Thursday, February 25, 2010

Abandoned Acme! Newton NJ

The Newton store closed one year ago today. To see pictures of this store when it was still open, click here. A new tenant has yet to be found. Although Acme's business had been declining over the years, the store's closing was due more to the landlord raising the rent far above market value.

A look at the store when it was still open... the day may have been grey but the Acme was still seeing green...

The red oval logo brought in during the 80's remodel.

Opened in October 1957. Standard 8 aisle store but at 19,000 it was slightly larger than Acmes built in the late 50's.

This addition was put on during the 80's remodel when the Produce alcove was created inside. Prior to that Produce lined aisle 1. Most Acmes of this size and era received Produce alcoves during the 70's remodels.

This store appears to have been a bit ahead of it's time... Acme's of this era rarely had docks at the back of the store. Back doors tended to be at ground level making the receiving process pretty difficult.

Freezer space was added onto the store during the 80's remodel. I believe this was done to increase the size of the back room. It's doesn't appear that the sales floor was made larger from the relocation of the back room freezer. Dairy may have also been stored in these units.

Look closely... one last shopping cart left behind...

Not sure what the original purpose of this door was back when the store first opened. It would have lead into the store's office. After the 80's remodel, it would have lead into the newly added in-store Bakery.

UPDATE 2.27.10: This door was where the bread was delivered to in the early morning hours before the store opened. Truck drivers had access to this small room but could not access the sales floor. Much like how things were done on the Produce receiving side.

The entrance and exit doors were here prior to the 80's. They were moved to the front of the store during the remodel.

The security window were also an addition in the 80's.

The old school floor mats activated the doors... no motion detectors here!

The community bulletin board probably hung there on the wall. The darker cream color is left over for the 80's paint job. The walls were painted white for the Convenience Store look of the late 90's.

Convenience Store graphics on the walls... 80's checkboard floor still intact.

The "Meats" lettering was mounted on to the air vents and is hard to see here.

Full service Seafood was added next to the Deli in the 80's. Removed from nearly all 80's remodels in the 90's.

I believe the section with all white tiles was where an additional register was located. The 80's "CSR" stand and store safe were located at this end of the registers, practically IN the Produce Department. The CSR stands were a dreadful, misguided replacement of the traditional Customer Service Office. Took Acme many years to come to it's senses and eliminate them. The store safe was also moved off of the sales floor to a more guarded location.

The Produce alcove added during the 80's. It did not extend all the way to the exterior wall like it did in most stores.

The Produce Department during more fruitful times.


  1. Great post!

    It's fascinating to see how Acme remodeled these smaller stores to make them more modern. The produce alcove added to the space under the canopy and the freezer box added to the back of the building show how the buildings were enlarged without actual concrete expansions. Squint your eyes and you can visually remove the metal awning, exposing a classic Acme building that probably once had script lettering.

  2. Just an update... passed by the store the other day, it still looks more or less the same. It's obvious no new tennant was found and during the day, the side of the parking lot closest to Route 206 appears to be used by other local businesses. It's a shame this store closed, although not all that surprising- travel to the north side of Newton and you'll find a Shoprite and a Weis Markets. Still, with decent prices, it probably have survived being on the other side of town and in the middle of a residential area. How much more convenient could it have been?

    If you're a fan of old Acme structures, this is one you'll want to check out. It doesn't take much to strip away the additions and see the store as it opened in 1957. You can't do that by going up the road to the former Sparta Acme, which looks nothing like it did thanks to its conversion to a CVS. It also has a downsized version Super Saver awning that was common to stores built starting in the late 70's. It looks surprisingly natural here, as if the building was designed for it.

    It's really too bad American Stores & Albertsons gave up on many of these locations throughout the years. New grocery stores were built in the towns once served by smaller Acmes but many of them are on busy highways, far away from residential areas. Had these buildings been kept up-to-date with occasional remodels that consisted of more than just paint and tile repairs and the prices kept in check, I'm sure a lot of people today would prefer to frequent such convenient locations.

  3. this is acme is now a dollar general

  4. Just stumbled across this. This was the staple of grocery shopping for me with my Mom in the 60's. I still remember the push button cash registers, the S&H stamps, and (of course) the candy section!

  5. So, where's it located? Can I get the coordinates? I'd love to explore this place.

    1. 11 Nelson St, Newton, NJ
      It's a Dollar General now.

  6. Acme Newton did lousy by 2000. I would go to the bank across the street on a Saturday Morning and would see maybe a dozen cars parked. The store was essentially empty inside in terms of customers. This store was doing well under 100,000 a week. Had no idea why this store survived so long. Finally closed late winter/early spring 2009...end of February/Beginning of March. Surprised to see the store las as long as they did. Dollar General does somewhat better but still see small amounts of cars parked there. But overhead is much lower.