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Academy Lanes feels the love from Winnipeggers after announcing closure

ABOVE: A 57-year-old bowling tradition on Academy Road is moving on. Global's Lorraine Nickel reports.

WINNIPEG — A 57-year-old bowling tradition on Academy Road is moving on.  Academy Lanes quietly announced this weekend, they are closing.

RELATED: Academy Lanes bowling alley closing down

It was first known as the Uptown Theatre built in 1930. Thirty years later it became the Uptown Bowling Alley then changed owners and names 35 years ago to Academy Bowling Lanes.

“We’re really sad about this location not being open anymore,” said Todd Britton, President of the lanes.

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Britton says they’re not gone forever just relocating but wouldn’t say where.

Their lease is up this year and the building’s management company wanted to go in a different direction turning the nearly 100 year old building into something else. They didn’t return Global’s phone calls Monday.

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Academy Lanes
Randall Paull / Global News
Academy Lanes
Iconic Winnipeg bowling alley Academy Lanes will become Uptown Alley when it moves to St. James this summer. Randall Paull / Global News
Academy Lanes
Randall Paull / Global News
Academy Lanes
Lorraine Nickel / Global News
Academy Lanes
Lorraine Nickel / Global News
Academy Lanes
Randall Paull / Global News
Academy Lanes

“They have a passion for this property as well obviously they bought it because it’s beautiful and I’m sure whatever they do it’ll be great,” Britton said.

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The building is deemed a historical building, meaning whatever happens, the outside will stay the same.

“When you look at this building they’ll never be built again,” said Cindy Tugwell with Heritage Winnipeg. “It’s a by-gone era, these building will never be re-replicated.”

Britton admits he didn’t realize the impact his business had on Winnipeggers but after making a quiet announcement on social media over the weekend the response has been overwhelming.

“We kind of thought you know, we’re a bowling alley, people may not notice until we close but this has been crazy,” Britton said. “It’s been so humbling we really feel honoured by all the support we’ve been getting.”

They had planned on closing in three weeks but due to the overwhelming response they decided to stay open until the end of summer.

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