Friday, December 5, 2014

Former Acme – Orange, New Jersey

Location: 53 South Jefferson St, City of Orange, NJ

I ventured to the former Orange Acme back in September 2013. Wound up throwing the pictures in the vault since it didn't prove to be very exciting. I was hoping the interior retained a good amount of of the former Acme's attributes. It does not. While it is painfully dated inside, there isn't much of anything left over from Acme. We'll have a brief tour of the inside of the store down below. The photos are pretty blurry which is another reason this store got sent to the Acme Style vault.

Acme opened here January 29, 1957. Closing date unknown. My guess would be sometime in the 80's. Acme pulled the plug on lots of North Jersey Acmes as the 80's Remodel was rolled out. There is one historic image available from 1987 but, unfortunately, it is not very clear. The next earliest image is from 1979 and the script logo across the awning can be seen in the image. Funny how the more recent historic images can't hold a candle to the one from 1979!

One thing that is still very much intact here is the giant Acme sign! The store is now a Super Supermarket with nothing super about it. Wait until you see how the ripped off ShopRite's logo.

Looks like there's a chimney on the back corner. Not often seen on a 50's store. There may be a basement here. I can't find any signs of a second floor in the aerial images.

Heading inside...

The layout is completely flipped from what would have been here in the 50's. Produce is now along the left wall where the entrance is located and Dairy is along the right wall. All signs are this place was mostly gutted after Acme left with very little updating having been done since then. No sign of any Acme flooring and the florescent tube lights that would have been on the ceiling have been removed. The store is now plastered with neon lights, many of which are not working.

Looking up toward the entrance. The Deli is to the right.

Looking along the back wall. I don't believe the meat cases are left over from the Acme. While these cases are similar to the ones from the 80's Remodel, they're not exactly the same. I do think this place was remodeled in the 80's, just not by Acme.

Some old school frozen food cases....

Dairy along the right wall...

A look across the front-end. The registers are just beyond the displays on the left. The store doesn't really have an Acme feel to it anymore. I think this is partially due to the fact that the place is absolutely packed with inventory.

The Acme clock is still here!

Now with ShopRite inspired logos.


A liquor store runs along the side of the building. The structure exists as far back as the 1966 historic aerial image which is the earliest available.



1995 was a rough year for satellite imagery. It's not helping that the historic aerial website is now chopping up images on a regular basis.


Now in color! If you look closely along the awning you can see the shadows from the "Acme Markets" script logo.


Looking crisp and clean in 1966!



  1. Interesting to note that there's a liquor store that also sells videos, LOL. Also interesting to note in one of the pictures at least one of the billboards still says CBS instead of what is now Outfront.

  2. I was the manager at that store in 77-79 o yes it was a basement store HUGE basement at the time we were doing about 65-70 a week in sales after a refresh we hit over 100,000 fun store big store I remember one time on a sunday nite when we had to strip and rewax the store going into the basement and finding 2 people had broken in while we were in the store they were sending cases of product up the belt out to there truck like I said fun times

  3. I don't know why, but I both love seeing this really cool '80's architecture, but at the same time, It's in a way painful to see a store this dated. I suppose it could use a little clean-up and a small remodel, to keep the old character of the store, but not have it feel so much like a relic of the last century. The former Clemen's in Westtown was redone recently, feels clean and modern, but it also still has that A&P futurestore feel to it.

  4. There's a lotta these Super Supermarkets out there. Paterson has three that I can think of alone. I'm surprised Shoprite hasn't come after them for that obvious logo ripoff.

    This looks positively clean on the inside and the decor reminds me of the old Super Foodtown in Saddle Brook with the neon lighting. I've heard a lot of these stores are of your stereotypical low rent inner city variety (think Met and Pioneer)...gross, dirty, smelly, a health department shutdown waiting to happen.

  5. - Looks like 4 stores in 4 different towns?

    Maybe others are not connected or something? Or maybe they've moved spots (the Paterson building shown looks fairly new)?

  6. Two of my coworkers are natives of Orange, so I asked them about what they knew about this location. Both remember it quite well. They said it was conveniently located right off the main drag. They said it was by far the best place to shop throughout the 60's and 70's. There was also an A&P nearby. One of them was a fire inspector and remembers the basement used for storage and deliveries. Then he said a string of violent robberies in the late 70's caused it to go into decline. That's probably when Acme left the market here.

  7. The chimney is definitely a relic, but I know I've seen a chimney in a former Weingarten/Safeway/AppleTree in Bryan, Texas...and that was a far warmer climate.