Friday, March 8, 2013

Former Acme – Mahanoy City, PA

Classic photos courtesy of John from

Location: 1000 West Center Street, Mahanoy City, PA

Opened February 21, 1962. BiLo took over in 1995 after Penn Traffic acquired this store along with 44 other Acmes in Northern Pennsylvania and New York. The store finished out it's life as a P&R Patron Supermarket. Doubtful it will be brought back to life after so many years of neglect.

Stats are available on Loopnet. The building is 20,000 square feet with a 15,000 square foot selling floor. Very similar to the one in Parkesburg Pa. Some of these pitched-roof models were no bigger than the flat roof models built years earlier. This store may have been kept on the small size since Mahanoy City is not a large town. Certainly not a city. The ad on Loopnet mistaken says the building was constructed in 1980. The realtor adds... "Only your imagination could stop you for possible uses of this larger building." Yeah that and about a million bucks to fix the place up!

John gives us a full tour of the exterior and interior of the building...

The P&R sign may be larger than the former Acme sign. You can take a look at this shot of the Parkesburg store for comparison. The artful Acme sign on the inside is undoubtedly intact but who knows if it was covered over by one of the former tenants. Removing the colorful tiles is not a viable option as they provide support to the front wall.

Sneak peek at the decor. We'll be seeing the interior shortly. Doors here led to the Produce room.

As I've mentioned many times before, the larger pitched-roof stores had awnings arcross the entire front of the store. You can see this at the Clayton store. Clayton also has 9 aisles while this store most likely had only 7.

Interesting situation at the back of the store. It appears that the compressor room may not have been up on the second floor. The building is lacking a hood protecting the vents as we see in nearly every other pitched-roof store. You can see examples here and here. There is no beam sticking out to lif the compressors either. You can see an example of that at the Princeton Junction store by clicking here. Perhaps the compressors were kept in the unusual small room that extends from the back of the store. At first, I figured the room was added on after the Acme had left. Historic satellite images confirm it's existence since 1969.

It's getting a little Blair Witch back here.

There are windows up on the second floor where bathrooms and a break room would have been located. You can see an interesting interior shot of the second floor in this hollowed out pitched-roof building in Cape May, New Jersey.

In we go...

Magic carpets remain.

Bread delivery door to the left. Pretty sure my Acme break room had those same exact chairs!

BiLo decor remains! This is all actually new to me. John had sent in pictures from another BiLo converted Acme that had all BiLo decor. Up until that point, I had never seen a former Acme where BiLo had made many changes too.

Red, white and blue was a popular combo in the 90's. Check out the red grid in the middle of the back wall. Very similar to the red grids that Acme was using in it's 90's decor. Here's a closer look...

This is how the area would have looked in the BiLo days. John snapped this picture at the Selinsgrove store. Very similar to Acme's 90's decor as seen below...

White was huge in the 90's, as I've discussed before. It was the era of making stores look as clean and sharp as possible. Besides Acme, A&P, Giant/Carlisle and Weis are some of the other chains that went all white in the 90's. In the 2000's, it was back to beiges and browns to warm things up and to create a higher-end shopping experience in complete contrast to Walmart and giant wareshouse type stores.

Brilliant interior shots by John!

Check this out... there are remnants of Acme's Bakery and Dairy decor! Look closely along the left hand wall...

Yellow paint in the front half of the aisle with red along the back half. The Dairy section was done in the simplified shape of a barn roof. You can see that both sides of the red section are angled. Of all the old pictures I've managed to collect here at Acme Style, along with the help of many of our contributors, I still lack pictures of the 70's Bakery and Dairy departments. Still holding out hope that pictures will turn up one of these days. The closest we've come so far is the Paulsboro store which you can see here. The decor seen there is an earlier version of the 70's decor, before it evolved into the "deluxe" version in the late 70's. In the photo above, we see the Bakery was done in yellow. The deluxe version involved foil wall papered panels between brown painted panels. Not sure if we'll ever get a look at them again.

Acme parking lot sign there in the distance with one lone light pole in the parking lot.

Aerial Images...

Nice big parking lot in true Acme style! Grassy lot to the left another common element for these pitched-roof models. The Clayton store still has one to this day.

Historic Images...

You can see the room at the back existed as of 1969.

Jumping all the way to 2004 when the P&R supermarket was still in operation. Not exactly drawing huge crowds.


This was the only major supermarket in Mahanoy City. The closet supermarket is a Redner's Warehouse about 12 miles away in Shenandoah Township.


  1. How would P&R be able to go out of business without any competition? by the way, this would be a really nice looking store, if it were in better condition.

  2. I went there when I was a kid, it was a really nice store, but practically everything was expired. The owner was forced to close it's doors after a failed inspection. Asbestos, mold, and rotten produce aren't what shoppers wanted.