Friday, February 22, 2013

Step inside this spectacularly preserved Acme!

Classic photos courtesy of John from

A few weeks ago John treated us to some classic photos of the former Coal Township Acme. Today, we're going to have a tour of the interior which has changed very little since its Acme days. Three different stores... BiLo, BRL Grocery Outlet and Buy Rite Liquidators, which now operates in the space.. have occupied the space since the Acme closed back in 1995. Unbelievably, none of the the 3 companies have made major changes to the interior. Much of Acme's decor remains intact!

Acme - Coal Township
Above photo courtesy of JoshAustin610's flickr collection

After the exterior photos went up on the blog, John returned to the store to get some interior shots. The deluxe 70's Colonial Decor package still going strong in 2013! Here we're looking at the virtually untouched Produce Department. You can compare it to the photo below from the 1978 Annual Report, which has been previously featured on the blog. The Produce signage and decor are nearly identical in both pictures, right down to the cases and plant departments on the left side of the photos. A paint job at the Coal store has neutralized the former color scheme but you can still clearly see the framing around the Produce sign is an exact match to the one below. The faux slate floor, always one of Acme's most distinctive features in the 70's and early 80's, remains above and can also be seen in the image below. As nice as the 80's remodel was, it was hard seeing these floors go. The only Acme I know of with this flooring still in place is the Manasquan store. That store is also the last to have the fish-eye sign. 

Notice the interesting wooden archways near the rear. The right side of the aisle would have been lined with Produce cases as well but have since been removed here. The single tiered brown cases were replaced in the 80's remodel with multi-tiered green and beige cases on both sides. The ceiling lights were popular in late 70's and early 80's Acmes. 

The corner treatment above is identical to the Acme below, where you can only see a snippet of it above the Deli sign. Sadly those awesome light fixtures are long gone. They were probably yanked off the walls by BiLo. I had been in other BiLo converted Acmes that kept most of Acme's decor but ditched the lights. 

Close-up of the Deli area flooring as it is today. 

Looking along the back. Not sure how the signage was set up here. There are three sections which would have worked for "Lancaster Brand Meats". 

Single tiered meat cases would have run along the back here with an aisle behind them for employees to stock the cases and assist customers. Recessed lights above to light the cases. Orange panels would have been along the back wall, now painted cream. See the former Rockaway store for how this wall would have looked. 

Looking back down towards the Deli. The beams along the awning are a really nice touch. I don't recall seeing these at other Acme's of this era.

Looking up to the front. 

Former Dairy Department along this wall. Looks like these cases were set up away from the wall, perhaps to stock from behind. Former Bakery up in the front corner under the curved drop ceiling section. The area looks too small to have had an in-store Bakery. 

Front-end with the old Acme clock still hanging above the exit. We've seen these clocks in Manasquan and Fallston. Not sure what the purpose of the wooden structure is in front of the registers.

Thanks to John for getting these incredible pictures! Keep your eyes pealed for more of his contributions which will be coming to Acme Style soon!


  1. The classic Acme clock by the exit was also in the Mantua Acme.

  2. Awesome pictures of the 70's decor. The produce floor has really held up well after all these years.

    But yeah, what's with that wooden structure by the check out lines? Not something you see everyday in any store for that matter.

  3. King Kullen in Selden, NY has that type of TEM clock/advertisement box too.