Friday, October 21, 2005

Cinderella City Mall


Englewood, Colorado - 1970's

Great shot of CinCity's stunning 40-foot fountain! It was like a mini indoor "old faithful"! The postcard this picture comes from definitely paints an enchanting scene:

"Once upon a time... is now at CINDERELLA CITY, where your shopping dreams come true. Cinderella City is the Rocky Mountain region's largest covered shopping center. More than 250 stores and services in five climate-controlled malls turn your shopping into a magical experience.

Enjoy the vast selection and exciting variety of stores brimming with unusual gifts for the whole family. A 4o foot indoor fountain, an enchanting "Old English" artisans village called Cinder Alley and five major department stores are just a small part of the world of Cinderella City, where your shopping dreams come true!"

Alas, Cinderella City was totally redeveloped in the '90s and is no more.



45 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah cinderella city, thom mcann, my first head shop, my first job where i had to pay taxes

Fri Oct 21, 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Mitch Glaser said...

I wish I could have visited this mall in its heyday! Gerri von Frelick was a mall-builder with style!

Mon Oct 24, 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger me said...

This mall was the greates. I loved the lower floor with all of the head shops, and India stuff. You could cut school and spend the entire day there and have so much fun on almost no money. Much missed

Fri Nov 11, 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous T.Knight said...

I met some good friends there in the arcade. I worked at Hot Sam pretzels. My first job!

Sun Dec 04, 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie O. said...

Ah, the Frellick malls! I was totally captivated by the architecture (particularly of Villa Italia, which sounded as if it was actually truer to Gruen's ideas than most malls were) and the nostalgia of these guys. Ironic that both were taken down about the same time and replaced by model New Urbanism projects!

There's a great Cin City ad roaming around on the net somewhere. Just so sweetly midcentury! Can you imagine this place in Christmastime:? Man!

Mon Mar 13, 01:22:00 AM  
Anonymous TylerNorthglenn said...

I grew up in Fort Collins, CO(60mi north of Denver,CO) down the road from Englewood, CO which used to be a suburb of Denver, CO but is now in the middle of Denver mostly and referred to as "Englehood". LOL I vividly remember going to Cinderella City Mall when I was a little kid. It was always a total fun adventure. There was everything in that mall. It was THE coolest mall I've ever seen. In my opinion it hasn't been topped since. The Villa Italia Mall didn't compare to it as much but was also cool. When Cinderella City was built (in 1969 I believe) it was the largest mall in the world. Second largest was a mall in Hawaii. It truly was a grand experience. You couldn't truly see/shop every store in the mall in just one day. When it was nearing its last days it was honestly a sad sight. The Cinder Alley basement area that I remember buying a lot of my music at in a Budget Tapes & Records was getting very eery with dark abandoned hallways that you wouldn't dare walk into. The massive underground parking garage that was under almost the entire ground level parking area had started to become unsafe both above and below. Especially above with massive ruts and dips in it that resembeled the way a drive in theatres parking is to slant your vehicle up at the screen. One last factual note I'll add is that strangely enough the Cinderella Twin Drive-In Theater, that was built adjacent to the mall back then, is still there and going strong with the latest movie releases last I saw back in 2005 before I moved from the state of Colorado. I lived in Northglenn, Colorado (a northern suburb of Denver, CO) for six years before moving and during that time I also watched two other fairly large and once grand malls become delapitated and torn down. A modern outdoor "Big-Box" store strip mall was built in place of The Northglenn Mall. The new strip mall was to include a large theater complex but ran out of funding so the theater part is now home to stores like Bed Bath Beyond etc. The other mall I believe was either called The Bear Valley or Bear Creek Mall was left standing and actually converted into an ITT Tech College and accompanying call centers for major companies such as T-Mobile and Lockheed Martin etc. Out front still stands an old auto service center that was probably once for Wards, Sears or Penneys. I dig this old mall and retail history for some reason. I currently work in a Dillards department store in the Conestoga Mall in Grand Island, NE. The Dillards used to be a Miller & Payne store that Dillards bought out in the `70's. Sadly enough, most of our store fixtures are the same old ones they had. The Conestoga MAll is also nearing its end days. There's a lot of talk about a new mall to be built across town on the south side. *shrugz* Feel free, anyone, to chat me up about this type of stuff anytime! =)~ PS Thanks for this cool site about MallsofAmerica! It's cool Americana history for sure.

Thu Jun 15, 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CC opened when I was 13. For my friends and me it was a big deal to get to hang out there all Saturday. The place was just a limitless maze of stores and restaurants and cinemas, you couldn't get bored. There was a radio station that had its broadcast studio there and you could watch the announcer through a window. The Cinder Alley stuff didn't get put in until a few years later.

CC was the special occasion mall for us but Bear Valley was where we spent most of our time. We were what people called "mall rats", teenagers just hanging out at the mall. One of the posters here mentioned the Bear Valley Mall. The ITT school was originally the First National Bank of Bear Valley. The anchor store in the mall was May D&F, which got torn down and replaced with the current King Soopers. The original King Soopers was across Sheridan where the Albertson's is now. The stores in the mall were Duckwall's dime store, Wyatt's cafeteria, Orange Julius, and Frederick's Fabrics, all torn down to build the Home Depot; and Dave Cook's and Fashion Bar, which were next to May D&F. There was a strange fountain next to May D&F, it didn't have water shooting up, it had oil drops running down plastic cords strung from the ceiling to a garden, arranged in circular patterns. The mall doors used to be open on Sunday mornings before the stores opened so we went and rode our bikes around inside. Don't know if that was "authorized". Probably not, but no one ever caught us doing it.

The stores over on the strip retail part of the shopping center were offices on the north end, which is where the DMV offices are now. Next to that was Hodel's Drug, then the hardware store, a Dolly Madison ice cream store, a Del Farm grocery store, then--this is kind of strange--the Bear Valley branch of the Denver Public Library, then a dry cleaners. Hard as it may be to believe, there are still two tenants left over from the old days: Hube's Barber Shop and the Bear Valley Inn. They've both been there since at least 1967.

Tue Jul 04, 02:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's too bad that they took Cinderella City down, since it was a pretty interesting mall. Unfortuantely, I only went there about 10 times, mostly to go to Funtastic Nathan's, which was located in the Cinder Alley portion of the mall. It did not have the best natural lighting, but the architecture was very unique. When I walked into the central court at some point in the 1990s, I remember that I admired what a massive structure it was.
I also thought that Villa Italia was an interesting mall. In fact, I used to go there all the time in the 1990s. Both malls had a unique, distinctive quality about them that is missing in a lot of modern malls, which all seem to be clones of each other.
One of the things that bothers me is the new urban projects that have replaced the two malls. The project that replaced CC is full of really trashy looking types of people. The Belmar project that replaced Villa is no fun at all. It is architecturally boring, and you cannot even shop in the new stores without spending ridiculous amounts of money on parking. I which they would tear down the ugly urban projects, and build some more buildings that stimulate the imagination (even if they are a bit ugly, like CC).

Wed Jul 05, 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger zoey said...

wow. i only visited Cinderella City ONCE in the mid-80's. i'm sad that it was torn down. i told my children how massive it was. they didn't believe me. now they will never believe me. *SIGH*

Fri Jul 07, 12:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember "Cinderella Scenes" down in Cinder Alley? Like a progression of scenes from the story? I have a vivid memory of Cinderella and her life size pumpkin coach and it was pure magic as a little girl to see my favorite story/movie there "for real". Does anyone know what became of the scenes?

Wed Sep 13, 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the "Cinderella Scenes" from Cinder Alley. As I recall, they were down one of the side alleys. I went there many times during the early 1970s. I returned in the early 1980s shortly after the renovation. Cinder Alley had deteriorated signifacantly by then, and I think the "Cinderella Scenes" may have been gone. At least, I don't recall seeing them in the '80s. However, I vividly remember them from the '70s, the "heyday" of one of the greatest malls ever.

Wed Sep 20, 04:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mall TylerNorthglenn is talking about is the old North Valley Mall at 84th & I-25. The anchors were Wards and May D&F. The tire center at the front entrance belonged to May D&F.

Mon Nov 27, 11:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aahh. My old stomping grounds. From 1978 (when I was 12) to 1984, I practically spent every single day there working (at Orange Julius), shopping, visiting my orthodontist (he was on the upper level that overlooked the giant fountain), hanging out in Cinder-Alley (every now and then, smelling the ganga) and making out in the basement parking lot by the arcade and pizza place. Does anyone remember the name of that arcade? Just goes to show you, you can never go back.

Tue Nov 28, 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Bobalu said...

Ahh what great memories! As has been said in this post before Cin City was the second largest indoor mall at the time. Second to Ala Moana in Hawaii. We used to go Cin City every Tuesday night to do the "Mall Crawl" hang out, "scope the babes" and just generally be obnoxious teens. Down in Cinder Alley there was a place called Up Your Alley where we bought Bellbottom pants, ruffeled shirts and black light posters of the times. Later when I was in High School I washed dishes at the Denver Dry Goods store, a department store with a counter type diner downstairs. And yes the parking lots became very dangerous as that flawed parking structure begun to crack, twist and give way under unexpected loads. I always wondered if the ramp would make it every time we went up.I can't remember the name of the arcade in the mall itself but there was the Micky Finns Arcade, Billiards and Foosball about a block away. Oh, Good Times there. How about the restaurunt in Cin City that served hamburgers, fries and baked beans in a tiny little crock pot. (I still have one of those bean pots I "borrowed" shhhhh) Anybody remember the name of that restaurant? This mall was an awesome place and the central fountain was a huge meeting place. That fountain was so high it was loud and you had to raise your voice to be heard in conversation! Villa was a good hang too, with the big tree growing inside and the Roman Architecture but Cin City was THE place in Denver for years! Thanks for the memories.

Sat Dec 02, 12:50:00 AM  
Blogger Vettestrat said...

I remember going there as a kid in the '80's and early '90's riding the carousel and virtual reality ride, eating at the village inn and going to birthday parties at Funtastic Nathans in cinder alley.

Thu Mar 01, 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in the Denver area for 25 years and I remember going to Cinder Alley and to Funtasic Nathan's for Birthday parties and to ride on the carousel. Cinderella City brings back a lot of memories for me of Colorado. I left there in 1997 just as they were demolishing it. Thanks for the memories!!!!!!

Tue Apr 10, 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Jonah N. said...

I wish they had a list of stores somewhere.

Sat Apr 28, 05:45:00 PM  
Anonymous neall said...

The arcade was called "Funway Freeway." I remember playing pinball there, as Skynrd's "Free Bird" played in the background.

Tue May 08, 01:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that arcade also changed its name to "Bumpers" and it had a bumper-car area in the center.

I remember this one video game there would loudly say "Help Me...I'll be Back" every 2 minutes or so. Sort of a "All Your Base Belong to Us" long before that.

Mon Jun 04, 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

I grew up in the Denver area (first Morrison and then southwest Jefferson County-Littleton)I do remember going to Cinderella City a few times as a kid in the early 80's. I vividly remember Cinder Alley, there was a shop that sold Gnomes and troll dolls. I also remember the Broadway-Southwest store, one time they had a union suit on display and my sister hinted that I should get one! Alas, as we lived in Littleton, Southwest Plaza became our new mall in 1983 when I was 5. We only returned to Cin City a few times after. My last time at Cin City was about 1992 when my mom took an old clock to a clock store run by an old Asian man there. Looking back at the photos it amazes me how beautiful the structure was and it is sad that the mall is gone. The old Foley's is still there as an Englewood Civic Center. Times change and so did that area, though it isnt Englehood as someone else described it....just older. It makes me mad to look at some of these east coast malls opened in the 50's and 60's and see that they are still around and Cinderella City which was much cooler is gone.

Wed Sep 05, 09:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember going to CC when I'd stayed home from work with a cold, which is just what I'm doing today, 30 years later. I especially liked Cinder Alley. I still recall how far away you could hear the fountain, and the long, long, long walk to get back to main entrance from the farthest corner of CC at closing time. I logged on today to see if CC was still there, and it's not. I regret that it's gone.

Thu Oct 04, 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous IC said...

Oh yeah, BUMPERS!!! I forgot about that place! The pizza place in Cinder Alley was Red Moon Pizza. MMM.

Thu Nov 29, 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger J.T. said...

It looks to me what killed this mall WAS the structural problems. WHY would they build a humongous, crowded, heavy structure like that on a dump? I understand it wasn't just the parking deck in trouble but the mall itself was closed for sometimes even a week to fix interior damage due to settling and that green stuff would seep up through the floor. I imagine that it would NOT have died and still be the leading shopping center in Denver if not for that: probably with all the upscale stores.

I talked to the guy who started putting all the Cinderella City information online and I have copies of those pictures he found. This place was a modernist masterpiece and very sinister looking at that. These are the places that both fascinate and cause nightmares at the same time like a mall here did for me as a child. Interesting enough, the mall we have like that was said to be built on soft ground, and I noted the sinking floor in places.

Wed Jan 16, 01:39:00 AM  
Blogger meshelmadrid said...

I was so a mallrat.. Hung out at Jolly Time almost every single day. Bummed quarters in the food quart until I finally decided to work there... Orange Julius, Freshen's Yogurt, Merry-Go-Round, and the Dollar Store... Many great memories and friendships were made at this kick ass mall..

Sat Mar 15, 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous David M said...

They don't seem to build malls with the same soul as Cin City , Southglenn, Northglenn & the other malls of the time. I work @ the Target in the Mesa Mall 9n grand Junction, Co. & remember going to Cin City with my parents & grandmother & other family that lived in the area.

Wed Aug 20, 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was the coolest mall ever as a kid. Cinder alley...themed halls, I remember it was like walking down Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter realm.

Tue Sep 23, 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name of the arcade was "Bumpers". There was a DJ who wore a rainbow colored wig. He ran the bumper cars. My parents owned Ludwigs Flowers just East of the Cin City. I would hang out at Cin City when school was out. Great memories and fun. City Council to this day is continuing to screw up Englewood. It just keeps getting trashy. Too Bad.

Tue Oct 21, 10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I shopped there and worked there, I always disliked the mall because it was built on the site of the park and our swimming pool. I had lots more fun at the pool than at the mall.

Sun Oct 26, 12:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i lived in northgleen in the middle 80's use to work at redmoon pizeria also remember the old western photo shop great years

Fri Nov 21, 06:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way late on jumping in.. but I loved this mall. Badly.

They had a wacky ice cream/soda jerk place called "Crystal's" that was located in the middle of the mall. One of those places where they'd turn on a police siren and bring out a stretcher full of ice cream if you ordered the special!

Cin City also had the dubious honor of introducing me to the world of comic book crap. In the late 70's, I remember my parents taking me into one of the few "Heroes World" outlets (these guys advertised in every comic book published in the 70's). I was overwhelmed at the amount of stuff available and my life was never the same...

Cinder Alley ruled, as everyone else has mentioned. The arcade located across from the comic book/head shop ("The Stand") was an 80's teenager's dream. Plus Zeezo's Magic Castle was just around the corner.

The guys that ran "The Stand" were in the mall forever... even until the dying days in the mid-90's. Where else could I have bought my first Iron Maiden t-shirt at the same time as the latest issue of "Amazing Spider-Man"?! Their store was frequented by teenagers and stoners, but those guys always treated everyone with respect (anyone else remember them calling everyone "guy"? Like: "how's it going, guy? Anything else for ya', guy? There ya' go, guy, enjoy!"). They moved to SW Plaza for a bit, but if I ever see them around town, those guys deserve a hearty handshake from me.

When I turned 16 and was allowed to drive, one of my first thoughts was: "sweet, now I can visit Cinderella City whenever I want!!"

Miss Cin City. I do my own private little homage everytime I visit the Wal-mart that now occupies the site.

Wed Jan 07, 07:59:00 PM  
Anonymous TruckerMark said...

In response to Tyler in Northglenn, the Bear Valley Mall was an indoor mall at Sheridan and US 285 in southwest Denver which at one time had a Burlington Coat Factory store among others. It was a much older mall with some indoor space and some stores were more along the lines of a strip center with their own front doors. It was redeveloped some years ago by the construction of a King Soopers superstore and a Home Depot, though some of the original strip center is still in use.

The mall with the Montgomery Wards that was turned into ITT Tech was the North Valley Mall, at I-25 and 84th Ave in Thornton. I remember shopping at that Montgomery Wards shortly before it closed when it had already become one of their outlet stores. Yes, the former Wards auto center is still out in the parking lot there, and the parking lot still gets a traveling mall carnival every summer. The North Valley Mall still looks a lot like it once did though it is now a technical college campus.

Run by the Westminster Mall at US 36 and Sheridan in Westminster and get some photos before it is too late. The Westminster Mall has already lost 3 of its 6 anchors, its movie theaters, and probably 75% of its interior stores. Two of the three pad site restaurants are also closed. Several of the remaining interior stores were holding "going out of business" sales just a couple of weeks ago when I was over there. For a special treat, walk all the way to the north end past Sears to the old food court, where 2 of the former 10 food outlets struggle to hang on with nothing to keep them company besides a Lenscrafters with its own outside entrance. The Sears Auto Center there is rarely busy if you need some work done on your car while you are there too!!! It won't be much longer the way that the economy is heading and the Westminster Mall will join Cinderella City on the ash heap of history.

Fri Jul 24, 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was stationed at Lowery AFB and Cinderella City was a must see. The two places I remember most where the doll house shop, with minatures! There was also an adult version of what most McDonald's have as play centers. So, much fun. I did not realize how huge this place was until I got separated from my friends. It took hours to find everyone. Well before the cell phone era.

What is it now? Another massive cookie cutter home development?

Wed Oct 21, 05:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the mall first opened, all the levels had different names so you could locate shops easier. There was the rose court, blue court, shamrock court, gold court and the sunflower court tha later turned into Cinder-Alley. Does anyone remember Tommy Wong's or Round the Corner?

Wed Apr 28, 12:35:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Colorado, I live there for 25 years before I moved away. Some of my best memories are going to Cin City with my family on a saturday. I will miss that place but I will carry the memory of it my heart. As long as people like us remember cin city it will never go away.

Wed Jan 12, 01:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got my good dog Morzsa there at the pet shop downstairs. She lived for 16 years, died in 1999.

Wed Feb 23, 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was about a 10 minute drive from the house I grew up in to Cin City, so I went there hundreds of times. As a kid I loved Farrell's, Round the Corner (phone in your order!)and Zeezos the most.

In the 80's I worked in Cin City at my fave store, Contempo Casuals. I wish I had taken some pictures of the store, I can't find any pictures of any Contempo online. Oh well, at least I saved my most fun skimpy Contempo outfits, too bad I can't fit into them anymore. Ha ha.

I moved far away from Colorado in 95, but I was still bummed out when I heard they were tearing down the (dying) mall. Most of the fun places from my childhood in Denver have been obliterated (the old Elitches, Celebrity Lanes, etc etc etc.) And my faves places as an adult in Denver are now gone too (RIP Rock Island.) How come things never seem to change for the better?

Fri Mar 04, 05:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, we used to go to Funtastic at the CC mall a LOT. We loved that place. I had my 13th birthday party there.

Fri Jun 24, 03:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went to Denver Medical & Business College (1970) in basement of mall, near the old IHOP & Penney's. Met my wife there. Lived out on Sheridan & went to the amusement parks & 3.2% bars. (Dr. Scott Crull, PhD - Woodland, CA)

Fri Aug 12, 11:50:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Visited Cinder Alley when I lived in Boulder in the early 70's. I'm sad to hear it was torn down, loved the Orange Julius shop and so many others. There was a fantastic scent/perfume shop where I purchased a small vial of Heliotrope, never been able to find the same since. You could mix your own or buy undiluted pure oils and there were so many scents it took hours to decide. It was very advanced communication-wise, you could order products via mail or telephone. For some reason I figured it morphed into another shop, moved elsewhere but don't know. Does anyone know what happened to this shop? Thanks very much!

Mon Mar 19, 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger frannym said...

Visited Cinder Alley when I lived in Boulder in the early 70's. I'm sad to hear it was torn down, loved the Orange Julius shop and so many others. There was a fantastic scent/perfume shop where I purchased a small vial of Heliotrope, never been able to find the same since. You could mix your own or buy undiluted pure oils and there were so many scents it took hours to decide. It was very advanced communication-wise, you could order products via mail or telephone. For some reason I figured it morphed into another shop, moved elsewhere but don't know. Does anyone know what happened to this shop? Thanks very much!

Mon Mar 19, 10:25:00 PM  
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Mon May 28, 05:02:00 AM  
Anonymous steven guenther said...

cin city was the ultimate anywhere.

Mon Jun 18, 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That store was Once Upon A Time...best toy store around...lots of unique toys. My best friend's parents owned it so we worked there a lot. Great memories! I loved Farrell's ice cream parlor...that later changed to Crystals.

Fri Aug 31, 01:33:00 AM  

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