Thursday, April 20, 2006

Retro Retail Video - "Shopping Can Be Fun"


Wonderful old 1957 public domain PR short, Shopping Can Be Fun: A New Concept in Merchandising, that chronicles the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, California. I thought it certainly deserved a permament home here, if anywhere. Hope those who haven't seen it before, enjoy this nostalgic trip back in retro retail history!

History: 1954 - present
Developer: David Bohannon (1899-1995)
Current website: Here.



20 Comments:

Blogger I. Neschek said...

This is also available on the Internet Archive, at multiple levels of quality for those who find flash video to be a little lacking.

Thu Apr 20, 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Yeah, but it's so much cooler to be able to watch it streaming right here! ;)

Besides, I must say, as for the multiple levels of quality you mentioned; most streams the IA hosts are in teeny-weeny little windows, which I don't like. This one here is appreciably larger. Which I do dig.

As for anything lacking in flash videos, yeah, that sometimes can be the case, but I've compared, and this video here looks pretty much the same as their compressed MPEG streams, IMO. So there's no big noticeable quality drop in this case that I can see.

Uh, plus, it's just so much cooler to be able to watch it streaming right here! Heh.

Thu Apr 20, 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Keith, as a frequent visitor to your site, I'm pleased to see you've posted it here! Thanks! :)

Thu Apr 20, 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

That was fantastic!!! I've always known Hillsdale as a two-level enclosed mall, so it was a real treat to see this video. And finally, I know the artist behind the nine animal scupltures, Bufano!
Thanks for sharing this video,
Scott

Thu Apr 20, 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

Vintage cars, vintage fashions, hula girls, christmas lights and giant toys - what's not to love?

And those sculptures are very attractive.

Thu Apr 20, 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks guys! :) So glad you all enjoyed it. I'm planning more of these.

Thu Apr 20, 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was Amazing! Thanks for sharing the past! I've been to this center recently and only thought it was always a mall.Only if malls & centers still did events & promotions like the 50's,what a better shopping world this would be! Zylos Forever

Sat Apr 22, 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

Makes me wonder if the Westgate Village Shopping Center in Toledo ever had the budget for this sort of thing in their glory days.

Fri Apr 28, 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger myladi said...

Thank you. That was very interesting. To see all the old cars, ect. The world has changed so much but then again not really.Maybe a little more colorful.

Sat Apr 29, 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing this video to our attention. Those definitely were gayer times! Today's malls seem to be lacking the excitement of the '50s.

Sat Apr 29, 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm proud to say that I found a Tiny Teddy like the giant one in the movie still in it's original cello and stapled. I started it on ebay for $20 and it sold for $250! Makes me wonder if an imprinted resident of San Mateo bought it. I really liked the unabashed attempt to get families to spend their religious holidays at the mall. Also, what mall today would allow an archery contest!? Thanks!

Fri Nov 24, 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Foggy said...

Just wanted to thank you so very much, Keith, for providing this! The Hillsdale Mall was a major part of my childhood experience, particularly at Christmas, with the giant animated toys, and during the summer, with the kiddie rides, not to mention Benny Bufano's myriad kid-friendly stone sculptures. During the early to mid 60's my folks and I frequented the mall often, equally often dining at the "Farmer's Market". I wonder, though, whatever happened, ultimately, to the giant animated toys, and how many of the Bufano sculptures remain on site (*if* any)? Lordy, how I loved it all!

Thu Jan 18, 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Born in 1963 and spent so many many days hours at this wonderful mall throughout the entire 70s. It looked then very similar to the footage of this video. My brothers and sisters worked at Macy's, Emporium, Sears and I worked at Mamas restaurant in the basement of the Macys in the late 70s. Hung out at JJ Newberry's food counter with my friends for a huge plate of fries and coke. Went too many times to the Sees Candy store for peanut brittle. They had a Dollar Day Sunday special at the Farmers market and we often got Spagetti there on Sunday nights. Cant tell you how special it is to see these images that are still so strong in my mind's eye but that I can no longer see in the current mall. Thank you very much! Cheers.

Sat Jan 27, 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous James O'Hern said...

I loved seeing Hillsdale mall video, I worked at the mall in the early 80's while it was still an outdoor mall. I worked at La Belle Beauty salon, which was located downstairs, next to the US Post office, and a few other retail stores. the entrence to the down stairs was across form Macys mall side. down near the other side of the mall, was the other downstairs store, Cost Plus. those were good times. is there any other photos of Hillsdale mall of the 60's & 70's?

Fri Aug 31, 02:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was 5 years old when Hillsdale Mall opened and vividly remember those animated giant toys.

It was a huge part of my childhood and I have many happy memories of the mall.

In the late 60's, I loved CH Baker shoes (a step up from Leed's) & I got my first yellow/white lace prom gown from Lundy's. What a time!

Tue Dec 18, 03:41:00 AM  
Blogger Visionary Accounting For Entrepreneurs said...

my brother and I, when we lived in Millbrae from 1962 to 1977, used to ride our bikes down El Camino just to spend the day at Hillsdale (mostly in the summer time). We loved Hillsdale, and always managed to find something to buy while we were there. Thanks for the great video sharing. Have not been back to Hillsdale since, yet it will live in our memories for all time. peter

Wed Dec 23, 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Linda Medrano said...

Keith, this was fantastic! I was 11 when the Hillsdale Shopping Center opened. How fun to go back and think about that time. Wow! Just delightful! Thank you so much for putting this up! Consider me a fam!

Fri Feb 05, 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went over to Hillsdale Mall today to check out the Bufanos. The video says there were originally 11, but I could only locate 7. Anyone know what happened to the others? The ones I found were Black Cat, Rabbit, Seal, Penguin and Two Babies , Golden Bear, St Francis on Horseback, and Red Cat.

Sun Aug 01, 09:12:00 PM  
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Sat Oct 02, 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger muse said...

Oh those giant toys! I loved pushing the buttons and listening to them talk! I was born in 1956 and used to go to the mall from my house in Menlo Park. Thanks for sharing this - it brought back so many memories. I would love to know what happened to those toys!

Sun Jun 02, 03:48:00 AM  

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