Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Rheem Shopping Center

Moraga, California - 1960s

Just love this shot of the Rheem Shopping Center, nestled in the lush and picturesque (back then anyway) Rheem Valley. One of the more unique looking settings I've seen for a mall or shopping center--like the Gulf View Square Mall, for instance, which sits right on the edge of (and almost into!) the Gulf of Mexico, in Port Richey, Florida.

Mall history: mid '50s - present
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none


Anonymous Don-O said...

Wow, a mountain THAT close to the mall?! You can do your hikking and shopping in the same trip!

Tue Aug 15, 10:57:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

Or have a spectacular view as you do your mall shopping.

Wed Aug 16, 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Exactly! I was starting to think I was alone in being blown away by the unique and quite breathtaking placement shown in this photo. Thanks guys. :)

Wed Aug 16, 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rheem valley ?, from this pic it looks more like Hidden Valley. How did anybody find this mall ?

Wed Aug 16, 09:35:00 PM  
Anonymous tkaye said...

If someone told me to go to the Rheem Shopping Center, I'd have thought it was a vacuum cleaner buyer's paradise. :-)

I'd be curious to see a ground-level photo and whether the hill is still that dramatic or whether the view is largely obscured by the mall building. (And yes, I called it a hill... take a look at the Southcenter photo with Mount Rainier in the background to see what a mountain really looks like! Just the Pacific Northwesterner rearing in me rearing its head! :-))

Thu Aug 17, 02:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Charles said...

I go to school right next to the shopping center. In fact I go there for lunch everyday. There are similar shopping centers in nearby Moraga, Orinda, and Lafayette. However, this one is definatley the most senic and desolate. The layout remains the same although they added space for a (now closed) supermarket. As of today there aren't any supermarkets. Still the shopping center is quite busy.

Mon Aug 21, 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Georob said...

Rheem Valley is actually in the city of Moraga, in the East Bay about 20 miles from San Francisco.

It is indeed a beautiful place and what's most amazing about the center is that it still has an original operating 1950's era movie theatre (called the Rheem Theatre, of course) The theatre was closed and used as a live venue for many years, but has gone back to showing art and second run films.

And whoever made the vaccum cleaner joke isn't too far off the mark, as Rheem Valley was originally developed by Mr. Donald Rheem who owned the Rheem Manufacturing company.

Sun Aug 27, 02:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up near this shopping center. This shot looks like it dates from the late '50s or early 60s, probably when the shopping center first opened. The photograph makes it look far more picturesque than it actually is. It may seem remote, but as the only commercial center within 4 or 5 miles, it does fair business.

Incidently, the field bordering the center at the top was actually a driving range, since covered by the center expanding and housing.

Tue Mar 24, 07:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Donald L. Rheem II said...

Loved to see this shot, and to read the comments about the center and the theater.
Don't think we ever made vacuum cleaners, however. Water heaters, heating and AC units, even ships during WWII. I just don't remember ever seeing our brand on vacuums. It is possible, Rheem branched out to a lot of products before it was sold.
Donald L. Rheem II

Sat Mar 19, 02:42:00 PM  

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