One calls to mind the movies, “The Hustler” and “The Color of Money,” when someone visualizes a billiard hall, as these movies are replete with scenes featuring this kind of place. A roomful of billiard tables with the incessant smoke filling the air and bright lights overhead are among the imagery that describe a pool hall. Here, players can play a game of pool, snooker or billiards while drinking beer or other liquor, thus earning the place such monikers as billiard parlor or saloon.
Prior to 1960, billiard halls were perceived as places of antisocial activities. These were the places that were more like pubs, where alcohol was imbibed freely and the game encouraged gambling among players and spectators as well. There were even laws passed restricting the entry of minors into billiard halls. But slowly this perception changed and billiards is now regarded as a game that requires considerable skill.
Players rent billiard tables on an hourly basis for $8-15, depending on the city and the location. A billiard hall also arranges for its classes to teach eager students on the nuances of playing the game. Many world champions of this game started playing at a young age, virtually growing up in billiard halls. Billiard halls are the best places to learn the game easily by observing other players.
Starting a billiard hall is a lucrative business idea if the location is right. Even a pool hall with a single pool table has the potential of earning good money. Most of the halls of this game open at 11 a.m. and close after midnight. They are open all through the week, though the open hours are different on the weekends. Holidays are the time when maximum players turn up to enjoy the game, a few smokes and a drink, and catching up with friends.
Sometimes, betting and the availability of alcohol will turn the game ugly with fights and brawls, yet billiards has attained prominence as a professional game. The World Billiard Championship is an annual event in which many professional players of this game participate. Playing and winning such a tournament is hailed as an achievement and considered a matter of pride.