Friday, November 15, 2013

Former Acme — Tamaqua, Pennsylvania

Classic Acme photo courtesy of Mike in Nanticoke PA

Location: 210 Cedar St, Tamaqua, PA

Going back in time thanks to another treasure from Mike's collection! The Tamaqua Acme opened on April 8, 1959 and was updated with the Checkerboard Arch decor and block letter logo just a few years before Acme exited this region of Pennsylvania. As I've mentioned before, I'm always surprised to see the work that went into these locations just a few years before Acme sold them off while stores in New Jersey went untouched throughout most of the 90's. This location even received new flooring, which we will see down below. Click on the picture above for a larger view. There's a nice, large arch on the wall just inside the entrance. You can also see the blue light boxes above the checkouts.

Current day photos courtesy of John from

John, our Western PA tour guide, has brought us pictures of the Tamaqua store as it is today. Aside from upgrades to the awning and support columns, the exterior is virtually untouched since the Acme's days. The interior hasn't changed much at all either. 

Interesting roof line along the back. Only a small section is raised in the center instead of the full width of the building to include the employee bathrooms and break room. I'm always fascinated to see these awnings above the delivery doors. The Acme I worked in was built around the same time as this one and had no awnings. Unloading the grocery truck on a rainy days was always a disaster. Wet boxes busting open left and right.

The small room sticking of of the back here may be original to the building. We'll see in the historic aerials that was here as of 1969, the earliest image available. We saw a similar room on the back of the pitched-roof Mahonoy City store.

Heading inside...

The official floor tile for the Checkerboard Arch decor package can be seen here in Produce. The grocery aisle floors may not have been redone during the remodel. According to these pictures, only the permitters of the store has the new flooring.

After all these years, the Acme brand is back on the shelves of this store. Sort of. The Essential Everyday brand seems to be everywhere these days. I've seen coupons in newspaper circulars for deals on the brand with no mention of which stores to find it in.

Very small Deli. Other than the floor, there aren't any leftovers from the Acme in this area.

Acme's fluorescent lights are gone. They can still be seen in the first photo of this post.

The frozen food cases look to be left over from Acme. The Dairy cases are for sure...

The good ol' Acme air vents along the ceiling. Standard issue in the 50's stores.

Aerial Views...

Historic Images..

Big crowd here back in 2004.


A nice departing shot with the mountain in the background. Thanks to John and Mike for their contributors to the Tamaqua post!


  1. Yellow shopping carts!

  2. Soda on the front wall. You know it's a small store! (I am a soda vendor).

  3. Supervalu is now a supplier of retail goods rather than a supermarket chain. That is a good strategy though because they don't lose a single penny on their investment in the end. They have never really been a retailer, it was a stupid idea of them to buy Albertsons.

  4. The Essential Everyday brand has pretty much (but still not quite completely) replaced Richfood as Redner's Warehouse Markets' main house brand. I've also seen it at the Drexeline Fresh Grocer (before it was converted to ShopRite) as well as at the Farm Fresh chain in VA.

  5. The Essential Everyday brand has pretty much (but still not yet completely) replaced Richfood as the main house brand @ Redner's Warehouse Markets, too. The Fresh Grocer at Drexeline S/C also used EE before its recent conversion to ShopRite.

  6. I have a few comments. First, Supervalu is still a grocery retailer. They own and operate chains such as CUB, Farm Fresh, and Shoppers. Essential Everyday is now at Redners because Supervalu scrapped the Richfood brand to help save costs. And this former Acme in Tamaqua, was one I shopped at when I was a little kid. Those pictures of the "full parking lot" are misleading. Most of those cars that are in that parking lot were not Acme/Boyers shoppers, they are people that lived in apartments and houses across the street. That Tamaqua ACME has been a number of different brands from BI-LO, Insalacos, TJ Barts, and now Boyers. It has always done a pretty good business because it is the only store in town. Back in the day there was an A&P, but that did not last very long!

  7. Hi, The bump out buildings in the back were in the dys before dumpsters and compactors, garbage and cardboard rooms. The Deli area has new cases, but looks like the original Deli space. Thanks Gerry

  8. Yes Super Valu is basically a wholesaler, who happens to own a few small chains. What is even more confusing, Cerebus, thus Albertsons, owns a sizeable portion of Super Valu,and has several side deals as Acme owining its old warehouse again and Super Valu as itsTenant. Thanks Gerry