David's Philadelphia Road Trips

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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Ephrata1966
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David's Philadelphia Road Trips

Post by Ephrata1966 » 25 Sep 2010 02:25

I have a few notes you might want to add about the Philadelphia stores. They are all almost in my backyard. Looks like you followed US 1 much of the way. Not sure if you have discovered this, but look at our user Joshaustin610's Flickr page.

1. The Roosevelt A&P was one of only about five A&Ps in the area with a Penn Fruit-like roof. This is one of the few that was never expanded. I am not sure when these were built, but I would say much of the 1950s. By contrast, there were dozens of original Centennial A&Ps here.

2. The Egg Harbor City A&P was until recently a "Great Valu" market. This name has been dying out. Every Great Valu in the Philadelphia area has a lot of history, I am sure.

3. The A&P on Marlton Pike was actually in Cherry Hill, and called the Barclay A&P. This store was later a Drug Emporium, just like the Centennial A&P in nearby Broomall, PA. The Flickr user JSF0864 runs the Super Fresh (old 1975 A&P) in Marlton, which replaced a Centennial.

4. I noticed you found the old Rising Sun Plaza Acme. Sorry but you missed an amazing ex-Penn Fruit very close by. This store is actually in the "suburb" of Cheltenham, on the very edge of the city. The building is now occupied by Save-a-Lot, complete with quaint lanterns on the front! And check out the old school 1959 liquor store next door! What is hard to believe is that the Penn Fruit closed at the same time Rising Sun was built. I would think Acme would have wanted the Penn Fruit building. Perhaps it was once a Thriftway instead, like the Frankford store. Rising Sun was also anchored by a Woolco, then a Clover, then National Wholesale Liquidators, and now Rose's. I wonder if this center was named after the nearby town in Maryland somehow.

5. The Acme/Dollar Tree on City Line was also a Thrift Drug/Eckerd for many years. And the Penn Fruit (now Ross) nearby was later Acme. This Acme was actually given a major remodel around 1995. So I don't know why it closed in early 2002. The other Penn Fruit/Ross was also Acme, which I know was given the 1986 Acme oval logo.

6. Perhaps the Food Fair/Toys R Us was once a "Kiddie City" toy store. That chain was owned by Penn Fruit, and Penn Fruit was bought by Food Fair. Not sure but I think Kiddie City just shut down, and Toys R Us bought the buildings. In the end, Kiddie City was owned by Lionel.

7. The Pilgrim Gardens Dollar Tree was actually a cinema.

8. The Genuardi's in Cherry Hill is one of the few in New Jersey, and was a Food Fair.

9. The Frankford ShopRite was one of the last Food Fairs.

10. The Hammonton ShopRite was a Jamesway. At that time, the grocery anchor of that center was an Acme at the other end.

11. You may have passed the old Penn Fruit in Bala Cynwyd. This store has had its roof altered, but the tower sign is intact. The empty store next to it is a vintage Thrift Drug/Eckerd/Rite Aid.

12. Just an observation, but the industry experts say Penn Fruit and Food Fair were more exclusive chains during the 1950s. Penn Fruit was building wonders like the Frankford store. Acme and A&P needed more time to catch up with new stores. The typical Acme in 1957 was still a relatively bland box. A&P refused to give up downtown stores for a while, then built a few Penn Fruit-like stores before the Centennial era began in 1959.

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MikeRa
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Re: David's Philadelphia Road Trips

Post by MikeRa » 26 Sep 2010 11:56

Ephrata1966 wrote:6. Perhaps the Food Fair/Toys R Us was once a "Kiddie City" toy store. That chain was owned by Penn Fruit, and Penn Fruit was bought by Food Fair. Not sure but I think Kiddie City just shut down, and Toys R Us bought the buildings. In the end, Kiddie City was owned by Lionel.
There was a Kiddie City located across the street from the Gimbels/Stern's/sears on Bleigh Avenue, and sharing the parking lot with the William Goldman/budco/AMC Orleans 8 Theatre complex. That Kiddie City later became a pet store, which then moved into a new building group, including Target after the Kiddie City, the Orleans Theatre, and the Shop Rite/Pathmark/Pep Boys-Orleans Theatre #5-8 buildings were demolished (around 2007-2008)

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