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Thursday, June 25, 2015

The 300,000th Visitor Surprise Post!

STEP INSIDE
THE POINT PLEASANT ACME...


Photos courtesy of Lew

Location: 1513 Richmond Ave, Point Pleasant, NJ 

You never know what's going to show up in Acme Style's inbox! Up until this point, the only representation we had of the Point Pleasant Acme were some aerial images of the abandoned building. While plenty of details were left in the comments section under the original post, it's just not the same until you see a store with your own eyes. Today, as we welcome our 300,000th visitor to the blog, we get to step inside this classic former Acme for a full tour! Thanks to Lew for tracking down the photos he had taken of this store in its final days.


First up is a quick recap of the store's history. The Point Pleasant Acme was originally located at 500 Richmond Ave. Not sure when that location opened but the building dates back to at least 1933, according to the historic aerials. Acme relocated to this larger site in the early 70's, taking over a building that already existed here. Acme expanded the building and in the process switched the storefront, which originally faced Route 88, over to the left side. This made for a strange layout of the parking lot as another building was located just a short distance from the front of the new Acme. Despite moving to a larger location, the Point Pleasant store was never terribly successful aside from a few months in the Summer.

Check out the unique and rather plain sign on the front of the store. I've never seen anything like it and have no idea why the fish-eye wasn't used in this spot. It was used on the side of the building, as we will see down below.


Lew reports the store had a remodel in the late 70's which brought the Colonial Decor to the store and a reconfiguration of the entrance and exit. Among the added features in the 70's remodel was the exciting Plant Department, just inside the entrance.


Entering through the vestibule. A little blown out with the light streaming in.  Lew took these photos on the evening of September 8, 2003 which was 2 days before it closed for good. And thank goodness he did! Even got yelled at by a manager and was told to leave the store.


Here we go... a lot of interesting things to see in here starting with the Produce floor which reached to the front door. The plant department would have been were the greeting cards are located. The lattice above was standard issue for the department in most stores. No signage was used as far as I know. The wood shingle awning was another standard feature for the 70's Colonial Decor package, most often seen in the Deli and Dairy. It continues to live on in the Dairy Department in the Westmont store. Click here for a look.


The view across the front end. Customer Service is just around the displays on the right. From what I can tell in the pictures, the addition to the original building has the ceiling lights running from front to back. Perhaps they didn't bother reconfiguring the lights in the existing portion, which we see in the foreground.


Lots of classic stuff to be seen here! The Colonial Decor signage remains but all other elements from the walls have been removed or painted over in white. The Produce letters have been painted blue to follow along a red, white and blue theme which was kinda used here. The Deli was updated with the 80's Remodel sign which was probably taken out of a store that was remodeled in the 90's. The aisle markers from the 70's lasted until the end. It's odd that the first aisle wasn't originally made wider which was often the case. In this store, the Dairy aisle is the one wider than the rest. The first aisle was also shortened to open up the Proudce Department. Salad dressing and mayonnaise was moved to the left wall.


Point Pleasant had the cases from the 80's remodel but they're certainly all hand-me-downs from stores that were remodeled yet again.


Insane close-up of the Produce flooring. Not as shiny as it is in Manasquan these days!


The store is pretty well stocked with only 2 days to go until closing. There doesn't appear to be any closing sale going on. Perhaps Acme was planning to move all unsold merchandise to other locations.


80's Deli sign mounted to the awning. Seems so out of place here.


The cases appear to be from the Seafood department of an 80's Remodels.


The white panels you see along the Meat Department wall were most likely painted over, having originally been orange.


Lancaster Brand Meat sign now in red. Probably started out white against a colored background on the wall.


The spot lights along the drop ceiling would have lit up the single tier meat cases prior to the arrival of the multi-tiered cases. Looks like new flooring was put in along the back when the cases were swapped out.


Lew explained to me that the aisles did not come back further so that pallets could be pulled out of the back room and wheeled across the back of the store to the appropriate aisle. The Acme I worked in had only a single door by the Deli. All pallets had to be broken down in the back room. For years we used to unload the truck piece by piece never even taking a full pallet off the trailer.


Voortman cookies still going strong in 2003! These were a big hit at my Acme although we didn't have a Bakery either.


The Dairy sign strangely painted in white. More 80's cases seen here.


You can catch a glimpse of the Bakery flooring there in the front. Our first look at it ever! Of course, no in-store Bakery here. Just bread which was moved to aisle 8. Soda now seen in the former Bakery corner. Did this store have the brown and gold wallpaper in the front corner? I have no idea. It's about the last decor element I am hoping to get a picture of for the blog. Hope is fading as the years march on.


Frozen Foods were usually located in aisle 7 in these classic 8 aisle stores. You can see a few doors worth on the left side of the photo but the cases don't make up the whole aisle. I guess aisle 6 was Frozen for this store.


Still plenty of cans on the shelves with only 2 days until closing.


Some interesting details from Lew about the checkouts...

Another item was that this Acme had the original steel conveyor belt cabinets up until scanners were adopted in the late 1980s. These were rubber conveyor belted with stainless tops but the lower cabinets had been repainted many times. Some of the actual conveyor belts were shiny due to the years of use and cleaning. These actually had lower front signage positions which were revealed from being behind a later display during one of the store cleaning/repaints in the 1980s. They had signs like "We like your pet but please don't bring him in with you." and "Please deposit cigarette butts in the receptacles provided." etc.


The Acme clock made it until the end!




A look at Customer Service and all of its signs. Not sure what that "Apply for a Job" kiosk is all about.


A look along the side of the building...


Notice the room the is sticking out of the left side. This was a mystery to me in the original post. Turns out it used to stick out of the back of the original building but became the side when Acme moved in. Lew reports the compressors and bathrooms were located in the space.

BONUS PHOTO >>>


A side-view of the store which was not part of Lew's collection. It gives us a great look at the panels that were posted along the side, which each held a letter spelling A C M E. And the fish-eye sign is here too! Why this wasn't on the front of the store is a mystery indeed. 

AERIAL VIEWS


These are screen grabs of the new aerials taken for this updated post. All these years later, Bing maps still hasn't fully updated the satellite images from this area. We still see the abandoned Acme.




As we rotate the view to the rear of the Acme, we get an updated view of the Walgreens, which has made it's home in the former Acme. According to a comment in the original post, Drug Fair had been set to open here but the company went under shortly before the store was ready to open, which explains the un-Walgreens styled building. Notice how a large portion of the parking lot has been returned to nature.


One more turn and we're back to the abandoned Acme. Even from here you can see the scars left by the signs along the side.

HISTORIC AERIALS


2013
Looks like Drug Fair did a lot of work on this building, including reconfiguring the room on the left side. Walgreens opened here in 2009.


2007
The building sat abandoned for about six years.


2002
Still open in 2002 with very few cars parked in the huge parking lot.


1986
A little more life back in 1986.


1979


1972


1970
The original building on the property, not very clearly seen in 1970.


1963
Much better view in 1963. Looks brand new here! May have very well been a supermarket the first time around.


1957

Thanks to Lew for sharing his pictures of the Point Pleasant Acme!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Acme – Ocean City, New Jersey


Location: 3428 Simpson Ave, Ocean City, NJ 


The Ocean City store opened as a pitched-roof model on June 14, 1967. In 2000, it was expanded and extensively remodeled with the Albertsons Marketplace decor. The original building was thankfully left intact. In the mid-2000's, the store received the Premium Fresh and Healthy refresh which included new department signs, aisle markers and the Alberstons leaf on the walls. Not sure if any significant work was done to the store at that time. Finally, this past winter the store underwent another extensive remodel. Back in January, we saw a few pictures as things were underway The photos will are included in this post. About a third of the store, which included all of the service departments, was closed off for rearranging. The results are very nice but despite all of the renovating that was done this past winter, the decor and department signage sadly remains the same. Some of it looking even worse than before the remodel. That all said, this is one wickedly awesome Acme!


A fresh paint job to the outside with the same flags decorating the store as we saw in Beach Haven.  Both stores held their grand reopening on May 22nd.


We'll head in on this side...


It would have been nice to at least see a refresh here in the vestibule with the new logo on the wall.


A quick look across the front-end. The lattice structure above the checkouts has been removed and the Customer Service signage has been updated. All new flooring throughout the store. Below is a picture of this area back in 2010...




Turning towards Produce...


I believe Produce used to line the first aisle. It has since been moved to the front corner occupying an alcove created by moving the Deli and relocating the Bakery to the back of the store.


No signage for the new Produce Department.




The Bakery and Deli used to be paired up in this location as you can see below...


All back lighting has apparently been removed from the department signs. It's so dark now you can't even see the word "deli" up on the wall. Black and white photos have been put into the blue light boxes, minus the light. They're barely noticeable. So much work was put into the store and the results are fantastic but it seems like they completely forget all about the walls.


I believe this is where Produce used to be located. Now it's the gluten free and natural aisle. All black shelving which we'll see soon in another remodel. Mostly national branded products here with O Organics and Open Nature scattered throughout the store.






The Bakery is now along the back in the spot formally used for the Butcher Block. Check out the poorly placed "y" above. This are before the remodel is just below...


The Butcher Block has been moved to the pitched-roof portion of the building, along the back wall.




Aisles 1 through 3 are in the newer portion of the building. 


Aisle 4 is located where the pitched-roof meets the addition. You can see this area during the remodel below...


Rough time for shoppers during the remodel. A good 5 aisles eliminated along with the service departments. 


Immaculately clean and meticulously stocked! That's how Acme rolls these day. 


Wild Harvest products still lingering around. The O Orgaincs brand is growing on me. I do like how all of the products in the line are orgainic whereas Wild Harvest was a mix of organic while others were just "natural". If you were't paying close attention to the labels, you might miss the distinction. 






The back wall has opened up to make way for the new Butcher Block. You can see this wall before the remodel below...



The letters removed from the original spot and glued on the wall here. Barely visible on the dark brown background. It just seems like with all the work that was done here, even a minor freshening of the walls and department signage was in order. 


The Acme sign once located along the front has been replaced with windows flooding the store with natural light. 








Dairy was expanded to the whole aisle. Before the remodel, frozen cases lined the left side which you can see below...




Some more Wild Harvest products seen in the milk case.




Ailes 13 and 14 are in an alcove in the front corner...


This used to be the Produce delivery area prior to the store's expansion.






"Express Checkout" signage has been made for the old checkout lights. Additional express registers are also located at Customer Service. The self-checkouts have been removed.


A similiar situation to Beach Haven with an outdoor cage area stocked with beach toys and accessories.




This store is supposed to have a Chamber of Commerce Booth which I didn't see inside.

AERIAL VIEWS









HISTORIC IMAGES


2006
This place does booming business in the summer. It's the first store everyone comes to when heading to the island. A SuperFresh is located on the island about 3 miles north and stands on the property of a former Acme...


1957
A look at the former Acme at 800 West Ave. The store opened on June 28, 1957 and as reported in the comments section in the original post, closed around 1980 when a deal for lease renewal could not be worked out. To visit Ocean City's original post, please click here.


2002


1995
The original pitched-roof building back in 1995 perhaps joined with a gas station there at the corner of the parking lot. There were rumors going around years back that the Acme was going to close and Wawa was preparing to build on the property. Never happened.


1991


1987


1970


1963

One of the most unique Acmes in existence today! If you get a chance to visit this store, do not pass it up!!