Monday, April 6, 2009

Abandoned Acme! Egg Harbor City, NJ

Perhaps "World Famous Abandoned Acme" would be a more appropriate title. Pictures of this store can easily be found all over the internet. A favorite among Acme fans. It's simply amazing that this property has remained completely intact since Acme went out of business sometime in the mid-90's. Evidence of this can be found on the sign of the side of the building. The latest version of the Acme logo was incorporated into the fish-eye logo.

One very odd aspect of this store is that it sits far back from... and doesn't even face... the main road. The large Acme sign to the left is out on Rt. 30. The store front is located on New York Avenue which is actually a dead end. Houses are located directly across the street, to the right side and behind. I have included aerial shots as the final pictures below to show how the area is.

I would assume this store started out with the script style logo. I believe the fish-eye logo was rolled out the same time Acme retired this building style in favor of the pitched-roof design. Unlike most updated stores from this era, Acme did not install the metal awning to frame the new sign, instead just sticking the new sign right to the building. (The awnings I am talking about can be seen in the Newton Acme pics where it had since been painted green). So I wonder... did this store get the new sign before Acme decided on adding those awnings or did they just got cheap on some locations?

Produce receiving door on the right corner.

The windows up top are the employee break room and bathrooms.

Grocery receiving.

Sadly the sign is completely gone. Destroyed by vandals. It lies in a million pieces to the right side of the store. Picture below...

The colored pieces are the back side of the sign. When the store was closed the sign was painted over in dark brown. I picked up several larger pieces and took them as souvenirs.

This style of Acme Market was everywhere back in the day. Like A&P, Acme had a standard store building design that was duplicated in hundreds of locations. Nearly every element in the same exact spot. The continued on with this tradition when this style of store was retired for the pitched-roof version of the late 60's.

Enter on the right, exit on the left. So tempted to pry a board off to take a look inside.

You can see the most recent version of the Acme logo was added to the old fish-eye sign. Looks like only the center section was replaced.

Took a close-up so you can see what color these blocks used to be. Blue on top, red in the middle and yellow at the bottom.

Dairy and frozen food receiving.

Former sign by the entrance.

In and out.

Fascinating how huge these signs were for such a small grocery store. They're always a dead giveaway to a former Acme location. So often they were left standing with new signs put on for the store or stores that took over these old Acmes.

You can miss this sign when driving by. Although you can miss the building as it is tucked back off of the highway.

One final look at this classic location.

If this store remained a success Acme had plenty of room to expand.

UPDATE 11.10.09: Nintendo85 commented that this store actually closed in 2002.


  1. The back and sides of this Acme look exactly like the old Acme in Wildwood before that store was knocked down and rebuilt brand new.

  2. I grew up a block away from this Acme! I have many, many memories of running errands for my parents or walking over with my dad through a worn dirt path across the street, tossing pennies in the grass. The big Acme Markets sign out on the White Horse Pike (Route 30) was always my personal sign that we were finally home after a long drive. I used to sell candy bars for fundraisers for my elementary school (also now closed!!!) in the front vestibule. Not too long ago my dad and I managed to sneak in through a back's really eerie how the departments are still painted on the walls...produce, Lancaster Meats, dairy. I think the store closed sometime in the mid-nineties, I remember picking up a bottle of soda for a family dinner after I had grown and moved out. That was the last time I was in there...funny how a grocery store can hold such fond childhood memories, it'll be sad once it finally goes for good.

  3. Apparently Egg Harbor City has plans to demolish the Acme building and build affordable housing. See

  4. This Acme actually closed in 2002, not the mid-90's. I still remember the tall road sign with its neon blazing at night.

  5. This was the design of the Acme in Wrightstown NJ, which I don't think they ever changed until the day it closed.

  6. The Quarryville PA ACME looked a lot like this building. Now it's a Rite Aid. It closed in 1988 and it was the last operating ACME store in Lancaster County PA. Ironically a few years after that ACME built a huge distribution center in Ephrata, Lancaster County PA. In it's final days the Quarryville store had really deteriorated. There was dog food in the soft drink/juice aisles, and many other products were not where they were supposed to be.
    There is a pitched roof ACME building at the Manor Shopping Center in Lancaster City, the last time I was there it was now an ACE hardware. Near the downtown area of Lancaster city, there's an old ACME that was operating as a "no frills" grocery store. And there is an old ACME on Route 30 in the Bridgeport section of Lancaster City. It still has the old really tall sign poles that, at least when I left Lancaster in 2007. Now holds a Blockbuster Video,Dollar General,and a Vietnamese restaurant. Almost directly across the street from this location is an old Weis Market that is now a Dollar General, and slightly down and across the street from that is the replacement Weis Market, which took over from Pantry Pride when all the PA,Delaware and New Jersey stores closed in 1979. Hopefully maybe you can at least find the ACE hardware ACME and the ACME near downtown Lancaster. I love your site.

  7. Thanks! I am planning a trip to Lancaster next year to photograph the former Acme's there. I didn't know about the Quarryville store. Wow, it was small!

    The pitched-roof store in Manor Shopping Center may not be an Ace Hardware anymore according to satellite photos. It has a new facade now and the former Acme addition is now a separate business. Looks like a restaurant of some sort. I had been in the Ace Hardware in the 90's. Still had a very Acme feel too it. The former Acme on Queen Street is...ironically enough... a Sav-a-Lot. Although it's been that way long before SuperValu purchased Acme. Have you been in the old Bridgeport store? The last time I was in there, back in the 90's, some of the 70's decor was still up on the walls. Just painted over in white. There is also a pitched-roof store on Lititz Pike which is now a CVS. And a flat roof store over on Columbia Ave which is now one of the two Rebman stores. Lots of Acme artifacts left in that building!

    Look forward to a tour of the Lancaster former Acmes in 2011!

  8. this was a great store to work at was there for one year i was actually on loan from hammonton store stayed there until dairy job in mayslanding came up

  9. It was cool, finding this Acme Style blog. I live less than 2 miles from this Acme. I shopped there once a week for several years until it closed.
    I then started shopping at the Acme in Absecon near the Shop Rite, until that one closed. That one was pretty new too.
    I then started shopping at the Acme near the Hamilton Mall, but it's too far away to shop at regularly. Some people call that Mays Landing, though it's not actually in Mays Landing at all, just in the same Township.

  10. I live a mile away from this ACME site and I pass by it everyday. I still remember how I could see the sign from my house, and miles farther at night. I remember being a little kid in this ACME, the employee John who worked the register, saving all my quarters for the 10+ toy machines in the front entrance, and how different this store was than any other. A few years back, I had a look inside like someone else said, and it is very eerie. It's a shame how bad the condition of this building got over the past 9 years.

    It's funny that I stumbles across this website, and what memories can be sparked by something to simple.

  11. I just wanted to let you know that I heard a rumor in town yesterday that the old Acme is going to be demolished and a super Wawa put in its place. A super Wawa would be one of the large ones that sell gas. So this would mean that the existing Wawa would have to close. Anyway, I used to shop at the Egg Harbor City Acme every Friday after work, that is until it closed. Then I started shopping at the Absecon Acme, since it's near my place of employment. That one was quite new. I shopped there until that one also closed!

  12. this was store 1105. i worked there 1983 till 1993 it was remodeled 4 times in that time with the last a deli added

  13. oh and all the frozen and produce came in the back where the dock was the front roll up door on the same side was trash

  14. Wow, just found this. I started working there when I was 16... and stayed for 12 years! Lots of fun times there. I was in there when the building was closed, one of the front windows was out. I was a police officer for Egg Harbor City and the interior is completely open. I was the last one to paint the walls and all the styrofoam letters on the interior of the store. The place is empty, except for some produce containers and other junk over top of the produce box in the back. You need a ladder to get up there, so that's why it's all still up there. The skateboarders did most of the vandalizing, we were constantly chasing them out.

  15. The first photo, the door in the right corner is actually a trash room. We never used it the 12 years I was there. I was filled with old broken shopping carts.

    The loading dock with the Dairy and frozen food receiving doors is wrong. The closest door is the dairy door, where we would use a metal hook and drag in stacks of milk crates. We also got the egg deliveries in through that door.

    The second door goes to the hallway between the dairy room, and the meat room. If you walk in that door, to your right is a storage room (you can see the window outside). To the left is a walk-in cooler, and another door to go through to the butcher area. If you walk in and go straight, the hallway is in front of you. Make a left to go in the meat (butcher) area, or make a right to go past the employee lockers, slop sink and then dairy area. The wall in front of the employee lockers was pegboard, and on the other side was open coffin meat cases, and over top on the shelves was rows of Kool-Aid in the little paper packets. We used to look through the holes in the pegboard and catch shoplifters (very high tech).

  16. When I was a kid, the neon sign out front worked, and I remember coming home with my parents from Hammonton, and you could see that lit-up sign for miles on Rt. 30.

    The back grocery receiving door was used to also bring in frozen food. We originally used to hand empty the trucks with long metal rollers like a conveyor belt, and stacked everything on hand trucks. Years later everything came on wrapped pallets. The door to the right was never used. It is a metal staircase that goes to the second floor, where there is a storage area and all the compressors. Lots of memories there, and worked with some great people!

  17. We used to bring in produce through the grocery door too. The produce door was used to bring out trash, and we would take in banana deliveries there. There was a truck that just delivered bananas.

  18. Is this place still standing?