Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cinderella City Mall

Englewood, Colorado - 1970s

Quaint town street-themed "Cinder Alley", inside the incredible (but now gone) Cinderella City Mall. Very cool and colorful photograph! (courtesy

This mall was so amazing and had such a fascinating and rich history, that I won't even try to recount it all here. Besides, that's already been done for us very admirably, by dedicated fan, Josh Goldstein (see the Wikipedia link below). I think this mall deserves a lot more attention than it gets! The more you learn about it, the more I think you'll agree. Dixie Square Mall currently has a documentary in the works about it... well I think Cinderella City is equally deserving of that kind of attention. It was truly a huge, breathtaking shopping mall, with tons of character and color!

Mall history: 1968 - 1999
Developer: Gerri Von Frellick
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice dark interior with subdued lighting & your standard period decor. Is that a Mr. Dunderbacks Deli I see on the left? Those German pubs with the meat hanging from the ceiling were prominent in malls during the 70s/80s.

Wed Jul 12, 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If, back in the early 70s, I had known there was a place on Earth called *Cinderella* City Mall, I would have begged my parents to take me there. A lot.


Wed Jul 12, 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

A bit murky, besides trying to emulate a city street or market indoors always tends to look a little weird. Though I like the "streetlamps" in the middle of the concourse.

Wed Jul 12, 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Gee, I love this kind of murky ambience and garish color (tend to gravitate most to these kinds of mall photos for some reason)! Dig the faux streetscene stuff, too. Color me weird I guess. ;)

Wed Jul 12, 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Swain said...

You're not wierd, Keith. That place was extremely slick for the '70s.

Wed Jul 12, 09:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Steven Wilson said...

I visited Cinderella City in the '70s and was not so impressed. I had already seen Woodfield by then. I seem to remember some minor dispute over which of the two was truly the larger mall. I was already firmly entrenched in the pro-Woodfield camp when I visited, so it's not surprising that Cinderella City did not impress me.

Cinderella City was okay at best. I mainly remember it as being rather dark inside. I found it puzzling that the famous fountain court seemed to be somewhat isolated from the retail areas.

Fri Jul 14, 12:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dark interior was only in Cinder Alley, a basement part of Cin City. Because it was not in a heavily trafficked area, there could be street lamps and "outdoor" tables. It quickly became the youth section of the mall, meaning we were not hassled as much as in other parts of the mall.

That is not a Mr. Dunderbacks. There was a German deli called Hummel's, but it was in a different part of the mall.

When Cinderella City or New Englewood, the original title, opened in 1967, it could market itself on its size. But that size began to work against the mall. That, the lack of a major re-invention of the mall and competition from newer malls on the outskirts of metropolitan Denver doomed Cin City.

Montgomery Wards had a store which became Electric Avenue. It was the last anchor store and kept the mall open. Wards and the mall and the city of Englewood which did not want a white elephant around negotiated for Wards to settle their lease. It took a couple of years for that process to happen. I visited in 1998 or 99 and found the mall spooky with gated off wings.

I was sad to see it die. But, the area is now a mixed development which takes advantage of the new light rail station.


Tue Aug 01, 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger ChrisM70 said...

I lived in Denver in the early 90's and when I was in college used to visit a comic book store there. It was EMPTY and depressing.

The fun part about Cinderella City was the parking lot. Some of the parking was above ground and for whatever reason (probably just age) the upper parking area was really wavy. I mean REALLY wavy - it appeared to be like primitive speed bumps, but I'm not so sure these giant humps & valleys were on purpose.

For fun, we would drive fast through this area and it was like being in an old 70's action TV show! The car would fly over the large dips as we played Beastie Boys "Sabotage"! :)

Fri Aug 18, 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cinderella City and Villa Italia were awesome pieces of modern architecture, and it is too bad that they were replaced with utterly boring "urban projects." Just the other day,
my mom and I agreed that we miss Villa Italia, and that those plastic-looking buildings that make up the new Belmar center show no imagination or character.

Sat Nov 25, 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh...Cinderella City (memories). We used to go there every weekend in the early 80's to one of 3 game rooms. One was called "Funway Freeway", and I can't remmebr the other 2. Downstaris was a small great pizza place near the game room and head shop called Red Moon Pizza...yum
So many great memories as a kid and teenager were had at this giant mall. I got my first puppy in the Shamrock mall portion at Pet City in 1975.
Along with Southglenn Mall (gone) and Celbrity Sports Center (gone) these places hold a special place in my heart.
RIP Cin City and Thank you for the memories.....Ronbo/Brad and Dale

Sat May 05, 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have way more memories of Buckingham Square in Aurora than I do of Cinderella City, but I couldn't find it anywhere on this site.

Though I do vaguely remember visiting Cinderella City a couple times when I was really little. I seem to remember going to this place with a giant chair called Fantastic Nathan's, but I'm not sure if that's what it was really called or if it was even at Cinderella City.

Wed Jun 06, 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

To above noter...yes, there was a place there called Funtastic Nathan's and it did have a ginormous chair, bouncy castle and all that great stuff! I have some fun memories of Cinderella City. By the time I was old enough to remember it (mid to late 80s) it was already in the stages of serious decline but I still thought it was a fun place.

Sun Jul 01, 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger Jonah N. said...

After the 80s, renovation, it seemed Cinder Alley changed. Or was this Gold Mall?

Mon Sep 03, 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This place was a great mall, oh how much fun I had there, It was a place I hanged out all the time there, It was home away from home, the arcade that they had there in the 70's there was a room there for bummper cars, oh damn that was a blast, this was on the lower level of the mall, see the fountains was a blast, the food court so many to pick, then the stores, how much I enjoyed shopping there. But then in damn 90's thing really changed, until it died in the end, the only orginal bulding that stands there was the May D&F store which was made into a theater and then to a Foley store, now its the City of Adminstration main head quates, Cinderalla I'm miss you for ever.

Thu Nov 01, 05:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there... It was home. Every opportunity to be there, to go to Cinder Alley, to smell, walk, experience the mall as a whole.

It will always be one of my fondest memories.

Tue Nov 13, 02:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a kid in the 70's I lived in Fort Collins, but would come to visit my cousins who lived in Englewood! I loved going to Cinderella City and especially Cinder Alley to do Christmas shopping. Little did I know that eventually I would move to Englewood and even work at the Dairy Queen in the mall and hang out at Farrells Ice Cream after choir concerts. By the time I was in high school, the mall was showing her age, but I have to agree on the parking lot! Roller coasters have nothing on that parking lot. Cinderella City was a great mall!!!

Wed Nov 14, 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I remember Cinderella City. It was my first mall experience as a child and it has stayed with me for more than 30 years. I remember that huge fountain, and after having lived in the Denver area, I always looked for fountains in other malls in the Michigan town we eventually moved to, but there were none. Most malls never measured up to Cinderella City for me. They don't compare. There was just something exciting and wonderful about the atmosphere it gave. It was a romantic mall, full of ambiance unequaled in today's mall arena. It was magical and it is missed.

Mon Jan 14, 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Cinderella City once in the late 80s - it was very large and mostly vacated by then. But its massive feeling of emptiness still resides in my memories and I recently had a dream about the place and logged on to find that it was demolished. How sad. Seems they could of turned it into lofts are something spectacular.

Fri Jan 25, 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in college there in the early 80's. We would go to Cin City as we called it, all the time. We bought our concert tickets there, hung out, shopped. It was the coolest place I had ever seen. We did not have anything like it in Memphis. I do remember we always came in on the backside and parked underneath near Cinder Alley. I lived up the road on Federal Blvd. Man that place was great.

Doug from Memphis

Wed Aug 27, 03:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mall had a very unconventional layout. I think that more than it's size worked against it. My dad worked at the last store to stay open when the mall was shutting. The mall was trying to convince them to close earlier then they did but my dad's company wanted to stick it to the malls owner for other various disagreements. By the way, someone on this website asked about Buckingham Square Mall: The mall was torn down about three years ago and redeveloped into the Market on Havana Street..

Tue Jul 28, 02:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Pam from Kentucky said...

I remember Cinderella City..."1001 shops under one roof"... It was built when I was a teenager going to school at TJ. I loved Cinder Alley when it first blowers, watercolor artists, potters, lots of "artsy" places. I used to buy "puzzle rings" and "10 elepants in a bean" at one of the shops that sold eastern art. The thing I remember most was when the mall opened, and they had this beautiful stained glass window above the fountain...then the first time they turned on the fountain, it came on too high and crashed through the stained glass window. I also remembered being highly embarrassed at Farrell's when a friend would tell an employee that it was my birthday, as they made a big deal about birthdays and sang to us on our birthdays.

I went to visit the mall last year when I was back for a visit, and I was sad to see that it was no longer there.

Wed Jan 06, 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

When I spent the summer of 1974 in Englewood, I was 18 and spent a lot of time at Cinderella City. As a California kid who had grown up with outdoor shopping centers and only a few indoor malls, I was blown away by this huge indoor center. I remember enjoying the Farrell's Icre Cream Parlor quite a bit. Lots of fun, too bad it didn't last.

Mon Mar 15, 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Scott Passe said...

I was born in 1960 in South Denver so I “came of age” along with Cinderella City Mall. So many good memories that I couldn’t begin to recount them here. Getting there (before I was old enough to drive) was not a problem as both the Broadway #0 and the Downing #12 busses passed through. I also worked at New Englewood Pets during High School. My best friend worked at Burstein Applebee. Christmas shopping never required going anywhere else. I was bummed when they removed the fountain. I felt that they were on a downhill slide from that point forward.

Mon Jul 19, 08:43:00 AM  
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Sat Oct 02, 06:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uggh I remember that place. I was young and must have been late 80's. Place sacred the heck out of me. My mom would take us to the play areas in the basement. I also remember punk kids in the hallway(probably Dr's and lawyers by now) but they scared me.

Wed Jun 22, 06:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in 1981 I was at Lowery AFB for training from Sep through Nov. I had the opportunity to go to Cin City a few times. I remember eating at a huge Mexican restaurant either in Cinder Alley or was it the Blue Mall? I have been trying to remember what restaurant it was. They had awesome food. I was hoping when I return to the Mile High City I would find another restaurant if it is a chain. Does anybody know what restaurant it was? Do they have another one in the Denver Area?

Wed Oct 05, 02:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Steve Wilson, I am sure the management of Cinderella city was so mortified that you were "not impressed" by the mall. I mean, if it doesn't pass muster with Wilson, what are we to do! Why, the Wilson "measuring stick" of impressiveness is there go gauge everything, and is certainly there to dazzle all of us with the intellectual greatness of Wilson, am I right folks?!

Fri Oct 14, 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved Cin City growing up, and later a "big birthday day" for our kids was playing at Nathan's followed by ice cream at Farrells (they did make a really big deal of birthdays, sirens, fire engine clanging as I recall, and an huge tower of ice cream you could get. Then we would finish at the drive in movies across Santa Fe.

Mon Jul 01, 09:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Denver between 1989 and '92 when I was just out of college. I'd go to Cinderella City to wander about because I couldn't afford much else in terms of entertainment. The mall was already in serious decline but I enjoyed people watching and browsing.

Tue Jul 02, 02:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was called nathans fun center, then funtastic nathans, then just funtastic. Then it moved a few blocks away and was called nathans funtastic fun center. Its been gone for a few years now

Fri Jul 19, 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Django said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tue Aug 06, 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger josiah77 said...

My father and mother bought their wedding rings at a jewelry store in Cinder Alley in the early 70's. My mother passed away in '86 and I would give anything to go back and visit that mall just to soak in the memories. It's always so heartbreaking when something like this that was so special to so many people dies a slow death and then vanishes from the face of the earth, leaving only memories behind.

Tue Aug 06, 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Colorado native, grew up in the Denver Metro Area (still live here) and remember Cinderella City very well. For about 6 or 7 months in 1979, when I took some time off from college, I worked at a store there called 'American Waterbed'. We would sometimes eat at a restaurant there called Round the Corner, a burger joint which had red ring-down phones in the booths to place your order. It is my understanding that this king -sized mall was built on the old Englewood City Dump, so it had all kinds of structural issues. While I was working there in 1979, they were rebuilding parts of the parking garage on the north side of the mall. The "waves" in the parking lot that a few people had previously mentioned were due to the ground settling.


Sat Jan 31, 08:02:00 PM  
Anonymous donna said...

I worked at Mcdermott's Drugs of the Gold mall 1970era, Having to work the pharmacy counter one evening, I knew I was limited on products to sell, mostly generic aspirin & condoms, I was humiliated to make my first sale, condoms to a very handsome young man, I heard a voice behind me say, did you ask him his size? FACE FLAMING, I WENT BACK TO THE COUNTER, Excuse me,Would you like small, medium, large, or extra large? dead silence from across the counter, Something clicked in my innocent little girl brain, OMG, they don't come in sizes, now maybe, but not way back then, I backed away from the counter & paged a new cashier
, sorry to hear cin city is only a memory, I really hated the ugly poupon mustard color uniforms we wore working in the gold mall

Mon Nov 16, 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Whitehead said...

In the early 70's, my girlfriend and I would go to Cin City to walk, window shop, and hold hands. We would look in the shop windows, and talk about the things we would have someday after we got married, and became successful.

My favorite part of Cin City was Cinder Alley. That's where all the cool stuff was. I don't think she particularly liked that section.

As it turned out, we didn't marry, I was successful in life and finances, and I don't think she did real well in either.

But we had a great time together back then. 

Sat Dec 10, 01:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy to see pictures of Cinderella City back in the mid-70s I went to the Barbizon School of modeling which was downstairs in Cinder Alley it was a great mall with lots of interesting and unique shops and people. I have since moved from Colorado back to my home state of Illinois but my daughter now lives out in Denver and I visit often and hope to retire there as I still miss it very much. It brings back a lot of memories thank you for the pictures. marsha

Thu Jun 22, 09:58:00 PM  

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