Most of those activities are gone now with the exception of the indoor movie theaters (but long gone is the 2-screen second run movie house that charged only $2.00) and the put-put course.
No one is building bowling alleys or put-put courses anymore. There are no new drive-in theaters. Gone are the Farrells Ice Cream parlours where you could order up a Pig's Trough for your birthday party. No new ice rinks are being built. New development seems to involve new grocery stores, Outlet malls or apartments built over the cherished memories of our youth. Were those amusements widely profitable? Probably not, but can someone put a price tag on the joy and smiles a child receives from bowling a strike, or sinking a hole in one at put-put, or watching an ice cream laden stretcher being carried wildly around the ice cream parlour to arrive at your table with birthday candles ablaze. Maybe it shouldn't always be about profit.
I look at my children's hometown of Pleasanton and feel a bit sad they do not have some of those same opportunties afforded to me. Yes, we can travel to neighboring cities for ice skating, put-put, or movies, but they will not be able to just hop on their bikes and head over to these attractions. We have a wonderful BMX park for our kids to enjoy, but will that be around for the next generation? Just when my kids are old enough to enjoy the Rapids Waterslides at Shadowcliffs, the slides have been closed awaiting a decision to tear them out to leave behind an empty pit of rocks, dust, and sadness.
I am not so naive to think drive-ins will come back or a bowling alley will be built in Pleasanton, but we should all be concerned the amenities we do have like the Waterslides and BMX park are being threatened and may not be around for future generations. Once these amusements are gone, as I saw in Sunnyvale, there is no going back.