younger generations enjoyed lacing up their roller skates and gliding across the floor.
During World War II, the hall continued to be a popular spot, especially for many of the young women who took over men’s jobs at the rubber and aerospace factories. After the war, East Market Gardens was home to a number of other events as well, including the Children’s Hospital Charity Ball and The Greater Akron Trade Exposition.
|The Greater Akron Trade Exposition - East Market Gardens, 1951|
In later years, the hardwood floors would find another use, and the dance hall was eventually transformed into a bowling alley. Initially known as Garden Lanes, it was operated by Dick Behra until it was later sold to Barry and Sandy Keith and renamed Rubber City Lanes.
Bowling balls eventually gave way to the wrecking ball, when the big structure was torn down to make way for a Subway restaurant in 1984. As is so common in Akron, that building has already passed into oblivion and the site now is a vacant, concrete-paved lot.
|From Bowling Balls to the Wrecking Ball - 1984|