Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Inside the abandoned Clementon Acme!

The front wall has come down and it's now time to take a peak inside the old, abandoned Clementon Acme. The pictures below were sent an by Acme Style fan... 

Something must be in the works here. It's hard to believe that these buildings will be converted into something with all of the issues that have plagued the property over the years. Perhaps it is being prepared for demolition. 

The pictures were quite dark but I was able to adjust them in Photoshop for a better look at the back walls. All the tinkering left the photos a bit grainy but at least we can get some better hints at what the interior was like. Certainly in much better shape than the old Grants store. It's quite remarkable that the ceiling tiles look to be in near perfect condition. Every abandoned store I've seen has had cave-ins and serious water damage along the ceiling. The lights were common in early 80's Acmes. I remember them distinctly from the Rockaway Acme before the late 90's remodel. The pictures unfortunately don't give us a definitive answer on what the decor was. Judging from the picture below it may not have even been an Acme decor package. I've never seen these yellow stripes before...

A yellow stripe appears to extend along Produce. Customer Service would have been underneath the lower section of the drop ceiling behind the vestibule. Still not sure when this store closed. I looked through the comments on the original post and no one mentions a date. There was a comment that Walmart is putting one of their Neighborhood Markets here.


  1. RIP:

    Grants (1964-1968?)

    Grant City (1969-1975)

    Woolco (1976-1983)

    Rt. 30 Market (1987-1990)

    ShopRite (1964-1968?)

    Pathmark (1968-1978)

    Acme fish-eye sign (1979-1986)

    Acme oval (1986-1990)

  2. ^ So wait, this store closed in 1990?

  3. The property has been owned by Camden County for several years. It's unlikely they'll be any commercial development there.

  4. Assuming any retailer would've bought the property they'd assuredly demolish it and start over. No way would they rehab the existing buildings.

  5. It appears this store was a copy of the Morris Plains store where I worked for nine years, right down to the overall proportions of the canopy and Super Saver facade and the entrance and exit doors (the latter definitely a slider, just like Morris Plains) separated by a window box for the weekly ad. The interior decor looks like a mutated version of the 80s remodel- I'm sure the store never got the checkerboard arches since the exterior suggests the fish-eye logo present until the very end. The Morris Plains store even had those ceiling lights which my manager called "mercury lights" (seems the correct name is mercury-vapor lamps.)

  6. The first comment left after this post lists this store having the red oval logo sign until closing in 1990. I have seen other locations where the red oval sign was taken off and the fish-eye logo framing still intact underneath.

    I wish we could see that back wall better for some more clues about the decor. It almost looks like the Dairy "barn roof" from the deluxe 70's decor is still there.

    I remember when Rockaway first opened. The "mercury lights" were very futuristic looking back then.

  7. I didn't know that the fish-eye logo frame could have existed behind the more modern red oval logo. It makes sense this store had the latter- if it closed in 1990, I doubt the old logo would have survived that long. Then again, stores in Springfield, Plainfield, Sparta and Port Reading still had those logos in '98/'99, so what do I know.

    Maybe this store got a light remodel (the pastel-colored paint of the 80's remodels) while many elements of the colonial decor were left in place?

  8. I remember hearing someone say that there was a wrestling school located in this plaza in the mid 1990's.

    The history of this plaza is very shaky. I wish we could figure out the EXACT history of it.

  9. that is a weird acme for sure! but interesting, who would have known they would have had one in such an odd location!

  10. I heard that it was torn down in April is this true?

  11. No, it is still standing.

  12. About the Clementon Acme (& the shopping center as a whole): The Acme shut down (I believe) in 1992. 1 of their old managers later worked at the Berlin ShopRite (I worked there in '97-'98). It was that ShopRite (which opened in '87) that led to our Acme's demise. The next store over was an Eckerd drug store, which closed some time after Acme did. As for Grants, my earliest memories of that (early 1980s) was as a Woolco, which closed down in '82-'83 when all their US stores went out of business. In the fall of '86 (I'm thinking November), The Woolco site was re-opened as the "Rt. 30 Flea Market," turning the entire location into a copy of the more successful Berlin Farmers' Market. The flea market never did as well, except for the pretzel shop, located by the front doors of the old Woolco. That shop has since moved down the Pike to Somerdale, where they still are today. The flea market's owners tried bringing in semi-pro wrestling, and the old Woolco auto service dept. became a gym, but nothing could save the site. The gym out-lasted the rest of the flea market (which - if I remember correctly - closed in '97). Hope that helps.