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Thursday, January 28, 2016

DZ: Discovery Zone- More Awesome Than Chuck E. Cheese


          Step back and listen, listen to children laughing and a general sound of yelling, that's right, your sitting at the table, covered in napkins, half eaten cheese pizza, and cups of surge. Guess where your at parents, waiting for your kids to get out of the ball pit at Discovery Zone!

          The last Discovery Zone closed its doors in 1999, because Chuck E. Cheese bought them out, and I am on the CEC side, I always went to Chuckie's when I was a kid, everyone in the Chicagoland area with my parents, but I know there was a DZ in my town, some reason we avoided going to eat, its like choosing to be on the Democratic side, or the Republican side, you cannot have both, but was DZ liberal?

          Its so fun to go back and think to 20 year olds now started out expressing there enthusiasm and imagination in the tubes of DZ and CEC! Now we work and listen to Twenty One Pilot's, who put it best in there song "Stressed Out".


Here are of course, several commercial's that truly show just how amazing Discovery Zone was for children back in the day (I'm old enough to officially say that turn of phrase).













The Southgate, Michigan location tour...


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Hechinger Commercial History


          As much as Builder Square, I find Hechinger to be the best choice for 90's home improvement shopping. The chain had stores all along the Northeast and as close to the Midwest as Columbus, Ohio.

Here are too many commercials from the late 80's all until the chains closure in 1999.










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Home Quarters Warehouse


          Here is really the only commercial from Home Quarters Warehouse, a home improvement chain primarily found in the Northeast and a few locations scattered in the Midwest, much like Hechinger and Builder Square.


and this bumper...


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Review: 80sTees.com


Any company producing shirts with defunct store logo's has room to be on TTTM. The online clothing line 80sTees.com has t-shirts depicting 80's movies, TV shows, nerd gear, and costume hoodies. Any 80's logo's, catchphrases, and in are case, Ames, Hills, and Caldor. 

Here is the Zayre shirt link:


Here is the Hills shirt link:


Here is the Ames shirt link:


Here is the Caldor shirt link:


Where's the Kmart shirt?

Thank you for reading Trip to the Mall and continue to follow us on Facebook and do not forget to listen to our podcast on Soundcloud.

Lakeview Plaza Former Ames Location- Orland Park, Illinois




          On a more local note, thanks to The Ames Fan Club, I found that an Ames was located in Orland Park, Illinois, before these pictures were taken in either 2004 or 2007 (which I found here). The Lakeview Plaza in Orland Park at the intersection of La Grange Road and 159th street has a great section of shopping opportunities. I know a lot of store history had to have gone on here, and from my pictures above I took in 2012, the Archiver's is now gone, but from the Ames Fan Club pictures, the Golf Galaxy is still there, but the F.I.M store is now a Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Currently the former Archiver's store is a Boombah.



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Vintage "The Gap" Stores







Thank you for continuing to support Trip to the Mall and continue to follow us on Facebook and don't forget to listen to our podcast on Soundcloud.

Friday, January 15, 2016

TTTM #9: Attention Former Kmart Shoppers

Click below to listen:
TTTM #9: Attention Former Kmart Shoppers

Summary:
In this weeks podcast, I talk about the closures of Kmart and Sears stores, JCPenney closing, Walmart finally leaving people alone, and Chipotle teaching employee's how to wash there hands. I also talk about me going to the Motor City and the dead malls in Illinois.

Key points:

Kmart and Sears closing stores

Walmart closing stores

Chipotle closing all stores February 8th for one day.

Dead malls in Illinois 

Room to grow:

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Redevelopment: Main Street Plaza Wheaton, Illinois


          Not a shopping plaza I am familiar with, but it had an Ames Department store, so I guess I have room to talk about it here. These are some old pictures considering the chain closed in 2002, and there is a Blokbuster Video next door.

These pictures are provided by The Ames Fan Club, a site dedicated to archiving the Ames chain. The specific link to these pictures are right here 



After Ames closed, turned into a Furniture Store.


Closed.



Google Map screen shot from street view July 2012.


Google Map screen shots from street view August 2015.


There is an Office Depot and Monkey Joe's in the former Ames store.


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Redevelopment: Stratford Crossing on and on- Bloomingdale, Illinois


          With about equal childhood spent walking this plaza with my parents as the wings of Woodfield Mall, Stratford Crossing offered many shopping opportunities for us in the late 90's.

          Before Circuit City moved from its location here to a newer store on Army Trail, to center had Dunkin Donuts, Dominick's, Shoe Carnival, Old Country Buffet, (Circuit City), Big Kmart, The Sports Authority, and Petsmart. Barnes & Noble was across Camden Drive.

Ofcourse, begin period correct to the post, the Stratford Square Mall is located across the street with Kohl's, Montgomery Ward, JCPenney, Sears, Marshall Fields, and Carson Pirie Scott.


Here is the plaza circa 2007 conservatively. Dominick's closed in 2012, the Sports Authority closed in 2013, otherwise, the center hasn't changed dramatically.



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[Dead Malls] in Illinois Active and Closed


As far as I know, these are the "dead" malls that are still operating in the state of Illinois, based on my knowledge of visiting every mall in the state.

Click on any of the malls below and it will redirect you to my original post of the mall.

Opened

Alton Square mall- Alton

Charlestowne mall (Quad St. Charles)- St. Charles

Sandburg mall- Galesburg

River Oaks Center- Calumet City

Machesney Park Mall- Machesney Park (Rockford)

Lincoln Mall- Freeport

Oak Mill Mall- Niles

Belvidere Mall- Waukegan 

Village Mall- Danville

***I have sadly not been to these three, the last three malls in the state I have not photographed. SoI do not stand to my word just yet that I have been to "every" mall in Illinois.

Hickory Point Mall- Forsyth (Decatur)

Illinois Star Centre- Marion

University Mall- Carbondale

Closed

Otherwise, here are the malls that I have been to before closing, now they are closed or demolished.

Evergreen Plaza- Evergreen Park: closed and has since been demolished.

Lincoln Mall- Matteson: entire mall closed except for anchor Carson Pirie Scott.

Deerbrook Mall- Deerfield: interior closed off for redevelopment.

Here is an article from to the Tinley Park Patch from March 2014 on a complete list of dead and long gone malls in Illinois.

Thank you for reading Trip to the Mall and continue to support us on Facebook and do not forget to listen to out podcast on Soundcloud.



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

FIND: Multiple Vintage Kmart Novelty Hats


          Not sure to whether I will buy any of these, but I have once again found some really neat merchandise on Ebay, this time, they are Kmart hats, and after posting this, they might go quicker than the seller's expected!


          Here is the link to this "Big Kmart" mesh snap-back hat, really nice and clean, white, and most of the blank space is taken up by the logo, so that is a plus for me, I like a hat with a lot of color on it.


          Here is the link to the Vintage 1980s "Kmart Loves Kids" mesh snap-back. Kind of a strange message, but it was when they were against drug abuse.



          Here is the link to this awesome red, "Super Kmart Center" mesh snap-back hat. Last year was the last year the Super Center concept was around, after most to all the remaining stores were converted to regular "Kmart" formats.

Thank you for continuing to support Trip to the Mall and continue to follow us on Facebook and do not forget to listen to our podcast on Soundcloud.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 List of Macys Store Closures


Here is the list of the 2016 list of Macy's stores that are closing (information provided by Macy's Inc)

Here is a link to the map of stores in the country in question

Stores that are closing this year:

  • Irvine Spectrum, Irvine, CA (140,000 square feet; opened in 2002; 112 associates)

  • Country Club PlazaSacramento, CA (165,000 square feet; opened in 1961; 111 associates)

  • Westfield Century City, Los Angeles, CA (136,000 square feet; opened in 1976; 108 associates). Note that this store will be closed in January 2016 and replaced with a new, larger store to open in this same shopping center in spring 2017

  • Enfield Square main store, Enfield, CT (166,000 square feet; opened in 1971; 84 associates)
  • Enfield Square furniture/home/men’s store, Enfield, CT (76,000 square feet; opened in 1971; 20 associates)

  • North DeKalb MallDecatur, GA (190,000 square feet; opened in 1965; 89 associates)

  • Kailua, HI (59,000 square feet; opened in 1946; 57 associates)

  • Palouse MallMoscow, ID (41,000 square feet; opened in 1979; 47 associates)

  • Northwoods MallPeoria, IL (165,000 square feet; opened in 1985; 62 associates)

  • Cortana MallBaton Rouge, LA (243,000 square feet; opened in 1976; 108 associates)

  • Valley MallHagerstown, MD (120,000 square feet; opened in 1999; 59 associates)

  • Berkshire Mall, Lanesborough, MA (111,000 square feet; opened in 1994; 58 associates)

  • Eastfield MallSpringfield, MA (127,000 square feet; opened in 1994; 71 associates)

  • The Shoppes at Stadium, Columbia, MO (140,000 square feet; opened in 2003; 81 associates)

  • Middlesex MallSouth Plainfield, NJ (81,000 square feet; opened in 1976; 69 associates)

  • McKinley Mall main store, Buffalo, NY (88,000 square feet; opened in 1989; 65 associates)
  • McKinley Mall home store, Buffalo, NY (31,000 Square feet; opened in 1989; 10 associates)

  • Arnot Mall, Horsehead, NY (120,000 square feet; opened in 1995; 79 associates)

  • Hudson Valley MallKingston, NY (121,000 square feet; opened in 1995; 72 associates)

  • Eastern Hills MallWilliamsville, NY (127,000 square feet; opened in 1971; 80 associates)

  • Cary Towne Center, Cary, NC (107,000 square feet; opened in 1991; 63 associates)

  • Chapel Hill MallAkron, OH (169,000 square feet; opened in 1967; 91 associates)

  • Midway MallElyria, OH (105,000 square feet; opened in 1990; 64 associates)

  • Quail Springs MallOklahoma City, OK (146,000 square feet; opened in 1986; 87 associates)

  • Pony Village MallNorth Bend, OR (41,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 54 associates)

  • Roseburg Valley MallRoseburg, OR (40,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 59 associates)

  • Suburban SquareArdmore, PA (102,000 square feet; opened in 1930; 74 associates)

  • Century III MallWest Mifflin, PA (173,000 square feet; opened in 1979; 101 associates)

  • Ridgmar MallFt. Worth, TX (181,000 square feet; opened in 1998; 92 associates)

  • Chesapeake SquareChesapeake, VA (95,000 square feet; opened in 1999; 69 associates)

  • Virginia Center CommonsGlen Allen, VA (110,000 square feet; opened in 1993; 81 associates)

  • Peninsula Town Center, Hampton, VA (173,000 square feet; opened in 1977; 109 associates)

  • Military Circle MallNorfolk, VA (153,000 square feet; opened in 1976; 95 associates)

  • Regency Square main store, Richmond, VA (100,000 square feet; opened in 1990; 100 associates);
  • Regency Square furniture/home/men’s store, Richmond, VA (124,000 square feet; opened in 1990; 35 associates)

  • Downtown SpokaneSpokane, WA (374,000 square feet; opened in 1947; 94 associates).
Macy’s stores closed in the final three quarters of 2015 (previously announced):
  • Owings Mills MallOwings Mills, MD (164,000 square feet; opened in 1986; 90 associates)

  • Bedford, NH (180,000 square feet; opened in 1966; 105 associates)

  • Essex Green Shopping CenterWest Orange, NJ (93,000 square feet; opened in 1975; 101 associates). Note that this location was converted to a Macy’s Backstage store.

  • Downtown Pittsburgh, PA (1,158,000 square feet; opened in 1946; 170 associates).
Thank you for supporting Trip to the Mall and continue to follow us on Facebook and listen to are podcast on Soundcloud.


Friday, January 8, 2016

TTTM Podcast #8: The Red Star is Falling

Click below to listen:
TTTM Podcast #8: The Red Star is Falling

Summary:
In this weeks podcast, I talk about the red star falling as Macy's is closing 40 stores across the country and Finish Line, shoe store chain, closing 150 stores over the next few years.

Key Point:

Macy's closing 36 stores, or 40 stores, either is ok.
     Here is the press release from Macy's New York

Finish Line closing est. 150 stores in the next 4 years.

Room to grow:

Thank you for listening and continue to support Trip to the Mall.

Post any opinions both good and bad below and on Facebook

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Media Play Store Tour April 1997


          Here is an amateur video from 1997 showing someone walking through a Media Play store, a former chain much like Tweeter, and looks like Blockbuster that sold various computer software and media.

Thank you for supporting Trip to the Mall and continue to follow us on Facebook and continue to listen to are podcast on Soundcloud.

Friday, January 1, 2016

TTTM Podcast #7: Mall Violence and the New Year

Click below to listen:
TTTM Podcast #7: Mall Violence and the New Year

Summary:
This weeks podcast, it will be brief, I will talk about mall violence and how its getting out of hand, welcome in the New Year, and discuss the air change of the podcast recording day. I also spew ideas on what I can do this year to further ourselves on social media, maybe make a few dollars, and what I should see in 2016.

Key Points:

Mall violence in general

Mall St. Matthews "disturbance" blown out of proportion

The New Year

New date of the podcast

Ideas on how to further ourselves on social media

Anywhere special I should go or do this year.


Room to grow:

Thank you for listening and continue to support Trip to the Mall.

Post any opinions both good and bad below and on Facebook

UPDATE***: Trip to the Mall Podcast Presented by Souncloud is now on Friday!

Enjoy the start of the New Year and to the start of each weekend with my formulated retail rants
________________________________________

Review: [HOONIGAN] Black Friday- Chris Forsberg Drifts Mall


          I don't normally talk about cars on Trip to the Mall, although they come in next to my most favorite interest of man made creations. And its after the Holidays, but I just found this video from the Youtube channel TheHoonigans of drift cars driving though the abandoned Hawthorne Plaza outside Los Angeles, California.

          The Hawthorne Plaza is one of my favorite dead malls because the property still features the vintage " The Broadway" department store signage on the building along the street, after going out of business 20 years ago, in 1996, and the entire mall closed in 1999.


Need to find myself in this parking garage with my hand on that directory sign.


Thank you for reading Trip to the Mall and continue to follow us on Facebook and do not forget to listen to our podcast on Souncloud and Happy New Year!