Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Thomas Mall

Phoenix, Arizona. 1960's

This colorful photo really captures the tacky '60s mall vibe! A lot of shopping malls still looked like this in the '70s, too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent so much time here growing up. It's so beautiful...

Wed Jun 22, 12:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where in AZ is this mall?

Fri Jun 24, 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Janet K. said...

Hey! I grew up about 2 miles from this mall (in Phoenix)! I was about 6 years old when it opened and it was a big deal to go there and see the birds in big birdcages and the fish in the large aquariums that they had. I also remember an indoor fountain that did a 'Dancing Waters' type show on a small scale. I don't really remember the monkey cages that are featured higher up in your blog, though. That must have not lasted too long. I went to that mall many, many times, and it's cool to see these old pics. Unfortunately that mall was torn down in the 90s. Now there's a power center with a grocery store, a Target, a Costco and such there. I was sad the day they tore down Thomas Mall.

Fri Jun 24, 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my! I remember this fish tank! I used to just stand there and stare at these fish.
My family would go off to Diamonds or some place and they knew they'd be able to find me off at this tank.
It was my favorite piece in the mall. I must've lived close to Janet as I too grew up near the mall in the 70's.
I tell people about this mall and how cool it was with the bird cage and fish tank - too bad you don't see this stuff anymore. I really miss it.

Fri Jun 24, 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too remember this mall. I used to ride my bike there nearly every weekend. I've even got a scar on my ankle when I fell off the steep curb at the corner of 44th and Thomas and my peddle gouged me.

Had some wonderful times there with friends, doing crazy things. Silly things, like running up the down escalator in Diamonds, 'painting' our lips blue and pink by licking the candy coating off of malted easter eggs and rubbing them against our lips (whatever happened to those wonderful eggs!) All the while acting like nothing was different about us, getting a charge out of watching the funny reactions from the adults. Of course we were quite young . . . and silly. What great times to be so silly and not worry about what people thought of you!

I can only wonder what people must have thought of us crazy kids, but people seemed more tolerant then....

Fri Jun 24, 11:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas Mall was on the southeast corner of the intersection of 44th Street and East Thomas Road in Phoenix.
I haven't lived in Phoenix since 1983, but I remember that mall fondly.
There were other malls in the area: Tower Plaza, Los Arcos, etc... Too bad there's not any pictures of those.

Fri Jun 24, 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Nice memories, one and all!

Janet: You raise a point. I should've mentioned in the entry that, indeed, that is a large fish tank the 1960's earthlings are standing in front of and gazing into! You're lucky to have actually seen it in person. :)

Schelly, I agree, people generally seemed more tolerant (and pleasant) back then. People sure weren't all in such a big hurry when I was a kid! Life was defintely slower--that's not just a cliche, in most ways, it really was.

As for other malls in the area, sit tight, they'll be along.

Sat Jun 25, 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I don't remember much about Thomas Mall, other than we stopped there to shop at Diamonds once, in the 70s. By the mid-80s, it was pretty much abandoned.

Los Arcos, I remember from going to see a Wallace & Ladmo show there. :)

I hear Chris-Town/Spectrum is on its last legs. What a shame, that used to be a really nice neighborhood. And what of poor Park Central? Is there anything left there?

Sat Jun 25, 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Well, dantc, it looks like the Park Central Mall is still there, at least. Other than that, I don't know. Not familiar with the area. Anyone else?

Sun Jun 26, 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Janet K. said...

Ah, yes, Los Arcos Mall, another shopping mall that has come and gone. I remember when it opened to huge fanfare. I was about 8 years old and all my aunts came down from Flagstaff to go to the grand opening. The most unusual feature of Los Arcos Mall was that it had a 2-screen movie theater that was under the mall! You had to go down a flight of stairs to get to the underground theater, which was a radical idea here in Arizona - the 'Land of No Basements'. Los Arcos was closed about 10 years ago and torn down. The site where it was is empty now, while the city of Scottsdale and the developers argue over what to do with the land. As for Park Central, that was an outdoor mall, which isn't too appealing when it's 110 degrees outside. It was closed as a shopping mall, then reopened as a business park under the same name.

Mon Jun 27, 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Ah, so the Park Central "Mall" is no more, huh? Too bad. Thanks for the update, Janet.

Wed Jun 29, 05:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was the first indoor mall I was ever in. I was a young married mother of three children. We lived in Colorado and went to see my parents who lived out by the Superstition mountains and went shopping here. I thought it was the most beautiful shopping experience I ever had.I thought it was the height of luxury.

A few months later Denver started building malls. Many of our malls are gone now.

Thu Jun 30, 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mitch Glaser said...

Just to clarify, Keith, Park Central is largely intact, it's just that it contains mostly offices instead of stores. You can tell still tell that it used to be a mall. Park Central opened in 1957 as the first mall in Phoenix; Diamond's and Goldwaters moved from downtown, hastening downtown's decline and spurring the development of "Uptown" along Central Avenue.

With two exceptions (Chris-Town/Spectrum and Biltmore Fashion Park), every mall built before 1973 has closed due to the competition from the new generation of mega-malls Westcor has built, starting with Metrocenter.

These Phoenix malls are no more:
Park Central Mall
Tower Plaza
Thomas Mall
Colonade Mall
Maryvale Mall
Los Arcos Mall
Tri-City Mall
Valley West Mall

Still browsing your archives, hope you've found pictures of some of the others. A blast from the past!

Fri Aug 12, 08:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thu Aug 18, 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thu Aug 18, 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Phoenix for 7 years (76-83) I don't remember the Thomas mall, however, I do fondly remember Valley West mall, Metro Center and Chris-town. Metro Center had a huge ice rink inside- I went skating there on a school trip with my first girlfriend. Her parents owned a daycare called "The little Mustard Seed" Her name was sue. It was 1977. We were 11. I could go on and on about my memories of Phoenix and its malls. Does anyone have pictures of Metro Center. I've been looking on the Net but havn't come across any.

Sat Sep 03, 11:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I was a kid back in the 70's grew up in the area, shopped there often with my parents, then worked/hung out there 24/7, remember Brothers Hofbrau, Cheese House, Pizza pit,Got 86'd so many times in my young adult life, Incidentally I live right behind it, still love the area!

Mon Nov 28, 09:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hofbrau!! Loved that place. It closed around '85 I think.

Wed Dec 14, 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I went to Thomas Mall all the time as a boy. I especially liked what the section which I called the "cove". It has some smaller shops and a video arcada, also KZZP radio station. I still remember the smell of the caramel popcorn from one of the shops at the "cove". I saw my first movies at the theater there and am reminded of how speacial it was evertime I go to a movie.

Thu Aug 24, 12:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in that mall. I too remember the bird cage, fish tanks and the fountains. Then slowly the attractions started to be shut down and/or moved away. Diamonds, the wood Indian statue at McCrory's, the big joke shop, the candle store, the video game room (Kiss Pinball baby! Pole Position, Defender). I even had a pinball machine (Sinbad) that was in the game room. Remember the Theatre when red velvet was the thing? How about the buffet restaraunt with the BIG wood doors! I never did eat there. How about the restaraunt that was at the north end of the mall by Diamonds. It even had a glass elevator. It was fun to watch the DJ's at the radio station through the big glass outside window. I remember my friend and I used to race our bikes through the mall. That would really get guards mad! Of course there was Kiddyland across the street and then later Skateworld. Oh well, they can't tear down the memories.

Kurt C.

Wed Sep 13, 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We moved into the neighborhood in 1962 when the mall was underconstruction, and 44 yrs later, I bought the same house from my parents. Me and my siblings spent our growing up years there, and our uncle even worked for the stone company that did a lot of the interior work, like the rock bording those small side fountains. Amazing how big the place seemed back then; too bad the smaller malls all had to go by the wayside in favor of the mega malls and then the big box retailers.

Mon Nov 06, 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger Steve McBride said...

Thanks to Mitch Glaser for his comments & corrections on Phoenix shopping center history. I have lived in the valley area since 1972 & worked in 3 of the shopping centers that have since closed/changed: Thomas Mall, Tri-City Mall & Los Arcos Mall. I used to live behind Los Arcos.

Wed Nov 08, 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Steve McBride said...

I, too used to go to Thomas Mall & stare at the big Oscar fish in the aquariums. Lunch at the Gazebo Cafe at Diamonds was a treat. Does anyone remember the grocery store that used to be at the far south end of the mall, near Montgomery Ward? I thought it was an AJ Bayless? Tower Plaza once had bird cages similar to Chris-Town - remember the Mynah birds? They tried to duplicate the alley shops at Metrocenter briefly. All of you hobby & model rr fans will remember the large Hobby Bench store that was there. The only original structures left from the old Tower Plaza are the ice rink and, of course, the 2 towers. Can anyone clarify for me if Colonnade Mall was once called Sears-Rhodes Mall or were they separate? Scottsdale Fashion Square megamall was once 2 separate malls - Scottsdale Fashion Square & Camelview Mall. Anchor department stores that have come & gone & changed in the Phoenix area include Diamond's (Dillard's for some time now), Broadway/Broadway SW (out of CA), Rhode's (local), Goldwater's (local), Sakowitz & Montgomery Ward (national). Surprisingly, Fiesta Mall of Mesa is still hanging in there. At Town & Country, many PHX locals were sad to see Ed Debevic's Diner & Jutenhoops leave the center. The UNICEF boutique has moved to the strip center at 7th st / Missouri -in the corner near the ACE Hardware store. There has been ongoing rumors that the Donald Trump developers want to buy Town/Country to demolish & build a mixed use mid-rise tower. Hopefully, this won't go thru as Town/Country is a favorite with locals. Did I read correctly that Westcor has taken back Metrocenter? I hope so, as that mall has slid off on sales stats in the last few years. J.C. Penney is expected to come back to Phx Spectrum Mall (formerly Chris-Town), but so far, remodel is slow.

Wed Nov 08, 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Loved that mall! My mom and I would stop at the deli And eat lunch and We would get two hot dogs and after I would get a big cookie! The game room I loved And the fun shop by the movie theater! Remember the candle store at the south end? Sometimes when I was a kid me and my buddies would take are bikes inside the mall and ride them from the north side all they way to the south end with the store owners yelling at us to get the hell out of there! LOL! Brian

Wed Feb 14, 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ron Chavez said...

If anyone wants to see color pictures of every mall in Phoenix that was in business in the 1960's, go to the local antique stores in phoenix or glendale and look for a book called "Arizona Ways and Means" published in 1962. I've seen about 15 copies in the Glnd antique stores. Every mall in the valley had adds in there
Thx, Ron C Phx

Wed Apr 25, 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

This was a fixture of my childhood in Scottsdale ... Sunday lunch after church at the Picadilly Cafeteria is what I remember most. But I also remember just how BIG it seemed. To a kid it was a wonderful place. Thanks for reviving those memories ...

Sun May 06, 01:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you one and all,those were the good days!!!Diamonds,Montgomery Wards and Revco. My fondest memory though would have to be the times we took my grandma to dinner or lunch at Picadilly,s.To bad when things have to change and there not for the better.All the places where the cool malls use to be are now hang outs for the hoodlums!!!!!!!

Fri Jul 13, 02:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone remeember the bar/rest. at Tower Plaza that had truck sticking out of the front of it?

Sat Aug 25, 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron Chavez, we both went to East High School. We hanged out with John & Jim. I remember you were in the band.

Sun Sep 02, 01:25:00 AM  
Blogger Javier said...

Ron Chavez---do you happen to have more information on that book: "Arizona Ways and Means" I've tried locating it but can't find it. Thanks !

Sat Sep 08, 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Stewart here, I spent many teen years in Thomas Mall and am still proud to say I was one of the regular Thomas Mall Gang. Every day and wow, what a blast on Saturdays. I miss John Charland, Bob Shall, Bob sharkey, the pizza parlor in the bazaar, Cecil Wakefields wood shop,Barbara Robinson, June Posca, really miss Rhonda Crosson and friends, Linda Peterson, the whole gang. Sure wish it was still there, anybody with any pictures from late 60's and early 70's, I would love to see them.

Fri Sep 14, 07:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When stationed at Williams AFB from early '66 to late '67, one of my two best friends in the world, lived within walking distance to the Thomas Mall. I remember it so very well as well as the asphalt being so soft beneath my feet and spending time there as it was cool and swimming in the pool at his house at midnight and it was still warm. He still lives in Phoenix and I live in Massachusetts. How I yearn for those days again.

Sun Sep 16, 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great Phoenix mall of yester-year. I remember going to the movie theater with my parents as a kid. I think there was only one screen but it was later remodeled to have two smaller screens. The only thing I really didn't like was my folks loved eating dinner at Picadilly restaurant, which drove me nuts because of all the senior citizens that dined there. Fun times.

Sun Sep 16, 09:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We moved to the Valley of the Sun in 1959 when I was 8. I moved to Colorado after graduating from the UA in Tucson in 1973. So I spent my formative years in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tucson. I miss it greatly! Mom used to take me to Diamonds for clothes shopping and we'd eat in the restaurant next door. I remember many BLTs and iced teas there. Neat place. Also did my Christmas shopping at McCrory's - still have a few artifacts that I had given my grandma and got back when she died. After I moved away, Paradise Valley Mall opened and became the hot spot. No one has mentioned it - I think it's still there.

My first date was at Los Arcos Mall. Was sad to see it fall into disuse and die. I also remember getting William Shatner's autograph at the record store in Tower Plaza when he was there in about 1969 promoting "The Transformed Man" LP. Ah, the memories!

Everyone says Phoenix is too built up, too smoggy, too stuck up and "not the same". But it's home, I miss it, and I wish I could go back. I think those of us who grew up there remember the frontier spirit - dirt roads, dust storms, Wallace and Ladmo, creating a new city in inhospitable conditions. Those experiences formed a bond that will never die.

Sat Apr 12, 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The grocery store at the South end of Thomas Mall was a Fry's. It also had a lunch counter. However, there was no entrance into the Mall from inside of Fry's. I lived near Griffith School, went to Skate World often circa 1976-1978 Great years!

Thu May 01, 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Fry's was towards the end of the malls life. It was really starting to go downhill by then.

Someone mentioned a Hobby Bench at Tower Plaza. No No No! It was Tower Hobby Center. I worked there and my dad always had a plane hanging in there. I used to work in the R/C and model section. We made a four lane AFX track that people could race on too. The big train displays were always a favorite. The hobby shop used to be on the east end by J.C. Penny's before they moved to the west end.

I miss those malls...

Wed May 07, 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Rob Petersen said...

I lived south of this mall across what is still now Pierce Park. Loved the carmel corn in the "alley" shops....the ice cream clown sundaes with my grandmother at Diamonds "Gazebo" restaurant. I later moved and went to Balsz school and East High. Worked at the Fry's that was on the south end of the mall...would change into my white painters pants outfit from Miller Outpost and head on over to SkateWorld...

Fri May 16, 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to work at the Harkin's theatre at Thomas Mall. I went to Thomas Mall all the time as a kid with my mom and then as a teenager with my friends. I am sure I can find pics of me with Santa and I remember the Diamonds store had a restaurant where we would have breakfast with the Easter Bunny. I just remembered I worked at the Montgomery Ward for a little while--come to think about it I also worked at the Gap when I was a junior in high school.

Tue Jun 24, 06:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Fry's store started out as a Lucky's I believe, and I think it switched to Fry's after the Scottsdale Rd store (north of McDowell, that became a bowling alley) was closed. My mom shopped there, along with the old El Rancho (Low Cost) store at 44th & McDowell. Wasn't there a Revco, between Fry's and Picadilly?

Wed Oct 08, 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what architect designed Thomas Mall? I know that Ralph Haver designed Tower Plaza, but I believe Thomas Mall had many innovations for the time and should have been preserved for historic reasons. Can anyone help?

Wed Jan 21, 12:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erik....don't know who designed Thomas Mall.. but it's long gone... In it's the good old strip mall...with Target smack in the food theaters..etc...and hey there is a Costco...ooooooo Big Box America....wave of the future.... We all really need to support the local mom and pop stores...after good to be an individual and stand out once in a while..

Fri Jan 23, 01:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

being a kid of the 80's i miss tower plaza, Thomas mall and Los Arcos. glad they left the old ice skating rink there. any one remember Skate world that was just south of Thomas mall? now its a computer place. Very Sad! im 34 now and this city has taken everything away. and they want to know why kids are getting into trouble?.... NOTHIN TO DO HERE ANYMORE.

Sat Feb 14, 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger Steven McBride said...

Thanks for the correction on Tower Hobby Center - yes, it was at Tower Plaza & I do, indeed remember the big model rr display as that was & is my main hobby.

A.J. Bayless grocery store was at Tower Plaza, not Thomas Mall, as I said last time - after 20 years, memories can fade a bit.

Interesting to note that, except for Park Central & Los Arcos Mall, most of the former famous Phoenix malls (Thomas, Tower, Chris Town, Tri-City) are all still retail sites of some kind. Chris Town (new Phoenix Spectrum) is still a traditional looking indoor mall.

Tue May 05, 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Nate Ross said...

Hey, does anyone a display set up in the middle of the mall where they had organs and body parts in jars? It was like, a science thing they had set up for people to see. Me and my brother remember it. I am 29 now, so it probably happened in like 1986 or 85 or so. Does anyone else remember that?

Sun Jul 12, 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Our family lived to the North of the Elks Club which was just North of Thomas Mall. Diamonds was on the North end of the mall with lighted pools under a restaurant which was memorable. We had some pretty good times running around the mall in the summer before a movie.

Tower Plaza to the West had a pretty good ice rink and the restaurant Googies was a great hangout as was the soda/ice cream bar at McCory's.

The fish tanks and bird cages were pretty cool.

We always tried to find a way to the roof top of Diamonds for a birds eye view of Camelback. I guess boys will be boys.

Tue Sep 01, 04:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Jutta said...

I camped out in the Thomas Mall parking lot to get tickets for the 1981 Rolling Stones concert at Sun Devil Stadium. Diamonds was selling them for $17.00 plus a $0.65 service charge. I thought that was expensive (most other name acts at the time were about half that) but I had to see them! It was a great party. At one point an elderly lady walked by and asked "when does the sale begin?" (She thought we were camped out because of a huge sale or something -- LOL)

Tue Oct 06, 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Mimi Molina Brown said...

My parents owned the Maharani Creations and the original was on 5th Ave. in Scottsdale(across from the Kachina Theater),in Thomas Mall, Los Arcos, Arches in Tempe, Town and Country, Christown, the San Marcos Hotel and Sheraton Resorts. Ultimately grew into Sun City and Surprise. I was always going to these malls making deliveries with my folks in the 60's and 70's, ultimately doing it myself for them in the 80's. I was sad to see the end of many of these malls and some of the character therein. Like Heddy of Heddy's House of Wigs, the man who owned the popcorn and Icee place across from our store was always so kind...and who will forget the pizza in those rectangular pans in Christown? That was right next to our shop, across form Hanny's for Men. I was never old enough to go into the tavern below our store in Christown...always seemed a bit spooky to a kid.

Birds, fountains, fish and natural light...what concepts! I fell into one of those fountains at Thomas Mall...doing what my parents told me not to do.

Sat Oct 17, 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Steven McBride said...

At Los Arcos Mall, yes, I remember the time capsule plaque. I believe it was located on the north side of the Broadway store. What was the date it was supposed to be opened?

I hope the city of Scottsdale kept it, but sad if they didn't.

What's there now is interesting, with "Munich Olympic Park" tents on the west side. Development there is slow, thanks to the economy, yet lease prices are high.

Papago Plaza is still there across the street, and yes, the Best Western hotel is STILL in operation. Many of you teens & college folk from the 70's got your vintage vinyl records at World Records. What was the grocery store there - AJ Bayless or Basha's?

Wed Nov 04, 05:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Nick Bales said...

I remember going to this mall when i was very young . Went and saw Back to the future parts 2 and 3 at the harkins . It is really to bad that we dont have malls like this anymore .

Thu Feb 25, 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

After looking at the photo in detail, I realized the skinny kid on the right looks like me (or at least the way I did 42 years ago.) Is that possible? Who took the photo? Are the people in the photo random, or do you know who they are? Just curious if it could really be me. I spent alot of time as a kid looking at those fish. By the way, if it is me, you certainly have my persmission to keep the photo here. It's really cool. I wish there were more.

Thu Mar 04, 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Does anybody else remember the big N scale train layout that was in the basement of Tower Hobby?

Yes, according to an old copy of Model Railroader that I have, Tower Hobby was at 3811 E. Thomas Rd.

I can't figure out how to add a photo here, and it's not really a big deal, but here are links to a couple of photos shot inside a mall in Phoenix: and

Was this Tower Mall or Thomas Mall?

The radio tower is still in place in the parking lot of Thomas Mall, just outside Home Depot. I guess nobody has jumped from it lately.

Wed May 12, 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a shoe salesman in Diamonds departments store, Thomas Mall in the early 70's. I enjoyed those days, young and crazy. Manny S. was the shoe store manager great guy.
I now live in Houston and started a window and door company 30 thirty years ago in Houston, and now is one of the biggest window & door company's in Texas. My name is Jim F.

Tue Aug 17, 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also grew up a block from Thomas Mall. My sister, Peggy and I and other friends spent house running barefoot across the parking lot, jumping from one light post to the other to cool our feet. The fish in the tanks were phiranahs (sp). Use to go to the food court and have a slice of pizza and a vanilla, cream coke. Great memories. Thanks for sending me this Steve.

Sun Oct 17, 07:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff G said...

I wouldn't say I grew up at Thomas Mall. I lived on the westside of town. My hangouts were Metro Center,Christown,and the ghostown (Maryvale mall)..However for whatever reason when it came to back to school shopping we always ended up at Thomas mall. Its a bit of shame that these malls we spent our youth hanging out,wasting time,and chasing members of the opposite sex are no more.Some torn down. Replaced by walmarts (ugh) others have missing anchor stores,and well lets say it turned ghetto.It's unfortunate really. As kids we had fun.We had fun at the mall. Our kids are getting ripped off. No Wallace and Ladmo, long gone are Farrells Ice cream parlors,unless of course you live in northern California,or Hawaii. They have no clue about Legend City..No more cruising central...Last ,but not least the malls...

Wed Mar 30, 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous James said...

amazing. I went to St. Agnes School and every year we would take a Field trip to Skateworld. Still remember couples skating to Madonna's, "Live to Tell". Haha.Tower plaza had a decent fast food fish pace in the food court and a cool arcade. I think there may have been a court where you ride around in bumper cars and put a ball through a net. Anyone remember that? That ice skating ring is actually still there I think

Wed Sep 07, 10:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good times!! The old neighborhood.... Thomas Mall, Tower Plaza and Los Arcos. You can ALWAYS pick out the natives by if they've ever heard of Thomas Mall, Legend City, The wax museum on Van Buren and the stock yards by the airport lol.

Tue Dec 20, 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My mom started working at the "sweater bar" at Diamonds at Thomas Mall in the late 60's, became a buyer for woman's clothing including their Catalina & Jantzen swimwear lines & retired from Dillards as an executive in mid 80's... and my sisters & I use to go to Thomas Mall after school & weekends all the time! We shopped & hung out at Chess King & Jewelart, had lunches & played video games at The Little Bear pizza food area, bought our shoes at Thom Mcan & Baker's Shoes, and I had an afterschool job as a line server at Picadilly! Tower Plaza was great too... and the basement theater at Los Arcos was so neat!! It never made sense that in this Arizona heat anyone would get rid of the enclosed air conditioned Thomas Mall & Tower Plaza to make us tramp around in the heat to go to Sears at old Thomas Mall lot or the shops that sit on old Tower Plaza property!

Mon Jun 25, 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember going to Thomas Mall during the summer for Yogi Bars (frozen yogurt) and going to TG&Y for things. The bird cage was cool but I don't remember a fish tank.

Fri Apr 12, 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

For 'Anonymous' who asked where Thomas Mall was, it was at 44th St & Thomas... same place where the Target, Fry's, Costco & Sears is now. And Tower Plaza was at 36th St. & Thomas where Walmart & Home Depot is. My sisters and I spent sooo much time at those malls!
For everyone who has also been mentioning their memories of The Wallace and Ladmo Show & Legend City, here is a link to the Legend City site's guest book where so many of us jotted down our memories of those fun times :)

Fri Apr 12, 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a Minah bird in the bird cage that had a five note whistle. I've taught it to my daughter's parrot and hear it every day.

Sun Sep 22, 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Colette Bebee Merchant said...

I got my ears pierced in his mall in 1980! It's so weird to go back and try to find where a lot of these malls were, and they are gone turned into a shopping strip, or parking lot! Los Arcos Mall on McDowell and Scottsdale Rd was always my favorite, it broke my heart to see them demolish it! These malls were a part of the old Arizona I loved!

Sun Dec 08, 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Grammy Brown said...

I grew up on Lewis and Thomas Mall was my hangout! I would go barefoot, running across 44th st and do the parking lot thing too. No one seemed to care that kids were shoeless walking through a mall. I remember eating French fries and chocolate coke at the dining counter but I don't remember it being Fry's or Lucky's then. I went to Griffith (my mother was a teacher there) and East high. It was great to be a kid then.

Wed Jan 15, 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I had friends who went to East High! Thomas Mall, Tower Plaza, Skate World & best of all Legend City... those were the days... and we went everywhere barefoot during the summer. I remember how strange it was when started seeing signs that shirts & shoes were required. All my guy friends were shirtless & barefoot :)

Wed Jan 15, 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thomas Mall....I worked at the Fry's that was on the south end. Skate world was like a second home. Loved it especially when they would have dances after the last Saturday night sessions. Would love to build a rink in north east Phoenix near Desert Ridge mall....

Thu Jan 16, 01:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Diane D said...

Born in Phoenix, lived there till I was 12 (so, 1957-1970). I remember all the "now closed" malls - & I'm betting I probably know more than one commenter here. So many of you brought back wonderful memories of stores & restaurants I'd forgotten about. But I've always remembered the bird cages at Thomas Mall - & Diamond's of course! Brothers Hofbrau was great - & Guggy's and the ice skating rink at Tower Plaza. Lots of fond memories of going to the brand new, glamorous malls with my Mom. So sad they're gone now....

Tue May 19, 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I bought my first (and last) formal at Maharani in Scottsdale. I got it for a formal Christmas affair at the Westward Ho. Hung on to that dress for about 25 years.....only wore it one more time..

Mon Nov 02, 08:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh well, I just found this so I will admit that I was the night manager of the men's department at Diamonds. I was a student at Arizona State University, but a good part of my education was selling clothes and dealing with people. That was back in 1973-5. If any of my colleagues come across this, give them my best. John Fiene

Sat Mar 05, 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My Mom started out part time at the 'sweater bar' at Thomas Mall Diamonds when my 2 younger sisters and I were little kids. She become a buyer, flew to New York, Texas, L.A. etc She was the buyer for Catalina & Jantzen swimwear for a time. And I remember when she came home with 'paper dresses' & 'tent dresses' before they 1st hit the scene. She was still at Thomas Mall when my sisters & I were in high school across the street at Gerard. My class graduated in 1974. She also worked at the Park Central & Tri-City stores over the years. She went on to become a Merchandise Coordinator and head of 11 departments. She retired as an executive in 1983 or 1984... wish she was still here to remind me :) Her name was Doris Baker.

Sun Mar 06, 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger passaro said...

My mother opened her store in Thomas Mall in 1964 I think, The store was called Lady Fair , she had wedding gowns and formal wear. It was located across from mcrorys, next door to Starret;s and Baby World was on the other side of her. I grew up inthat Mall, hanging out with alot of kids from East high , however i went to central high because we lived off central and camelback. Lois Sharkey and Bob ( her son ) her daughter Maureen , wow, what memories. I worked one summer for Lois at little bear, she had the best hamburgers , as a dishwasher busgirl , I was only ten but we could work back then. I still have some hangers in my closet with the original Lady Fair logo that mom had in her store. Mom closed her store when I was 19 , and I never went back to Thomas Mall after that. Thanks for all the great walks down memory lane, and I bet there are some of you that we hung out together in Thomas Mall. My maiden Name was Van Fleet , in case you recall knowing me.

Fri Mar 25, 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hahaha I loved los arcos my sis and I were mall rats there...and we hung out downstairs at the video arcade ....and movies and when we got hungry went to ponchos 😌😌😌 great memories

Fri Apr 15, 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hahaha I loved los arcos my sis and I were mall rats there...and we hung out downstairs at the video arcade ....and movies and when we got hungry went to ponchos 😌😌😌 great memories

Fri Apr 15, 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yes! Acapulco Bay Beach Club! I'm looking for photos of it! My husband and I met there!!!!!

Thu Sep 28, 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger diamondpainting said...


Sat Jun 15, 03:17:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I grew up there too. I lived directly across the street. Sometimes I wish I could go back to those memories and stop for a moment and capture a few photos.

Mon May 18, 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It was around 42 years ago that I was there everyday. I lived directly a cross the street on a 5 acre farm. We had geese in the front yard and cows and horses in the back. I was looking for pictures of me... I wish I had any if me back the . Anyways we might have crossed paths back then.

Mon May 18, 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

We are Griffith mighty mighty Griffith, everywhere we we go people want to know, who we are.. So we tell them. I lived directly across the street from the mall around the same time.

Mon May 18, 06:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in Arizona and remember many of the malls and stores as well. I lived in Tempe until 2008.As a child we used to drive from Tempe to Thomas Mall at least once a week just to eat at the Picadilly Cafeteria. As a child my eating habits were odd. At the Picadilly I always ate a dish of Jell-O cubes,2 scoops of macaroni and cheese,a slice of either lemon meringue or chocolate cream pie and a carton of chocolate milk. Many of the line servers were older women. The lady who served the macaroni and cheese knew me well. She always started dishing up my macaroni and cheese when she saw me coming down the line. She called me her "macaroni boy". After dinner we would always walk the mall. I remember those carnivorous fish in the fish tank and they terrified me. My favorite stores were Recordland, Dillard's and Montgomery Wards. Such fond memories.

Sun Feb 28, 11:34:00 AM  

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