Rhondda Bowl is set for its moment in the spotlight this September, after the producers of Netflix hit Sex Education selected the Tonyrefail bowling alley as its latest location.
The 14-lane alley welcomed the series’ cast and crew in February, after scouts discovered the venue perfectly suited the show’s retro, small-town America aesthetic.
“The reason they wanted us was that we still looked retro, looked ‘80s,” owner Graham Maddox told Wales Online. “It was hard work, I got the cold shoulder from all the staff because I didn’t tell them what was happening but we couldn’t have crowds of people.”
“When the trucks and all the juggernauts arrived overnight, people were saying what’s happening down the Rhondda Bowl? Is it mass vaccination? Is it Doctor Who? I had it all!”
Maddox and his business partner Nicholas Keppe had been planning a range of refurbishments at Rhondda Bowl ahead of reopening, however, Netflix’s scenic crews took the job in hand – spending three days decorating to their specification in preparation for filming.
“When it was all done their electrician told me the set decorators would come in to repaint it how it was,” said Maddox. “I said no leave it, just take anything with the brand name on and replace any signs with Rhondda Bowl signs.”