Skip to content

South LA bowling proshop popular fixture in community


Dygert Arovo, a 77-year-old longtime bowler, is a familiar face at Gils Bowling Proshop in South Los Angeles. He has bowled for 53 years with a league high of 217. He’s still practicing at least once a month and is a regular visitor to many bowling lanes throughout the Southland.

Arovo’s best outing, he says, was AMF Valley View lanes and Palos Verde’s Bowl.  He’s also well known at Gardena Bowl for his determination and advice both on and off the bowling lanes. According to Arvos he has owned his shop since 1971 and at the time it was a poster shop.  What makes him so memorable is that he is the only proshop owner in the whole South LA African American community. Arovo was lifting car seats at the present location when he injured his back and decided that his time could be better spent with the sport he loves in bowling.

He regularly checks to make sure the balls he drills are legally ABC certified is by using bowling scales; he learned how to drill balls by going to bowling seminars, and he said on average its totally random meaning he does not have a set number of people with 300 or 800 scores coming to his shop.

Arovo said the most unusual thinig that has occurred over the years was the one day when someone came into the shop and tried to practice on the bowling lane and he hit his own car. Arovo said the proshop is a retail location—not a car garage—by virtue of its public appearance.

Arovo said it can sometimes be difficult to be a business owner, but one must persevere in order to realize success.

“A lot of proshops are closing,” Arovo said. “They’re hard to keep open. They can be overpriced, too, and often the staff doesn’t know what they’re doing. If you want to be a business owner, you’ve got to have  self motivation, and if you want something you got to follow the rules and regulations and just do it,” he said.