Thursday, July 15, 2010

Former Jersey Shore Acme, Point Pleasant NJ

Thanks to some outdated aerial photos, we can see what the Point Pleasant Acme used to look like. The building has been since converted into a Walgreens. I grabbed these pictures off the web a while ago in case the aerial photographs were updated.

Great place for a Blockbuster! Actually the Blockbuster building was there long before the Acme was built. Judging from very old aerial shots, which we will take a look at down below, it appears the front of the store originally faced Richmond Ave. Hmmmm...

The only bit of history I know about this store is that it closed in September 2003. Crazy busy in the summer and dead all winter. I have seen pictures of the store in it's final years but do not have permission to post them at this time. Hopefully someday. I can tell you that the exterior signage was very unique. The front sign was a white panel with red 3D letters mounted to it. But here's the thing... they were not the new block logo letters... they were the letters from the red oval & fish-eye logo signs! Read about more unusual signage below...

So here's the side that faces Richmond Ave. The front of the store is to the left. More odd signage here... the old fish-eye logo sign with the colored blocks was still mounted to the corner of the store. The white section you see there coming around the corner extended further. The fish-eye sign was mounted to it and it appears the whole thing was just ripped off the building.

In addition to that sign... there were white panels mounted along the side of the store. If you look closely you can see the scars. I'm assuming they spelled out Acme. I count 5 scars here and am not sure what the 5th one could have been.... perhaps "Markets". Hopefully someone out there remembers.

Very strange section sticking out of the side here. This section makes more sense if this side was the original back of the store.

Notice how the roof on the left side of the store is darker than the rest? Our aerial shot below will suggest that there may have been an addition put on the store sometime between 1963 and 1972. Perhaps this store didn't start out as an Acme.

Point Pleasant pictures courtesy of Rob Ascough

Walgreens moved in years after the Acme left. The side of the building facing Richmond Ave is now the now the front of Walgreens.

The front of the former Acme.

Can't quite figure out what happened here. It appears that Walgreens tore down part of the section that was sticking out of the side of the Acme. You can still see some outlines of old Acme doors.

Almost looks like Walgreens took that section sticking out of the Acme and moved it down to the corner of the building.

The one available aerial shot of the Walgreens. Much of the parking lot has been returned to nature.

Check out this 1963 aerial shot! (Click on it to see it larger) The building was smaller when it first started out... there's more parking lot space between the street and the building. It's also pretty clear in this image that the front of the store faced Richmond Ave. But was it an Acme then?

The 1972 view shows a completely reconfigured and expanded building.

About 5 blocks in from the Atlantic Ocean.


  1. The rumor that I had heard regarding this store was that the original plan for rt 88 had it going directly in front of the side facing acme. Somehow the plans changed, and the acme ended up facing nothing.

    This store was really dead besides the summer. The lowest volume store in monmouth/ocean. I had heard that the only reason acme kept it open was because they owned the land and the building.

    This store had the colonial decor as of the mid 90s.

    I had also heard that before this location, the acme was in the building of the pt pleasant foodtown.

  2. This store had a weird location (never visited it as an Acme, only earlier this year when I took the photos used in the post.) It took me going around the "circle" (that's the best way I can describe the roads in the immediate area) three times in order to pull into the parking lot- it was challenging even when traffic was light in the dead of winter, so I can only imagine what it was like getting to this store from certain directions in the middle of the busy summer months. Maybe the fact the store was hard to get to was one of the reasons it didn't do very well?

    It's obvious the roads around the building either changed or weren't built according to the original plan. Why else would the front of the Acme face away from traffic, mainly visible only in the rearview mirror after you passed the store? Acme clearly did everything they could to correct the problem. Too bad you don't have permission to post those photos. I always wondered if the fish eye logo was taken from the front of the building and installed on the side along with the "A-C-M-E" letters to draw the attention of people driivng by the store?

    The changes Walgreens made to the building are strange, like the relocation of that "outcropping" to the back corner. The store looks nothing at all like a former Acme, although if you drive around it, you can see where things like doors and windows were covered over with concrete blocks and a fresh coat of paint.

    1. Rob, the original parking lot opened to South Manetta Drive so we could travel through the parking lot in front of the store and get onto Rt35 South. Also the one way street between the store and the lumber yard used to be two way until some do-gooder got it changed "for the safety of the children".

      A little known fact is that actor and showman "Uncle Floyd" Vivino and his brothers lived on North Manetta Drive as children in the late 1950s-early 1960s. Also North and South Manetta Drive homes had the same house numbers which created mail havoc and got you to know the opposite side neighbors until the 1980s U.S.P.S.Zipcode+4 adoption settled in.

      Many mothers and children from N&S Manetta Drive would shop at the Acmev push the shopping cart home, unload it, then the children would push the cart back to the edge of the Acme property for us teen male cart jockeys to retrieve from the outer reaches of the huge, never ever filled up parking lot.

  3. Walgreen usually would demolish a building of this vintage and replace it with a new build, so the modifications seem odd and probably expensive.

    The 5th "letter" was probably the S&H Green Stamp "shield" logo. Acme usually had decals on windows for the stamps rather than the lit plastic shield sign that many other chains would put on their facade (next to their name) or in a display window. Publix's famous "wing" prototypes, like many chains, included two of these.

  4. Actually, I do not think that walgreens did the renovation .

    I believe that it was a drug fair, for a very short amount of time before walgreens bought drug fair.,+Point+Pleasant+Beach,+Ocean,+New+Jersey+08742&ll=40.083128,-74.048581&spn=0.007962,0.01929&z=16&layer=c&cbll=40.083036,-74.048559&panoid=HKYcppOO13U-upGTMyqntw&cbp=12,261.09,,0,1.5

  5. Hello all. The mystery surrounding that “fifth” block was pretty much solved when someone stated that it may have been for S&H signage. As you may see in future posts of the Point Pleasant Acme, the first block was used for advertising. As in “Krisspy Kream” doughnuts. That first sign changed throughout the year. And A C M E was in the next four blocks. And yes this store was company built on property owned by American Stores Co. when it was new. I will get back with the exact year next week. This could have been a gold mine, however the store really didn’t even make very much in profits even through the summer, thanks to corporate heads that feel lower prices and better sales don’t help, not to mention customer service, that gets worse as the stores CUT associates hours. Every time Acme cuts hours in order to make the books look like a profit is being made, there is the domino effect. The more hours you chop, the less customer services and the bottom line is that the customer shops elsewhere. Sometimes it even looks as if some stores intentionally cut and cut hours to chase customers away in order to justify the store’s closure.
    Did you know that besides that Acme definition in the dictionary, the acronym ACME is for,
    “A Customer Means Everything”


  6. Hi everyone, I'm a local who shopped at this Acme often as a child, so I can provide some information. Those scars on the side of the building facing Richmond Ave. actually were from frames which would hold signs that advertised sale items. The last four were later changed to the letters A C M E. This store did indeed carry Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for a time. It had the Colonial decor until the late '90s when it got the Convenience Store upgrade. There was a road sign which had the fish eye logo for a long time, and I believe was changed to the red oval at about the same time as the remodel. The building as it is today was actually built for Drug Fair, but was one of the stores Walgreens took over after their bankruptcy last year. It never did operate as a Drug Fair.

  7. Hi -- I came to this site because I was looking for a photo of the Acme when it was located about 1/2 mile to the north of the pictures above, at 505 Richmond Ave (aka Rt 35 south,) in Point Pleasant Beach. This has been the Norkus Bros. Foodtown for many years, but I remember the Acme being there when I was a little kid. (I'm 57 now.) The old Acme was the style shown on the Wildwood page on this site, with "Acme Markets" in large script across the front facade. In color, this was blue lettering on a cream/beige background, I think. The Acme moved to the location shown above in the 1600 block of Richmond Ave, in the early-mid 60's. But the Acme was never very successful in this location, as far as I know. (BTW, the Foodtown was recently acquired by the Stop & Shop chain, it is rumored that big changes are coming.)

  8. I worked at the Foodtown up the street in the 90's, and I can tell you that they used to say that they appreciated having the Acme as competition, because the store was not very well kept inside. It had a local reputation by that time of being rather dirty. I can remember shopping there with my mom as a kid, and it seemed nice back then.

    The previous comments are correct, the store was bought and remodeled by Drug Fair, but they went belly-up before everything was completed. Walgreens stepped in and bought what was left of the chain. Coincidentally, they also bought the Drug Fair adjacent to the existing Acme on Route 9 in Freehold.

  9. I worked there for almost 5 years while in high school and college.

  10. Hello, I too worked at that store in the mid to late 1980s and lived down the street from it. It was not significantly updated from the late 1970s renovation until it closed September 9 or 10 th 2003.(I remember the date due to the then fresh memory of 9-11-2001 terrorism attacks).
    AND!!! somewhere on an old cd (i hope) I should have digital pictures of the interior and exterior of that store from a few days or the week before which I took with my, then high tech, Polaroid 1mp digital camera!! A. I got yelled at by some manager lady when I was taking the pictures. I took the pictures because I had worked in the store and because even then, the store was very dated in 2003.I hope I didn't lose the pics in one if my old computers which crashed.

    I still knew a couple of people working there but it was sad to see it shut down. Supposedly Acme couldn't ever expand because the Norkus (sp?) Brothers who owned Foodtown kept the town from allowing that. It was a small store even then not much bigger than the super drug stores or dollar markets of today.
    1. The road facing wall scars were shadow boxes for large advertising posters which the teen male workers topically put up on Saturday night for the next week sales. The plexiglass was busted on three of the five boxes making it difficult to close over the posters. And it sucked hanging the poster at night, in the winter, standing on an overturned shopping cart. The lights supposed to light the shadow boxes w ere always burned out.
    2. The store was heavily remodeled around 1978-1979ish takening out the incredibly inefficient original air curtain door that was in the southwest corner of the building because rubber matt electric door pad switches and electric powered swing doors had been invented. The old entrance became a storage closet for cleaning supplies and the walk behind floor scrubber. In fact, sometimes the scrubber's discharge water would be drained through thevold air wall grating into the under floor well, or so I heard.
    3. The west side bump out housed the boiler/refrigeration room in the north 2/3s and the (only for) employee rest rooms in the south 1/3.
    4. The parking lot had a downhill slope to rt35 and shopping carts would roll into the highway every so often such as in windy days! No car corrals back then.
    5. At one point the cheapest manager scored used shopping carts so we had about 4 types of carts in three sizes: newer Acme carts, olde acme carts that fit together and then a group of larger Skagg's Alpha-Beta carts, and a group of smaller Alpha-Beta only (I think) and then a single diminutive odd ball cart that would jam everything up. We took the small cart to the back inside corner of the bump out when we were unloaded a trailer and smashed it flat against the wall with the electric forklift.

    Too much written now, will look for the pictures, leave you with part of my name Lew, and say hi to Dan the Man John Z, Karl R, Stew C, the two Cindy's, the two Debbies, Kay, Dora,assistant manager Sharon, the original leader C-otov who moved on and gave it up to Cowboy Jim and some others who Ive forgotten.
    In memory of Dave who was dairy manager when he passed away leaving his refrigerated girly mags stash to us high school teen males.

  11. I am the poster "Lew" from above July 31, 2014 posts. I recen tly dug out my old cd's of pictures and found the pictures of this Acme from September 8, 2003 just before it closed on September 10 2003! Interior and exterior pictures!!!
    I will contact the blogger direct to get them posted, Lew

  12. Worked at this location 1998-2000. I do remember the fish eye logo being on the front of the store. And yes those frames with plexiglass were for posters for the weeks big sales. I remember putting those up with a rickety ladder. The store was busy in the summer, but tailed off in the the winter. It never really seemed that clean to me either.