Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Mall-O-Ween!!

Just wanted to pop in tonight and wish everyone a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! Been so busy today I haven't had much time to blog like I had planned to here (I will later though).

But anyway, I did want to at least post a few spooky things for today, so enjoy these vintage Halloween newspaper circular ads form all over the country.

These are mostly from the early '70s except for the Town n' Country Mall ad, which dates to 1985. From Woolworth, to Kresge's, to Town n' Country Mall, to Arlington Market and Valu-Mart... there's a little treat here for everyone I think. :)

Oh, and uh, pay no attention to the plaza's name in the last ad, btw. Please? Lol.

Shopping Mall Halloween Videos

For your spooky Mall-O-Ween Night viewing (some scenes may be too intense--and loud!--for wimps, hehehe)...

Chopping Mall (1986) trailer

Zombie Land

Silent Hill 3 Game Shopping Mall

1980 Toys R Us Halloween Commercial

Monday, October 30, 2006

Topanga Plaza

Canoga Park, California - 1960's

uch goodness to be enjoyed in this great shot of Topanga Plaza (commonly referred to as Topanga Mall) around the time it first opened. On the second level the May Co. store is visible, and just above that, a glimpse of the Terrace Restaurant, overlooking the court below, where you can see the bird cages, and a huge aquarium which sits off to the right under the gazeebo (hard to make out well in this photo). Postcard caption:
Unique and elaborate displays of tropical fish and exotic birds are maintained in the spacious north end of this big, multi-level all-enclosed and air-conditioned mall shopping center. Located at Vanowen and Topanga Canyon Blvd. in West San Fernando Valley, there are some 80 shops and three major department stores here - a regular shopping city.
Mall history: 1964 - present
Current website: here.
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3

Mall Madness Game Commercial

'90s Mall Madness Commercial

Short '90s TV spot for the Mall Madness Game, which I featured here before (along with others). Here's Hasbro's description:

Talking! Electronic! Find the steals and deals! And see what's in store for you!

Grab your cash and hit the mall! Get your shopping list ready and race from store to store. Quickly find the best deals and make your purchases. But remember, not every shopping trip goes smoothly. Sometimes an item you want is not in stock. Or you must go to the ATM for more cash. First shopper to make 6 purchases and get to the right destination wins!

Taking Mall Center: "Hey, this is on clearance!" "Cha Ching!" "Oh, we're out of stock, try again later". 2-4 players, ages 9 and up.

Previous entry: 1

The Daily Mall Reader

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

A Brief History Of Shopping Centers

ICSC - June, 2000

(Excerpt) Shopping centers have existed in some form for more than 1,000 years as ancient market squares, bazaars and seaport commercial districts. The modern shopping center, which includes everything from small suburban strip centers to the million-square-foot superregional malls, had its genesis in the 1920s.

The concept of developing a shopping district away from a downtown is generally attributed to J.C. Nichols of Kansas City, Mo. His Country Club Plaza, which opened in 1922, was constructed as the business district for a large-scale residential development. It featured unified architecture, paved and lighted parking lots, and was managed and operated as a single unit.

Read the full article here.

Southland Mall Bank

Portage, Michigan - 1975

hotograph of the Kalamazoo Savings and Loan Bank (Portage Branch), inside the Southland Mall Shopping Plaza in Portage, Michigan. This space is now a J.C. Penny Home Store in the converted strip mall that Southland Mall became in 2004.

Mall history: 1960s (?) - 2004
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none

Retro Retail Video - 1980 JCPenney Ad

1980 JCPenney TV Commercial

Here's a cool Spokane area JCPenney TV Commercial dating back to 1980. This one is for home audio components.

JCPenney history snippet via Wikipedia: J.C. Penney was founded in 1902 by James Cash Penney and William Henry McManus.

The original name for the store that started J.C. Penney in the dry goods business was the "Golden Rule Store", but was changed to J.C. Penney in 1913, when Penney accepted a majority ownership of the chain, William McManus still being a partner. The mother store is located in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

Previous entry: 1

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pizitz at Five Points West Mall

Birmingham, Alabama - circa 1970

Glitzy entrance to the Pizitz department store inside the old (now defunct) Five Points West Mall.

Hard to add much solid mall detail for this one at the end like I usually do, as, according to Birmingham Rewound, this was really just a mini-mall addition constructed around 1969-70, directly behind the long-standing Five Points West shopping center (aka "Shopping City"), that lasted barely a decade and only had one major anchor--this Pizitz store. So not really a traditional kind of shopping mall here. (Read more of its history here.)

Still, mini-mall or not (cue Dr. Evil: "We shall call it... mini-mall"), I certainly love the small slice of retro heaven seen in this photograph. The store logo is especially nice!

(Study image courtesy of Birmingham Rewound, a fantastic nostalgia site!)

Woolworth at Butte Plaza Mall

Butte, Montana - circa early '70s

While I'm saying this is a Woolworth store at the Butte Plaza Mall (which I read has fallen on some lean, tough times these days and is struggling for its retail life), the postcard doesn't actually say this is Butte Plaza Mall, only that it's in Butte, and is on Harrison Avenue (but in my cursory research, that alone seems to point only to this shopping center). At any rate, I may be wrong about that and welcome any positive identification/correction help, so we can be sure one way or the other.

So for the moment I'll go with my hunch, but whether or not it's right, I still like this shot all the same (wherever it's at), as evening falls on this Woolworth facade and adjoining plaza. Nice mood lighting, and I also really love seeing that distinctive '70s Woolworth logo, too. That's the one I remember best from childhood.

Edit: It's coroborated--this is indeed Butte Plaza Mall.

Mall history: 1970s? - present
Current aerial view
Current website: n/a
Previous entries: none

Hillsdale Shopping Center - Macy*s

San Mateo, California - circa 1957

This view of the Hillsdale Shopping Center is slightly left of the last one I posted. Now we can see the store to the left of Hartfields, which looks to read "Collins Pharmacy", I think. Can anyone corroborate that?

Additionally, there's a Macy*s anchor, J.J. Newberry store, Hartfields, and a Leed's shoe store (to the right of Newberry).

Mall history: 1954 - present
Developer: David Bohannon
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2

Friday, October 27, 2006

International Malls: Halifax Shopping Centre

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - circa 1966

Halifax Shopping Centre split-image postcard views showing the interior, and exterior of the mall, where you can see the pretty cool looking original Eaton's anchor store--and dig that entrance design! Here's the mall's history from their website, which I found interesting reading:
Halifax Shopping Centre was constructed on the former site of the St. Joseph’s Boys Home, adjacent to the former Army barracks #6 and the former Halifax Airport off Chebucto Road, in 1960.

At the time, Halifax Shopping Centre was the largest enclosed shopping centre in Eastern Canada, a much needed shopping opportunity for the then metro population of 193,353. At the time, the electric trolly service to the west end provided much of the traffic flow during the early years.

Anchored by Sobeys and Eatons, the centre attracted such retailers as Western Furniture, Reitman’s, D’Allairds, Birks, Kresges, Woods, The Candy Corner, McKnight’s Hardware, Gorden B. Isnor, Black Night Lounge, The Nova Scotia Liquor Commission, The Royal Bank and Goldber's Men’s Wear. Parking was provided above the centre on what is now the upper retail level. Combined with the Bayer’s Road Shopping Centre and the Original Sears built in 1920, Halifax Shopping Centre was part of the shopping hub of Metro.

Halifax Shopping Centre has seen several additions and expansions since 1960 and still remains one of the premier shopping destinations in Nova Scotia. 1989 saw the largest expansion of Halifax Shopping Centre with the addition of 75,000 square feet of retail space, three parking decks and a food court. The years between have seen many changes to the retail face of Halifax Shopping Centre. Today, Halifax Shopping Centre continues to reinvent itself with the recent addition of 400,000 square feet of retail, office and service space at the Halifax Shopping Centre Annex.
Mall history: 1960 - present
Current website: here
Previous entries: none

Burdines at Dadeland Mall

Miami, Florida - March 8, 1984

Kicking it eighties style with this one, fellow mallrats, in this sunny exterior photograph taken from the parking lot of the Burdines department store at Dadeland Mall, in Miami (in 2005 the Federated owned chain was converted to Macy's). Almost can't see the mall here for the palm trees though, lol.

Thanks very much to, Charles Freericks (he worked at this store in 1981), for this great submission!

History: 1962 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3

The Daily Mall Reader

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

Malls: Death of an American icon
The shopping mall is headed the way of the drive-in
movie and the eight-track. What's replacing it?

CNN/Money - July 24, 2003
By Sarah Max

(Excerpt) If you spent your formative years at the local shopping mall sipping Orange Julius and hanging out near the ubiquitous water fountain, you might be sad to learn that the mall as you know it is headed toward extinction.

Even former mall rats seem to think there are better ways to spend a weekend than wandering through the windowless vestibules of a non-descript mall, shopping in tired department stores and eating food court fare.

After turning our backs on Main Street and fleeing to the suburbs, Americans are looking for a sense of place. We're fixing up houses in the older parts of town and spending more of our free time in newly-revived downtowns. And when we want to do serious shopping, we head to upscale mega-malls and big-box stores such as Costco, Home Depot and Target, even if it means driving a little farther.

Read the full article here.

MOA Galleria - Chris-Town Art Show

Phoenix, Arizona - circa 1970s

Art show time at Chris-Town Mall! I remember back in the '70s and '80s it was actually a pretty common occurrence to walk into the local mall and find it had been almost entirely taken over by zombies... er, I mean "mall shows". Art shows, antique shows, coin shows, boat shows, baseball card shows, and the like, they were all welcomed at the malls in those days.

That practice pretty much fizzled out in the '90s at most of my local malls, and is quite rare to see now. But during the 1980s, especially, it seemed there was some kind of mall show going on nearly every weekend around my house. And this photograph above kind of reminds me of those days.

More Chris-Town Mall: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

(image courtesy of Phoenix, Arizona vintage photos)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Maryvale Shopping City

Phoenix, Arizona - circa 1961

Maryvale Shopping City aerial postcard view. OK, I'm not quite finished culling all the pertinent details together for this post yet, but heck, I like the photo and figured I'd throw it up anyway, even though all the details aren't quite ready to add at the moment (like to make sure my data and links are as correct as possible before actually committing them to an entry).

So anyway, all the proper details will follow later when I update this post. But go ahead and enjoy the photo right now. :)

Edit: Property details added below. Also be sure to read Mitch Glaser's excellent notes on Maryvale Mall in this post's comments section.

Mall history: 1957 - 1990s
Developer: John F. Long
Current aerial view
Current website: n/a
Resource links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Previous entries: none

Ala Moana Shopping Center Interior 1971

Following up on yesterday's Ala Moana entry, MOA reader, T.C., kindly submitted these great family photos. Many thanks, T.C.! I really appreciate you taking the time to share these with us here on the blog! The following are T.C.'s snapshots (nice views of the Koi fish pond), as well as the memories that go with them:

Hello, Keith,

I enjoy your "Malls of America" blog and thought you might like to have these three interior shots of Ala Moana shopping Center, Honolulu, taken in 1971.

When we lived in Hawaii, it was still the largest shopping mall in the United States...it still claims to be the largest open-air shopping center...when we were there, the anchor stores were Liberty House (now Macy's, it looks like from the directory on their current website) and Sears. Another favorite for clothes & such was McInerny's. (I hope I spelled that right!)

There was a store called Indian Imports on the lower level that was really popular for posters, black lights, etc., and all the wannabe hippies hung out there. And there was a two-story Woolworth's store, with a cafeteria that served the best strawberry shortcake on the planet. The year before we moved, they opened one of the island's first McDonald's...they had one of those "voice boxes" at each table where you could place your order.

I also remember that at Christmas they always brought in all of Santa's reindeer for a couple of weeks, which was a real novelty! And they always put a giant inflatable surfing Santa on top of Liberty House.

Take care,

Mall history: 1959 - present
Architect: John Graham Jr.
Current aerial view
Current website: here
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3

The Daily Mall Reader

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

A Pall Over the Suburban Mall
Burlington, Vt., defeats a competing shopping center

TIME Magazine - Time Inc. - Nov 13, 1978

They had glamorous names like the Miracle Mile, Fashion Island and Greenacres. Away from decaying downtowns, offering ample parking space, often lined with shaded walkways, they were gleaming oases of retail chic among the growing, monotonous tracts of ranches and split-levels that spread out from the nation's cities after World War II. Now, more than a generation after the first sprawling shopping centers began sprouting up in suburbia, these great concrete meccas of merchandising are coming under increasing attack.

Many of the malls were convenient, innovative and handsome. Indeed, the shopping center became a glittering symbol of a modern, efficient America. But even some of its early promoters have had a change of heart. Architect Victor Gruen, who designed suburban Detroit's Northland and Eastland, Chicago's Randhurst and Philadelphia's Cherry Hill, as well as other successful shopping centers, is disillusioned with the ugliness and fast-buck approach of many projects. Says he: "I refuse to pay alimony for those bastard developments."

Read the full article here.

MOA Galleria - Jurassic Shopping Center

Snapshot most likely taken in 1967, when a traveling dinosaur display, sponsored by the Sinclair Oil Corporation, was making the rounds to shopping center and mall parking lots around the country. These life-size dino models actually came from the 1964 Worlds Fair originally. Here we see a T-Rex heading right for the Woolco entrance!

(image courtesy of the always groovy bighappyfunhouse)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ala Moana Shopping Center

Honolulu, Hawaii - circa 1960s

This is an old image I had hanging around my hard drive. Don't remember where I got it--probably snagged it off of ebay or the web somewhere a long time ago. Though the quality kind of stinks, since I haven't yet been able to pick up a nice replacement for this "placeholder" image (I have a folder full of those), I've done my best to spruce it up and am going ahead and sharing it as-is. If I ever get a better version I'll do a repost.

In this aerial view of Ala Moana Center, we get yet another view and angle of the Sears anchor side (see the previous entry links below for more looks at it). The Pacific Ocean and Ala Moana Regional Park, both sit just off to the right of this view.

Almost every shot or vintage era postcard I come across of this mall, is taken from roughly this same angle and side, never from the opposite end--even when you can't see Diamond Head, like in this one. I know they probably just stuck with this side because they could use the mountains and sprawling heart of downtown Honolulu (and usually Diamond Head) as an impressive backdrop, but it would nice to see this mall from the other side once in a while. I still have a few more Ala Moana shots to share eventually, and they're all from this same end, save one, which is a side view.

Actually, I don't see many vintage interior photos or postcards floating around much, either, unfortunately (I have maybe one or two). To Ala Moana, it's clear, it was all about the view, in the old days anyway. Which is understandable, I guess. :) Aloha!

Mall history: 1959 - present
Architect: John Graham Jr.
Current aerial view
Current website: here
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2

The Daily Mall Reader

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

Time Magazine
Monday, Oct. 20, 1980

Melancholy Mall
Shopping center slowdown

Suburban shopping malls long ago replaced Main Street as America's marketplace and Saturday hangout. Their covered walkways and shiny stores have provided both merchants and shoppers with what seemed an ideal environment. For more than 30 years they popped up along highways and in cornfields almost as fast as developers could build them.

No longer. This year, only about nine major regional centers are expected to open, compared with more than 20 in 1978. Says Albert Sussman, executive vice president of the International Council of Shopping Centers: "There has been a real slowdown. We have been running out of markets for development of new centers."

Read the full article here.

Cherry Hill Mall

Cherry Hill, New Jersey - circa 1960's

On The Mall at Cherry Hill! A portion of Woolworth's is visible on the right, in this cool interior shot.

I dig all the foliage here, the gaudy yellow beams, and also the way the natural sunlight is streaming through the skylights above, dancing across the floor (I think those are skylights, as it certainly looks like natural light coming in). Cherry Hill Mall was absolutely swankastic in the early days!

PS: Blogger has been down for maintenance for a while today, if you couldn't access MOA earlier. Besides that, things have still been very funky (not groovy) with the service the past day (continuing on the problems that I mentioned began on Friday). Fun. Hopefully it will finally start settling down now and playing nice.

PSS: Go Tigers!!! (please)

Mall history: 1961 - present
Architect: Victor Gruen
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Chris-Town Mall - Court of Birds

Phoenix, Arizona - circa 1964

An eye-popping shot of the colorful "Court of Birds" aviary section in the old Chris Town Shopping Center! This is near Woolworth's and Montgomery Wards, as you you can see in the picture--not a bad spot to be in.

This is yet another vintage '60s mall view that totally looks like something right out of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (I've used that apt description on this blog before)! The filmmakers could have used this mall for their sets, in fact, and I'm not sure we'd know the difference today.

I can just picture all the freaky little Oompa-Loompas running around inside Chris-Town Mall here, knocking bird cages over, getting the birds all riled up (not to mention the kids), and being a general overall nuisance to shoppers trying to mind their own business and not make bodily contact in any way with an Oompa-Loompa (which would be most of us, I'd presume)!

Redeveloped and renamed around 2002 (now called Phoenix Spectrum Mall--see resource links below for much more info), alas, the Chris-Town of old, is no more. But long live the photographs and memories!

And Oompa-Loompas.

Mall history: 1961 - 2002 (dead/redeveloped)
Current website: n/a
Info from Wikipedia
Current aerial view
Resource links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4

Retro Retail Video - Woolworth & Woolco Halloween '76

Woolworth & Woolco Halloween '76

Well, boys and ghouls, I was planning to wait till Halloween night to post this retrolicious video, but I just can't wait that long. It's too cool. :)

This is a vintage Woolworth & Woolco stores TV ad from Halloween of 1976! I found it on YouTube a while back and saved the link, but now it's gone. So here's a backup Google Video version of same. The quality is terrible, but the memories it evokes are too fun to miss.

To me, the absolute best part of this commercial (besides the masks) is the plug for the old '70s Halloween novelty record, Sounds to Make You Shiver!, on the great Pickwick label many of us will remember from our childhoods (especially you fellow monster fans)! This LP was a BIG part of my childhood and I absolutely wore out my copy (got the CD now). It's a real treat (not a trick) to see it mentioned here on TV!

Man I remember as a kid, Woolworth and Woolco stores just flat out rocked around Halloween in the 1970s! I always got all up in their spooky biznatch in those days!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

DeSoto Square Mall Hush Puppies

Bradenton, Florida - December 14, 1976

Hush Puppies shoe salesman commits to his work in a shoe store at the DeSoto Square Mall Shopping Center during Christmas of 1976.

It's a living.

Mall history: 1973 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3

(Study image courtesy the Manatee County Public Library Historic Photograph Collection)

MOA Galleria - Universal Mall Zen Shopper

Warren, Michigan - circa late '80s

I wish this photograph was more vintage, as the late 1980s isn't very. However, I've always dug this image, taken in my own local "home mall", so I'm hanging it in the Galleria.

This is a 35mm snapshot I took myself, inside Universal Mall around 1988. I was taking correspondence courses from the New York Institute of Photography, and went to the mall one afternoon to practice. Saw this man sitting there taking a break and couldn't resist the shot.

Btw, I plan to start talking about Universal much more very soon (and I'm desperately seeking vintage photos of it!).

Mall history: 1965 - present
Current website: here
Info from Wikipedia
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none

Attention all shoppers!

I Just wanted to mention (though you may have already noticed) that Blogger is experiencing technical difficuilties this weekend. They've had intermittent problems both yesterday and today--which has also hindered my blogging. Even now it's taking me many frustrated tries to finally get a new post through (yet the problems are supposed to be fixed at this point, so they say)!

So anyway, if you've been having some trouble accessing this groovy site the past couple of days (and if you have any trouble later), this is why, and I apologize for the inconvienience. Hopefully they'll get it all sorted out soon. But if things are still buggy and slow around here today (and the posting light), you know why.

Oh, ahem, plus, my time is a little tighter than normal at the moment, too, due to the fact that we (Detroit) have a little thing in town right now called, The World Series, so my attentions are definitely and unavoidably being distracted just a teeny bit, by that! Please bear with me, and GO TIGERS!!!!! :)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Twin Towers Shopping Mall

Los Angeles, California - circa 1980s?

These two postcards both simply say: "Shopping Mall, Twin Towers, Los Angeles" on them (which I'm not familiar with). Online searches mostly turn up information related to Richmore Gardens Twin Towers Apartments, and Century City, both in Los Angeles, but I'm not sure if these are actually related in any way to either.

Can anyone out there help me in positively identifying what "shopping mall" we're looking at here? I'm sure a few of you can and will. :) If so, I'll then update this entry with all the proper links and details.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Indian Creek Mall

Beatrice, Nebraska - circa 1973

This is a pretty cool shot here of the Indian Creek Mall in the early '70s, with what appears on the left to be a Tempo store(?) it looks like (never heard of it), and a Jack and Jill Supermarket, over on the right.

Even though you really can't see it all that well, the mall's entrance sign also looks pretty dandy! Today this 142,000 square foot, single level mall consists of anchor stores Alco, and Ashley Furniture, among others.

Mall history: 1973 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none

Retro Retail Video - Spatula City!

Spatula City ad from UHF (1989)

If you're in the way of needing some spatula's quick, and with no fuss (we've all been there), avoid the department stores and shop at Spatula City today!

Quite honestly, I've never seen such a selection of wonderful spatula's under one roof. If they don't have what you're looking for (uh, in spatula's anyway), then no one does--or it simply doesn't exist!

Hehe, OK, this is actually a clip from the very crazy (but funny) 1989 Weird Al Yankovic film, UHF. It's not real (in case you were wondering or couldn't tell).

However, when you think about it, this fake retail commercial spoof really isn't too far off the mark as far as no-budget local TV spots go, especially ones from the '70s and '80s. This is exactly what they were like! :D

And heck, even today, late at night, I still manage to catch a real doozy every once in a while, so they're thankfully still around at least a little bit. I think local TV truly rocked back in the good old days and I really miss it. But that's another story (don't get me started)...

Vintage 1966 Sears Catalog

Sears Catalog - Fall & Winter 1966

Lenox Square Mall

Atlanta, Georgia - circa 1960s

We have here another Lenox Square aerial view (and no, I'm not even going to attempt to name the stores we're looking at this time, lol), but what's different about this one from the previous two I've posted for this mall (see links below), is that it's from the opposite end of the other ones. So we can get a slightly new perspective on things this time around.

Eh, the image quality may be so-so on this old postcard scan, but the view is not. Here's the nicely written caption:
"Lenox Square on famous Peachtree Road, just minutes from downtown Atlanta by the new Freeway, is the South's largest regional shopping center. Its merchandising area of 800,000 square feet is equivalent to a row of stores over a mile long.

Quality merchandise is available at the first suburban branches of Rich's and Davison's, Atlanta's largest department stores, and 67 other fine stores. Practically every service is represented, from banking to beauty treatments, from pet shops to a post office. Free parking space accomodates 6,000 cars, then a moving sidewalk and ten escalators transport shoppers about the center."
Mall history: 1959 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4

Pine Street Shopping Center Restaurant

Ocala, Florida - circa 1960s

Here's a pretty swanky interior shot of the S&S Cafeteria restaurant, that existed years ago in the old Pine Street Shopping Center strip mall (now Pine Street Plaza). According to a little blurb I found at Ocala.com, Pine Street Shopping Center opened in 1960 as Ocala's first shopping center outside of the downtown area. Businessmen W.M. Palmer, W.C. Ray, W. F. O'Neal and C.W. O'Neal built the center, which also housed a W.T. Grant store early on.

It's not an enclosed "shopping mall", but I'm still putting this vintage postcard photo here, just because it looks so dang sweet.

Mall history: 1960 - present
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view: n/a
Previous entries: none

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lake Air Shopping Center

Waco, Texas - circa 1960's

I've done a couple of interior shots of the Lake Air Shopping Center (aka Lake Air Mall) in the past (see the previous entries links below), so now here's an exterior view finally--you can just see the entrance sign too, on the right.

Lake Air was sold in 2001 and the site redeveloped into a strip mall power center, anchored by a large Target store. In this article, the new owners at the time had this to say:
"The indoor, air-conditioned concept is going away. People aren't really building those anymore. It (Lake Air Mall) is going to be turned into a power center. There won't be indoor access from store to store; instead every store will have drive-up, outdoor access. What's driving this development is the retailers."
Well, that's not all. The article also went on to point out that the new Lake Air Mall was being designed to be more appealing to local Baylor University students. So that was obviously a factor driving the redevelopment as well. They wanted to make a more youth-friendly shopping center.

All I know is, looking at those two cool interior shots I've already posted, it really is a shame to see the old place gone.

Mall history: 1960 - 2001 (redeveloped)
Current website: n/a
Current aerial view: n/a
Previous entries: 1, 2

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bergen Mall

Paramus, New Jersey - circa '60s or '70s

Aerial image of Bergen Mall. If anyone can help me more definitively date this shot, I'd appreciate it, because I'm just not sure. Really like the view, though.

If you'd like to know more about the history of this mall, just hit the resource links below, and if you haven't seen it yet, be sure and check out the Bergen Mall video I posted here a while back.

Mall history: 1957 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Resource links: 1, 2, 3, 4
Previous entries: 1

Riverside Plaza

Riverside, California - 1950's

Riverside Plaza (another beauty of a sign there!) began its illustrious retail life as an outdoor shopping center when it first opened in 1955, then was enclosed (shopping mall time) during a renovation in the 1980s, until recently becoming an open-air plaza once again, after a series of ongoing, major renovations and redevelopments (the aerial below looks like it caught them right in the middle of the work).

Yes, now it's a [yawn] sprawling village-like, not-a-shopping-mall, community shopping/working/living center area thingamabob whatchamacallit. You know, like all the other old shopping malls are becoming. But I'm not bitter.

Mall history: 1955 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1

Retro Retail Video - American Thrift

American Thrift (1962)

Yet another groovy old Jam Handy educational/industrial public domain film I found over at the The Internet Archive years ago. I present it here now, for your handy enjoyment.

The synopsis on this one said: "Expansive tribute to the 'Woman American', her thrifty purchasing habits, and the American system of mass production."

And while the film meanders a lot, there are some great shots peppered throughout, of not only vintage Suburbia, but also some nice shopping center and grocery store interiors too (the scene I screengrabbed at left actually looks like Lenox Square to me).

This video is 26 minutes long, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in. One reviewer summed this video up by saying:
"This film is a wonderful slice of idealized early '60s middle-class life, complete with spotless homes, perfect families, people dressing up for church, women and girls wearing little white gloves when they go shopping."
Note: the quality is decidedly low-fi here, because I had to really crunch the file down (I don't like two-parters) to bring it in line with the typical 100mb size limit Google (and all the video hosting sites) enforce, so please bear that in mind.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Eastridge Mall

San Jose, California - 1970s

From General Growth Properties:
"In 2005, Eastridge opened the brand new Interior Mall with exciting new shops, a brand new food court, new family restrooms, and a spectacular 15 screen stadium seating AMC Movie Theatre. Scheduled for completion in 2006, Eastridge is fully renovating with a vibrant new retail streetscape including Barnes & Noble and new restaurants including Romano's Macaroni Grill and Chili's. These features encompass the living style of today's modern, diverse, and affluent customer base."
So there's that.

But back to the more vintage Eastridge. Interesting to note that, like recently featured Oakland Mall, in Michigan (sounds like it'd be in CA too, doesn't it?), Eastridge now has its own Blog. For what it's worth. So far it looks like it'll be updated about as often as Oakland Mall's (not much), but we'll see. Neat idea on paper anyway--even if it never really serves much of a point, other than for them to be able to say they have a Blog, so they feel on it. Or with it.

Also, I wanted to mention something cool that Steven Wilson pointed out in the comments of a past Eastridge post, re: the fountain sculpture in the photo above (and also in this one). He said this very sculpture now sits in downtown San Jose, and he took a couple of pictures of it that he posted right here, at his GREAT AMERICA parks website. Thanks Steven!

Mall history: 1971 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1, 2

MOA Galleria - Monroeville Mall Zombies

Monroeville, Pennsylvania - 1978

The entrance to JCPenney inside Monroeville Mall. We'll get it all locked off, then we're going on a hunt...

(Still from "Dawn of the Dead". The original, not the pathetic remake).

Vintage 1968 Montgomery Ward Catalog

Montgomery Ward Catalog - Fall/Winter 1968

Just another cool old catalog cover I found on ebay. I quite dig these. Always have.

Like a lot of other people, I totally wore old department store catalogs out (toy sections) around Christmas time when I was a kid! Still have a few of those original Wards and Sears copies, with all the stuff I wanted from Santa those years (mid to late '70s) still circled--yes, I did get that sweet Steeler's coat, KISS Alive II LP, and Vincent Price Shrunken Apple Head kit I wanted soooo bad! :D

To see more posts, click on the monthly links
in the "Archives" section of the sidebar.