Tuesday, February 28, 2012

 Former Acme Pick of the Day!

Photo courtesy of Dwayne G.

Location: 401 W Stein Highway, Seaford, DE 

Store number 6217 in Seaford, Delaware. Opened in September 1966. Closed in the early 80's. The store was a Food City and then became a Save A Lot. The facade has been upgraded recently to Save A Lot's new look. You can see the older awning in the satellite photos below. The former Seaford store is near two other pitched-roof models that are featured on the blog. The Millsboro store, about 25 miles west of Seaford, had the good fortune of receiving a multimillion dollar expansion and remodel but closed a year later. You can visit that location by clicking here. Another smattering of former Acme's can be found about 25 miles north in Milford. Among them is a pitched-roof model which is now a Salvation Army, and a flat-roofed store which is now... a Save A Lot. Have yourself at look at those locations by clicking here. Thanks to Dwayne for the photo and information on this former Acme. 


  1. Perhaps this Acme closed for the same reason as their Central PA and Baltimore stores? Because Acme left both those areas in 1982.

    Also, Acme Style, since you follow the details of Acme architecture, I have a big question for you. Did Acmes in the 60's and 70's have an alarm on their front emergency exits? Most A Frames had an emergency exit not far from the entrance. In this case notice the door right under the "dairy" sign. I'm not sure if alarm locks were invented yet in 1966. I have a feeling the now-demolished to be rebuilt 1956 (no that's not a typo) Acme in Bryn Mawr PA had a major remodel at some point in the 60's or 70's, and a front emergency exit was added then. As of the time this Acme was recently torn down, it had a Detex "emergency exit only: alarm will sound: push here" handle on this door. Not sure but I THINK Acme made these doors standard at the beginning of the A Frame era, and applied them to the 33M stores as well (which also had the glass fish-eye sign just like the A Frame). The Big Lots in Norristown PA which was Acme, mentioned in your Genuardi's/Weis post, has an alarm on this door now and I suspect they replaced one Acme would have used. Also, the Pathmark in Brookhaven PA from 1971 has an exit in this location, and so does the earlier Big Lots in State College PA... perhaps that store was an Acme?

  2. That is a detail I would not be able to shed much light on. Can't say I ever paid much attention to to those alarms except when the one in my store would get jammed. I was just a kid in the 60's and 70's so I didn't explore Acmes like I did once the 80's rolled around.

    Judging from the pitched-roof stores on the blog, the emergency door along the windows was more of a rarity. Clayton, Cape May, Landsdowne and Paulsboro did not have them. I think they became more standard in 33M's since those stores no longer had receiving doors at the front of the buildings.

  3. I still appreciate your help. What Acme did you work at and when? And why did people set off the alarm? This type of alarm is meant to stop shoplifters, and coexists with the fire alarm. Now I really wonder when the Milford DE Acme (the one which is a Save-A-Lot now) was built. It has this door and a flat roof, so I would guess the mid 70's, but there is no evidence of the fish-eye sign. The Super Fresh in Blue Bell, PA (near Norristown) opened in April 1990. I think the Detex exit alarm on the back door is identical to the one the Bryn Mawr Acme had, and this was a rare Detex model. The handle part is identical to the one found on most Detex alarms, but the alarm box looks different. To have the grand opening when it did, the Clemens must have been first planned in 1989 or a little earlier. So perhaps the alarm in your store was from the same time. The Super Fresh in Blue Bell is the most interesting grocery store I know of. Several small stores are tucked inside it including a UPS store. It also has a Wine & Spirits (PLCB) store, just like the Acmes in Newtown Square and Horsham PA. Amazingly the liquor store has almost no exterior signage.

  4. there is a another A roof store fomerly located in Laurel Delaware that bulit in 1971 and closed in 1993 and Salisbury Maryland that was bulit around 1967 and moved to a 33m model across town in 1979 and that store closed in 2000.

  5. The Blue Bell Super Fresh (formerly Clemens) has a number of stores inside it because it was previously a mall (called Clover Mall). Clemens was originally located on the opposite side of that shopping center, which is now a HomeGoods. The Kohls in that shopping center, like most area Kohls, was formerly a Clover.

    The mall fell on hard times in the late 80's, and Clemens was looking to expand, so they cleared out the back of the mall and put Clemens there. The stores in the front of the mall remained, though, and the Clemens store was designed so that it opened up into the mall instead of being closed off from it.