Friday, October 13, 2006

Palm Coast Shopping Center - Woolworth's

West Palm Beach, Florida - circa 1960s

Many moons ago a friend e-mailed me this postcard scan. All I have to go by now in the way of specific information about the photo, is simply what was in the e-mail: "Palm Coast Shopping Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, 1960s".

A search online for some concrete data came up relatively empty. Can anyone out there help me to identify this one positively (doesn't look like an enclosed shopping mall), and perhaps point me to the correct aerial and website (if it's still around)?

At any rate, strip mall or not, there's a Woolworth's and G.C. Murphy here in this wind and sun-swept shopping center, so that's always worth a peek in my book. I'll add data below if I find anything out.

Mall history: n/a
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view n/a
Previous entries: none


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm its been awhile since I lived in Palm Beach but it reminds me of an outdoor strip mall in West Palm Beach called the BelMart Shopping Plaza on Belvedere where there is a Winn Dixie

Fri Oct 13, 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

Ooh, a mysterious shopping center. I like that.

Fri Oct 13, 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

I like the fact that even though the shops all have their unique logos, there still is a certain degree of unity due to them all using the same colour for their logos.

Fri Oct 13, 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Seems like anonymous might be right about this shopping center. I Googled BelMart Shopping Plaza on Belvedere and there is such a place in Palm Beach. Actually they place it in West Palm Beach, but I am assuming they are used to refer to the same area. But you know what happens when you assume.
I found a site listing the coordinates of different places in Florida.

Belmart Shopping Plaza is Prim Long DD(w)-80.05528 and Prim Lat DD(n)26.68833

Sat Oct 14, 03:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

something tells me its been replaced by a luxury condominium.

Sat Oct 14, 08:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is g.c. murphy?

Sat Oct 14, 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really love this photo, its like the world has stopped which is the feeling I always get from other photos I've seen of Florida.

Sat Oct 14, 08:16:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

I believe GC Murphy was variety five and dime like Woolworth's and JJ Newberry's.

Sat Oct 14, 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GC Murphy text in the post is clickable. If you go to the embedded link it will tell you everything you want to know about the chain (and then some).

Sat Oct 14, 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mystery Solved!

Apparently, the center was renamed Palm Coast Plaza, although I found it still referred to as "Shopping Center" once.

Anyway, it is located at 7119 S. Dixie Hwy. in WPB, and now houses a public charter school, Palm Beach Maritime Academy. They moved into the center in 2000. The school occupies the center part of the building, as there is a Winn-Dixie grocery on one end and a Beall's Outlet on the other. There is a pizza hut and a new age/pagan bookstore in the plaza as well as the offices of a theatre group. Back in the day, it used to be a shortcut for Forest Hill HS students, who would stop for pizza. The center seems to have been expanded, and the parking lot landscaping has been changed somewhat. That is most likely due to several outparcels being developed since the 60's. is my friend.

Mon Oct 16, 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is absolutely Palm Coast Plaza in West Palm Beach (I lived down the street from the main entrance on Alhambra Place) There was a Norman's, a Lerner Shop, the Reef Card Shop (One of the owners was the late great band singer Kate Smith - remember her from Ed Sullivan?) S&S Cafeteria was at one end and Publix at the other end (north end). Walgreen's had a big luncheonette, Murphy's and Woolworth's had a smaller one.

The Cinema opened there in 1967 and the Godfather was the only feature that played there for almost a whole year in 1972.

Mon Nov 13, 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember that shopping center
exactly as it was in the photo.
It took me a second to snap back
to 2007. My dad and I used to walk
up there a few times a week and get a coke at the soda fountian at Walgreens.

I used to get my bicycle tubes at
the Westeren Auto. Later, a Wolco
got built behind the publix at the
north end. They used to have a
vaccuum tube tester as late as 1975.

The strip mall is still there, but
doesn't look at all like it used to. It now has an WinnDixie where
the Jackson Byrons and Lerners
Dress shop where. A Wendy's is
in the parking lot and the Publix
is gone. It is on US1, near the
in the south end of WPB up the street from Alhambra.

The picture made it look like it
was a windy location, but the trees
were recently planted in that photo
and didn't look right.

Mon Feb 05, 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous the---duke said...

The movie theater was called the Cinama 70. It was on the south end next to the S&S Cafeteria. Then there was a small road that seperated them from the Jackson/Byrons and the rest of the mall. It was basically a strip mall except for an enclosed area on the N.W. corner that had half a dozen or so small shops before you got to the Woolco.
Used to buy H.O. trains and parts at the Woolworth's, they had a good supply and sometimes priced way cheap. We would buy Frank Zappa 8-tracks for .99 cents at the Woolco and tape over them because they were cheaper than a blank.

Thu Dec 13, 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my i use to go to that shopping mall manny moons ago.. my friend and i saw star wars there as kids. and my parents would take us to the S&S cafe. There also use to be a Store Called King's I think back then to.. It was todays version of Dollar General or Family Dollar.!

Fri May 16, 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Grahambrunk said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sun May 18, 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Grahambrunk said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sun May 18, 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Grahambrunk said...

Oh, I know where this is. There is a McDonalds in the Parking Lot (where the drive in portion of the movie theater use to be!). This place is nasty now. Its not really that nice or safe now. It went really down hill about 5 years ago when Wild Oats closed. At the time Wild Oats was the only organic food market in all of West Palm Beach. I can't imagine business being that bad, the place was always packed! For organic food people West Palm must now travel to Palm Beach Gardens or down to Boca Raton to get it. Much of this plaza is vacant though. In 2005 some people were gunned down in the parking lot. This opened in 1959 and was the first shopping center in the county. Woolworths closed in 1997. Its final day had a total of 4 customers according to the Palm Beach Post! It was the final Woolworths to close in the county. The plaza was renovated in 1989. Until 1990, a Costco existed in the plaza as well. Winn-Dixie is where JByrons use to be.

Sun May 18, 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The shopping plaza still exists. A Winn-Dixie replaced the theater in 1996 and the old cafeteria was torn down. There also used to be a Costco, Publix and Walgreens, all of which are now gone. The plaza has that vintage 60's look and has not been remodeled in 40 years or so. Now there is an Academy, Tuesday Morning, Dollar General, Bealls Outlet, Winn-Dixie and other independent shops. Half the plaza is vacant. On the parking lot there is a Wendy's, Pollo Tropical and a Chinese Buffet. As for Belmart Plaza, it still exists, there is a old style Winn-Dixie, 2 Dollar Stores, Rainbow, Subway, Liquer store and more. Gone is the retro exterior and now it has that early 2000's look to it.

Wed May 21, 02:44:00 AM  
Anonymous redeyespy said...

This was my childhood (70s/80s) shopping center. My grandmother used to drag me to Cloth World, which was part of the inside mall that existed between Woolworths and Woolco. Across from Cloth World was a pet shop. There was also a toy store further down, near Murphy's.

I loved seeing movies at Cinema 70 and then going to the S & S. Really wish I could revisit.....

Thu Jul 03, 09:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this strip mall, it's located on Dixie Hwy and Alhambra Place. It's been remodeled since I was a kid, perhaps back in the 90's after the theater was torn down. I don't know if it was remodeled after that though. I remember Woolworth's and JByrons, and of course, the theater.

The area around this plaza is OK, so it's weird that it's sitting empty. I know there are sketchy areas further south though.

Thu Aug 07, 06:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Palm Coast Plaza!! Man that place was great.

Star Wars played for over a year in the Cinema 70 movie theater. I saw the original Jaws in that theater.

We used to go the the bar next door for $.50 drafts and then pig out at the S&S cafeteria.

We used to go inside "the mall" and eat at New York Pizza after high school (go Forest Hill High!).

I bought a Farrah Fawcett poster at the GC Murphy store.

We bought several of our family dogs at the pet shop at the northeast end of the mall.

After shopping you could mosey across Dixie Highway and get a hamburger at Wuv's or a hot dog at Lum's or a taco at Taco Viva. If you were really looking for a fancy meal, you could eat at the New England Oyster House amid an entire restaurant of old folks smoking Larks.

Costco moved into the old Woolco and then eventually left.

Boy, I miss those days........

The poster who referred to the McDonalds has the wrong plaza. That plaza is located about a half of a mile south on Dixie.

Relatively speaking, the area is still OK.

Sun Sep 28, 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Graham said...

Yes yes, your right i was confused, the McDonalds is the plaza further down the road, this one has the abandoned PizzaHut in its parkinglot. Im only 21 so i did my best trying to identify it! But what is amazing to me is that the Woolworths you see there is now Bealls Outlet and when you walk in there, the inside looks just like it did probably did in the 1960s. There are very old air conditioning vents on the ceilings and everything. there is a clear picture of the inside of a Woolworths in the 1960s on this site somewhere and i swear that it is identical to the inside of the Bealls outlet today. I was just there, bought a robe for $14.99!

Sat Oct 11, 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palm Coast Plaza was the first true shopping center in Palm Beach County. It had the first enclosed shopping area, although it would be a stretch to call it a mall.

One thing I remember in the enclosed portion is the monkey cage. It was a large, round, floor to ceiling cage with monkeys you could feed! They did not last long as they developed a bad habit of throwing their waste material at shoppers. The cage was removed and replaced with some plantings.

Cinema 70 was awesome as it had a huge screen - next door was the "Jewel Thief", a store with do-it-yourself jewelry materials. Next door to that was a smoky restaurant, some sort of bar and grill place (can't remember the name) and the S&S Cafeteria finished that wing of the plaza. J Byrons always had good sales with a great music department. Lerner's was there, Murphy's as was mentioned. There was a photographic shop as well.

The pizza was awesome by the slice in New York pizza -a real treat! Behind the Palm Coast Plaza was Fox Surf Shop, where you bought surf t-shirts, skateboard and of course surfing stuff. That store had the strangest smell - resin and wax.

Thu Oct 16, 09:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My parents use to take me to Palm Coast Plaza in the late 60's early 70's. I remember the monkey cage that didn't last long in the enclosed mall part and the ice cream store Dipper Dan's. I also recall my parents taking me to a park that was a little south on Dixie Hwy that had kiddie rides and a minuature train ride that I believe the Jaycees ran. Anyone else remember that?

Mon Oct 20, 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome picture. These are so difficult to find.

The restaurant near the Cinema 70 was Litchfields. Before the mall between Woolworth's and Woolco was built, there was a goldfish pond just outside Woolworth's.
Kings Department store was behind J Byrons as many folks parked in their parking lot and walked to Byrons. I believe there was a Food Fair there before a King's though. Just past King's, heading south was the Palm Beach Spillway canal, then the Skydrome drive in and Mcdonalds. Wasn't there a bowling alley around this area too.
Thanks all for the awesome memories.

Thu Jul 02, 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Palm Coast Plaza-back in the day there was a Publix,Woolco,Woolworth,Walgreens,Western Auto,Slater shoes,Jackson Byrons,Murphys,Dipper Dans,some other shops.this was where we went shopping B/F the Palm Beach Mall opened in 1967.

Fri Aug 07, 09:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have so many memories of Palm Coast Plaza,Kings S&S cafeteria,Woolco,Woolworth,Murphys,Walgreens,Dipper Dans,Publix was there in the 60's & 70's.Western auto is where my new bike was bought,and mom's new tires.The Lighthouse for the blind had blind folks working at SS cafeteria.It was across the street from Palm Coast Plaza.Kings was not in the Plaza but across the street.Mr donut, Top hat car wash were in the area too.

Fri Aug 07, 09:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading this article and comments sure does bring back some fond memories. I moved to Florida when I was 8 years old and I grew up in West Palm Beach in the 1980s. Palm Coast Shopping Center has so many great memories for me.

Shopping at the center with my grandparents--I loved the toy shop next to J Byrons where I used to buy some of my Star Wars figures and ships, etc.

Lunch at the Woolworths lunch counter with the soda fountain.

Ice Cream at Dipper Dans.

I saw Return of the Jedi with my sister there in 1983 at the Cinema 70.

I had my first date there at the Cinema 70 in 1985 and we saw Back to the Future.

I just loved that old movie theater and was heartbroken when it closed and they torn it down in 1988 or 1989.

Then in the early 1990s, the original stores moved out and the whole shopping center was remodeled. Now in 2009, it does not even look like the same place that is was in the 70s and 80s.

Now, all we have left are the great memories that we will all cherish of our beloved Palm Coast Shopping Center.

Sat Oct 17, 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

I remember this well! There was also an interior "mall" where the Publix met the main strip at a perpendicular angle. There was a fountain inside, a post office as I recall, and an interior entrance into the Woolco. Opposite the Publix was the aforementioned Cinema 70, where we used to sneek in to see rated R movies in the 70's.

I also remember by favorite stop: "McKenzie's Toys and Hobbies." I can remember the face of the man who ran it, but not is name. Too bad - we knew him by name. My mom would take me up there to buy me "Superfriends" action figures - Batman, Superman, and the like.

What memories!

Sun Feb 14, 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger cracker said...

There was apainting in the cinema 70 the bathrooms? or a vidoe game. on the wall. It was a bizarre menagerie, of ....I dont' now. I remember ther was a wolf in a white suit running away witha blond girl.
Anybody remember this kinda weird, painting of sloth or vice or sin.....anyone?

Mon Aug 16, 04:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It used to be a nice place. Ever since they replaced the bridge between West Palm Beach and Lake Worth that plaza in my opinion went down hill.

Tue Oct 26, 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Dick Chante said...

I remember the Palm Coast Plaza very well. I played music at the tiny bar next to the Cinema 70 called Clayton's Lounge, owned by Clayton and Maryjane Johnson. When the cafeteria next door went under, Clayton and Maryjane moved into that space, making a much larger lounge, seating about 200 people. My band got larger, consequently, and we had some great years playing music there, during the "season". Dick Chante

Mon Jul 04, 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember going there in the mid-60s. We came up from Boynton Beach (does anyone remember King's Department Store that was a few block south of there?). We would eat at the S&S Cafeteria. There was an inside Mall portion, and in the early 1970s there was a very nice Aquarium/Tropical fish store there I used to buy aquarium supplies. It was very creepy by the 1980s.

Mon Jul 18, 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mall is still there but it is all outside now. There used to be an enclosed area inside with several stores and an ice cream parlor, NY pizza, Cloth World. They used to have a Woolco on the other end that changed to a Costco and now that is gone also. The movie theater Cinema 70 used to be there. All of the original stores are gone now, but have alot of fond memories of time spent there in my youth. :)

Mon Aug 08, 09:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone remember 2 on a shelf bookstore in the enclose area? I own a comic book store in West Palm Beach and thats where I started buying "back issue" comic books.

Sat Nov 26, 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely remember Dipper Dans (on the inside part) and I'll never, ever forget the smell of the inside part and the fountain that everybody threw pennies into. Mom used to love to get the patty melt from the Walgreens soda fountain there, too.

Mon Feb 20, 01:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Mon May 14, 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger Dina Rubio said...

we are in the process of the revitalization of the South Dixie Corridor.
I would like to bring history to the report, to the City of West Palm Beach presentation.
Does anybody has any pictures of the are back in the '50's and '60's?

Fri May 09, 12:34:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello to All concerning the topic of the Palm Coast Plaza.
My name is Joseph and I was sent this link by a friend of mine who like myself was from / raised in West Palm Beach from: 1959 to 1978; I lived in Lake Clark Shores, 7111 Pine Tree Lane, went to Forest Hill High and then left West Palm Beach after graduation.
Anyway, to the topic at-hand. I spent alot of time at the Palm Coast Plaza and remember it quite well, along with Lums Hotdogs, the Kings Dept. Store, the IHOP, the Spill-way, the Drive-Inn Theater, Tuppens and that Fried Chicken Joint called: Bucks I think, just north of Tuppens. Even though I live in Oregon now after retiring from the USAF, I still stay in-touch or try to with old friends and the places of my youth, which many are unfortunate no longer around. I actually have a postcard of the Palm Coast Plaza just like the pic above of it. I also worked at the Publix there as well as the Publix that used to be on Southern Blvd. before getting an afterschool job at Outdoor Sportsman up on Dixie. Also, I'm glad to see that Dina Rubio and others are going forward with revitalizing the South Dixie Corridor. I have several pics & postcards of the old West Palm Beach of the 60s & 70s that I keep in a scrapbook.
I hope those of us here who grew-up in West Palm Beach keep the old memories and experiences of our lives Alive & Well to pass on.

Wed Mar 02, 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger C Crenshaw said...

This is in West Palm Beach proper on S Dixie Highway just south of Forest Hill Blvd --I think -- I'm pretty sure it's the Palm Coast Plaza.

I attended Forest Hill High School in the mid 80s. There was a Bud's Chicken and Seafood across the street.

Cool picture!

Thu Aug 11, 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palm Coast Plaza is still there, less glorious, but still there. I came to Florida with my parents in 1977 and have stayed in the area the whole time. The Movie theater that was on the south-east corner is now gone, demolished, but the rest of the building is still there. There also used to be a section which was an indoor mall area. That is gone, replaced by a "drive your car inside" air conditioned storage facility. I used to think Florida sucked when I was younger, but I now realize that it was MUCH better than it is now. There was almost NO crime, NO government interference in everyday life and was far more easy going. I-95 was 2 lanes, now it's 8 in certain sections. Congress was about as west as you needed or wanted to ever go. Everything west of Congress Ave was pretty much farmland. Florida was relatively "new" in 1978. Everything other than Boca, certain parts of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami have stagnated and have NOT been rebuilt. Many areas of Florida look just as they did in the 70's.

Sat Oct 07, 03:47:00 PM  

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