Friday, August 14, 2009

Abandoned Acme! Newtown, PA

This may just be the best abandoned Acme to ever appear at Acme Style... so much going on here it's hard to know where to start. First off... the sign here in the corner is the same kind shown in the Plexiglas ad I have posted (click here to check it out).

There is fencing blocking access all around the store. Fortunately the day I was there, the front gate was open. There are pictures on the web of this store, all showing the gate closed. So you are getting full access here at Acme Style!

Very standard late 50's/early 60's store. Undoubtedly started out with the script logo across the awing then switched to the fish-eye sign. The brackets for the 3 colored sqaures still intact on the right side of the sign. Most Acme's received an awning upgrade when the fish-eye sign was put up. This store did not. The sign was mounted right onto the brick wall.

Something quite unusual here... it appears that a small addition was added to the left side at some point. Only large enough for an additional aisle inside. If you look closely you can see the newer section by the change in the roof line.

More evidence of an addition... this side has brick columns that stick out slightly from the exterior wall. The other side of the store does not.

Entrance on the left/Exit on the right. More evidence of an addition as the newer section is set back a bit from the original building.

The doors were chained shut. Kids have been able to get into the store in the past as you will soon see.

The windows on the right side were never covered over which was common practice in the 70's and 80's in these types of Acmes in order to add addition shelving and increase the size of service departments.

The fish-eye logo was once here. This store finished out it's days with the red oval logo.

Notice this side doesn't have the brick columns like the newer side.

Acme Style readers... as you know I can go on and on about the great 80's remodel that swept through the chain. Here is what it looked like...

Floral in the front, Fresh Produce along the wall and the famous checkerboard pattern on the floor. Produce cases replaced by skating boarding ramp.

I would say that this store was remodeled in the very late 80's. Possibly one of the last stores to get this look as it is still in great shape. The beige paint on the walls is much lighter than the earlier 80's remodel as well. This store may have only been opened a few more years after the remodel. A massive replacement store was built just a few blocks away in the 90's.

This store most likely had 9 aisles before the 80's remodel. Aisle 1 was probably eliminated in order to expand Produce. Unfortunately the cursive styled department signage has been taken down.

Deli and Seafood. The original Deli went the entire length of that section. The 80's remodel shortened the Deli for the addition of a full service Seafood department. Look closely at the ends of the Seafood blue stripe... there's a ship's steering wheel.

The 80's checkerboard floor. Register stand footprints in the front.

The back wall appears to have been completely knocked out. The meat room is totally exposed now.

The 80's remodel said goodbye to "Lancaster Brand Meats" and hello to "Quality Meats".

Here you can see more evidence of the addition. The support columns are more substantial here than in the center of the store (which you can see again below). The ceiling also dips down at this point and has a different type of ceiling tile than the rest of the store.

Dairy and Eggs signage would have been on the far wall. Sets of three arch windows on either side which is unusual. You can see the old Colonial styled Dairy wall decor here. Just like in the Washington store. The orange stripe was the bottom of the barn-like Dairy wall decor.

The alcove most likely held the safe. This area would have been for customer service and an express register. By the time this store was remodeled Acme may have pulled the plug on the dreadfull "CSR" stand which would have been at the other end of the registers over by Produce. The full serice Bakery was behind this area in the front corner of the store.

A close-up of the 80's look. This color combination was used for the video rental sections that were put into lartger stores in the 80's.

Here you can see how the department signage was styled with the cursive lettering. The red oval logo was attached on the wall below. If you look closely you can see screws that were left behind in the shape of an oval.

One last look at the inside...

Doesn't look to horrible considering it's been abandoned for more than 10 years. Maybe more than 15 years. Hard to believe they never boarded up the windows.

A newer Acme sign in front of the old.

Acme didn't quite fit in with the rest of the look of this small town.

Some of the older stores were the lonliest of stores.

There have been many plans over the years to tear this place down but it has yet to happen. I'm so pleased that it will be preserved here at Acme Style long after it finally gets teared down.

The replacement store a few blocks away. An early 90's styled mega-store. The building is virtually identical to the Quakertown store I have posted. The interior is no longer the 90's red/white/blue package. It has been extensively remodeled and now has the "Chalkboard Market" look. One of the nicest stores I have seen with this look. And the place was slamming busy when I was there. Most have been a bit of a shock for the residents of Newtown going from a tiny 50's Acme to this massive 90's replacement store.


  1. I still need to get pictures of the old-school Acme in Woodstown, NJ. Have you seen that one? It has the old 50's style, just like this store. It even has that same type of road sign, complete with a fish-eye labelscar!!!

  2. Did you by any chance stop in the new store? Up at the front of the store near the restrooms there are some framed pictures; one of them is the staff standing in front of the old store around 1989, after it had just been remodeled. The new store actually opened in 2001; I remember visiting Newtown around then and seeing it almost ready to open.

  3. Does anyone know who owns this building?

  4. Not sure if this is true or false. I was told that during the filming of Signs with Mel Gibson that M. Night Shyamalan used this building to film a few scenes for the movie. That sets were built inside. If anyone knows the truth to this please post a comment.

  5. That is not true, I am a resident of Newtown, and a frequent visitor to that acme growing up in the 90's. It was always a "dump" to me and I would complain going there. Even though we lived only a block away I would want to go to the "new" Genuardi's (sp) two blocks away. The cool thing is, you knew all the employees by name and recognized everyone, and some still work at the new one. I lived above the starbucks in town for ten years, and before ACME moved to the abandoned spot, it was where the starbucks was until the 60's. Then it became Hoover's drug store until the mid 90's when starbucks moved in. But the Newtown shots for "Signs" were in the book and record, next to starbucks, and Mom's bake at home pizza place on state st. I know this because I would say hello to M.Night every morning on my way to school, as he would be out back of starbucks and the book store, right where our stairs led out. Hope that answered some questions.

  6. The old store was one of the first classic flat roof stores with cursive "Acme Markets." It was open in 1954, and didn't close until 2001, when the new combination store opened. Upgrades seem to be continually made in the new store. One feature is a huge "Boar's Head" deli department. The store now has replaced the "Chalkboard Market" decor with the beautiful "Premium Fresh" package keeping their bright ceiling lights, unlike Doylestown which is so dark, you need a flashlight to see!

  7. the remodeling happened around 1992-3. I remember being 7-8 when it happened. A few of the employees at the replacement acme use to work at the old building.

    The old building is schedule to be replaced by high end condos and store fronts. Not sure exactly when they are tearing it down, but soon. Funny there is an acme historic blog. Sh*t...I remember shopping in this store when I was a young'n. The chip aisle the first thing you walk by when you walk in, then the bread area...then the meat department..the cereal aisle..I feel 7 again! Thanks for posting the pictures!

    1. Almost right. As you walked in, the chips were to your right, registers to your left. then came produce. Along the back wall was seafood, deli, meat.
      Aisle 1-salad dressing, condiments, paper plates & cups.
      Aisle 2- health & beauty, cleaning supplies.
      Aisle 3- diapers, bags & wraps, laundry degt, pet food.
      Aisle 4-baking, spices, can veggies.
      Aisle 5-cookies, crackers, candy.
      Aisle 6-soda, baby food, formula,baby haba,jello, bottle juice.
      Aisle 7-dairy, bread, coffee.
      Aisle 8- frozen food.
      At the top of the store was the bakery.

      I worked there for 17 years. I still see it in my mind like it was yesterday.
      It was bittersweet to be there to watch it get demolished. So many good memories!

  8. this is prob like an acme comparison store to a new shoprite...they murder the competition...i highly doubt supervalu would give this store up. but the location is in a HIGHLY upscale area...people will buy like $700 worth of groceries like it's no joke. on the dark side some employees and a lot of customers are...egh. i never knew but i should have known that even a store as high volume as this new newtown one still lacks in the front end as far as scheduled cashiers! you would think with the business they do they would put on more help instead of using perimeter checkers. they can't keep the lines they do the way they do with 3 cashiers when it needs to be 10 or more opened on most days, especially weekends, this is definately a weekend store.

  9. I worked at the new acme for a brief time (2007) and i can tell you right now who to blame for the employee shortage: MANAGEMENT. They would constantly cut peoples' hours. For me, every week that they posted next week's shift schedules was a whinefest to management about needing more hours. They were so cheap with hours; thats why I didnt stay there long before finding a different job with more shifts to give. It was so aggravating to be depending upon income and then only get less than half the hours you, and apparently the business of the store, needed. There was this one annoying assistant manager who would go up to people and nag them that
    they needed to quick clock out the min their shift ended, even if it was busy enough to warrant the extra help. Lol.

    I wish they still kept the old acme open lol. I never went there when it was open, but remember driving by after it closed and peering in the windows at the (in my opinion) much nicer 80s decor. :)

  10. I went here last weekend, it was still up, but now half the windows are boarded up. As for the Genuardis, that was probably the nicest store left on the planet, that isn't a wegmans. The new acme recieved a PF&H facade upgrade, but still has a very nice (but chalkboardless) Chalkboard market decor.

  11. P.S.
    I think that we should give the 80's remodel a name... How about the Patio decor?

  12. P.P.S.
    we were going to go inside, but a police car slowed down near us, so we split.

  13. This Acme is now owned by McGrath builders. They have had plans approved by the Township for months and still leave this eyesore up. The residents of Newtown would rather see a parking lot here than this abandoned property. It is the site for mischief and needs to be demolished.

  14. This would actually be a great place for a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods - a type of food store that currently does not exist in the Newtown area, but would probably do well there!

  15. Man I remember going into this place when I was a kid. I remember that it always smelled funny and that the floors were dirty.

    I still live in the area and this place is still abandoned like it has been for years. I don't even notice it anymore.

  16. I agree that a Trader Joe's would be very welcome in Newtown.

    Also, this Acme closed on September 12, 2001...about half a year or so after the new, bigger Acme opened. They keep the big Acme very upscale, hence the deli that sells exclusively Boarshead products.

    1. Wrong, yhe new store opened on Sept. 12, 2001. The old store closed only 1 day prior.

  17. I found a 2012 article about the former Newtown store with a great historical photo. Hope I didn't miss it somewhere else on the blog:
    (photo only: