Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chris-Town Mall

Phoenix, Arizona - 1963

"Court of fountains - High, wide and handsome, with graceful slipper-arch stairways and multi-colored cieling panels. The magnificent waterfall fountain is a principal conversation piece among Chris-town's shoppers. "


Blogger Chris said...

Seeing something like that makes you think retail architects and designers just don't give a flip anymore.

Sat Oct 29, 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Mitch Glaser said...

Alas, the mall today is a mere shadow of its former self...the name is now Phoenix Spectrum Mall, the center court pictured here is now quite bland, and the Penney's is now a Costco. While it is kind of cool that Costco's main entrance opens up onto the mall, with its hot dog stand similar to a "sidewalk cafe," the noise of the shopping carts removes any sense of retail romance.

Tue Nov 01, 12:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Chris-Town from my childood. Wow, what a fond memory seeing the picture. -Bryan

Fri Nov 04, 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris-Town was THE place to go in the late 60's. There was always an Italian man with a tiny monkey dressed in red who would take pennies offered from the hands of children (like me) and then tip his hat. Huge bird cages graced the mall with loads of exotic birds. And a place I never got to go (but always wanted to) was The Janitors Closet, a bar whose entrance was in the middle of the walkway and was a set of stairs that led to the bar downstairs. Great place then, scary nasty place now.

They certainly don't make 'em like that anymore.


Fri Nov 04, 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Chris: I totally agree!

Mitch: Well said.

Bryan: Glad you liked the shot! Thanks for the comment.

Miles: Great memories there, thanks for sharing 'em! Little obscure things like that monkey man, are the stories I love hearing about! Things like that gave malls and shopping centers their unique characters back in the day.

Fri Nov 11, 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up about a mile away from Chris-Town Mall, and let me tell you, it was the place for us junior high kids to hang out in the mid-seventies.
I have many great memories of that mall, from the late 60's to the late 80's.
I'm now in my forties and still live in Phoenix, so I was saddened when I heard that they were changing the name to "Spectrum Mall".
Although everyone that I know who has lived here since the eighties or before, still calls it "Chris-Town".
BTW, I recently stumbled across a website that is entirely devoted to Chris-Town Mall:
It tells the complete history of the mall and includes lots of great photos from it's heyday.
Definitely worth checking out....


Wed Nov 23, 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure miss Chris-Town...Pizza D'Amore (still my favorite pizza, and the last one in Phoenix, at PV Mall, closed about a year ago), Pon's Chinese Food with their famous "Egg Roll on a Stick," the Red Baron Arcade...It'll always be a place of fond memories.

Fri Feb 03, 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can also access the Chris-Town site by simply going to


Tue Feb 07, 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just moved back to Phx after a 20+ year stint in California, and the first place I wanted to eat was Pizza D'Amore in the Christown Mall. What a dissapointment to have it gone. I grew up on with Christown Mall and Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor. What is this world coming too?

Fri Jul 06, 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone rememeber the bar/resturant at Tower Plaza that had the truck sticking out of the front of it? Maybe something with "club" in it? Love the Chris Town, not so nice today.

Sat Aug 25, 02:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous - the restaurant at tower plaza with the chevy truck - Acapulco Beach Club or something very close to that...

Sat Sep 01, 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops. Acapulco BAY Beach Club...

Sat Sep 01, 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the organ-grinder with his monkey. Does anyone remember the name of a delicatessen that was located in the mall? My mother used to buy rye bread there and they would slice it for her with a machine they had there. I remember rows of (white?)fish laying eyeless behind the glass of the counter as well as hot dogs (or some such) turning in a case toward the front of the store.

Sat Feb 09, 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name of the deli was "Miracle Mile Deli". In the late 80's I worked at the Hickory Farms there
when I was in collage and spent many an evening or afternoon being dragged around by my parents there in the 70's.

Mon Mar 31, 01:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the Sand Sculptures they had there? It was also one of the only malls that had a car show once a month. I grew up hanging out there and Metro Center.

Fri Jan 16, 10:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, I can add a comment here. I still miss the update. I had posted an idea to share adding content, and now with photo sharing sites around in abundance, there can be a continuing legacy of old shopping mall info on the internet. Keith, you had a great site, it can still continue.

Sun Oct 25, 06:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris-town mall.....
The monkey wigged out on my little brother, thank god he did not have teeth but sure was funny

Sat Jan 16, 03:40:00 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

I think pizz d'amour is still at paradise valley mall...I remember it was 25 cents a slice!

Thu Feb 18, 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, Pizza D'Amour is not at PV Mall anymore. Does anyone know why it closed and if the owners opened up something else?

Wed Aug 04, 12:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many great memories of this mall back in the late 80's all the way through the late 90's. Always loved the sand sculptures they used to have throughout the mall.. the old Orange Julies stand and the theater inside the mall that you'd have to take a escalator up to.
As dumb as skipping school now seems, it was one of the few malls that wouldn't kick me and my friends out of during school hours back in '96-'98. We'd take the city bus up there and just hang out there all day walking around, eating at the old food court and checking out movies. Such good times. The mall sucks now. Once Walmart moved in the place went WAY down hill and is barely recognizable at this point.

Mon Jul 18, 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the guys that made pizza at Pizza D amore still works at the Pizza Place at PV Mall - he's there all the time - ask him and maybe share the receipe

Wed Jan 30, 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our family lived in Maryvale in the 1960's and 1970s. It was a real treat to visit Chris Town for any reason. I remember the early days when they had a massive bird collection, there were always a few "escapee" birds flying around the rafters. In the early 1980's, I got a job with Kinney Shoes. My favorite place in the mall was a place called Mama's Subs.

Wed Feb 24, 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger wendee goles said...

Anyone remember the monkeys name? One of the best memories in my life.

Sun Sep 05, 11:15:00 AM  

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