Friday, May 9, 2014

Acme – Media, Pennsylvania

Location: 1067 W Baltimore Pike, Media PA

Today we're visiting Media's second operating Acme location. A unique 70's model that has been expanded and extensively renovated over the years. The other location, a former Colonial Cottage model about 6 miles east, was covered on the blog back in May 2013. The Acme seen here is located at the Granite Run Mall and has been a source of fascination for me for years. Way back in the early 2000's when I would search the internet for Acme pictures, the shot below would always be among the first to come up... 

Photo courtesy of mrambojr's flickr photostream

One of the strangest Acmes I had ever seen. Seems like the sign was just thrown up on some random building. And where are all the windows along the front that were so common to Acme's of the 70's?
The pieces of the puzzle starred to come together back in August 2011 when I was preparing the Ocean Township post. The former Acme there was located at the Seaview Square Mall. At the time, there were still some old satellite images available showing the store as having the very same facade as the Granite Run Mall photo! The abandoned Seaville Square photo is right below...

Zoomed in close-up of the former Acme entrance. Compare this store to the old one in the Granite Run Mall. Nearly identical!

Now let's compare a current view of the Granite Run store with the Seaview store...

The similarities are quiet astonishing. Aside from and angled back corner and new facade at the Granite Run store, the two buildings are virtually identical. Both stores originally shared space with Thrift Drug. Seaville Square also had a JCPenney catalog center. According to Bill Haine's comment in the Ocean Township post, the Granite Run Mall Acme opened in 1976 with the Seaview Mall location opening in 1977. Seaview closed in 1993.

Not the best looking Acme from the outside. Surprising considering the inside is rather deluxe. The decor package is a version of the Albertsons Marketplace. I'm guessing it was an early version since most other Marketplace stores have a simplified version of what's seen here. Just wait until you get a look at the frozen food aisles!

Starting off with a look across the front-end.

It was a challenge getting good pictures in "The Marketplace". Strange lighting, odd layout and a ton of customers. The arches above the produce cases are very cool. Grocery is on the other side.

This is the front corner to the left of the entrance. The displays on the left seem to be filling in an area that might have been Starbucks. Preparred foods cases are on the left and continue to the salad bar...

The Deli comes after the salad bar.

The department signs are not backlit here. Very strange. You can barely see them. I wonder if there are lights up that aren't turned on.

The Bakery is just beyond the Deli...

A shot from the back of Produce towards the front.

Meat and Seafood signage with some more bad lighting.

Shop the World in aisle 1. Sound have circled back for a customer-free shot.

Aisle signs have not been updated with the Premium Fresh and Healthy signs.

Nice Dairy signage! Most remodels got nothing more than the letters, as seen below in the Runnemede store

Now check this out…

This is some budget-busting decor!

Have you ever seen anything like it? It's as awesome as it it crazy.

Seems like they've lost some of the category signs along the way.

No signage above milk.

Dairy runs along the right wall leading to the Pharmacy...

Customer Service is in the corner. Seems like an after thought here. It's about a mile away from the front-end.

Floral here as we had over to the registers. Wish I got a better shot of that clock!

It would made more sense to have Customer Service here in the left between the entrance and the registers.

Aerial Views...

Acme used to have an entrance on this side as well. I unfortunately did now swing around back to look for scars.

The Granite Run Mall.

Both Media Acmes shown above. Both located on Baltimore Pike.

Historic Aerials...

Not much to see here. Only two years available that show the store. No images available in the late 70's or 80s.

The store appears to be in it's current form back in 2002.


Finishing up with a before and after…


  1. Geno WashingtonMay 9, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    This Acme is very similar to the current Acme stores in Bala Cynwyd and Folsom. But the one in Folsom never had a Starbucks, while the Granite Run store did. The Bala Cynwyd store did, but while the Starbucks at Granite Run closed and has become extra space for Acme, the one in Bala Cynwyd was replaced by a Seattle's Best Coffee and then a Bucks County Coffee, as happened at the Clifton NJ store.

    This has me wondering... is the Somers Point NJ store a twin to the Granite Run store inside? I know the Somers Point store opened in 1994 or 1995 but I'm wondering if it had a ceiling redesign done by Albertsons in 2000 or later, as this store once had a Starbucks until a new one opened in front of the ShopRite across the street.

    1. Very similar? Granite Run has virtually nothing in common with either Folsom or Somers Point.

    2. Granite Run and Folsom may not be similar ANYMORE but they once were as of 2005. I also really suggest you sometime check out the Bala Cynwyd store for comparison. It sits about ten miles east of the Granite Run store on City Avenue, which shares the US 1 highway designation along with Baltimore Pike (but Baltimore Pike splits from US 1 immediately east of Granite Run).

      Also, I wasn't saying the Granite Run, Folsom, or Bala Cynwyd stores looked alike at all on the outside, but rather they once looked very similar to me on the inside. And I was asking about the Somers Point store's appearance, not saying it necessarily resembled the Granite Run store at all.

      One other correction I must make (to a comment further down): the Granite Run Mall is not a time capsule of the 80's at all. The AMC cinema with eight screens to the left and the Toys R Us across from that are both 80's time capsules, but the mall opened in 1973/1974 and still is a throwback to that era as far as I'm concerned. However the Sears had its signage updated in the 90's sometime, and the Gimbels closed to be replaced by Boscov's. Neither building has ever had a major remodeling though. And the JCPenney store has the distinction of still wearing its original signage which is now 40 years old! It also is strange how JCPenney has a huge sign on the very front of the middle wall of the mall, even though the actual JCPenney store is way in the back of the mall. Strangely the Eckerd (owned by JCPenney) in the Acme building coexisted with a non-pharmacy CVS in the larger of the then-two "malls", and the Eckerd also coexisted with another Eckerd a few blocks west on Baltimore Pike. A CVS has since opened across from that former Eckerd, but coexisted with the CVS in the mall for a number of years. Also the current CVS is on the site of a former Burger King which coexisted with one in the mall.

    3. Somers Point is covered on the blog and has the classic 90's layout, currently with the Industrial Circus decor. I'm still confused with how Folsom ever had anything at all in common with Granite Run. The stores could not be more different inside or out.

  2. This guy's been making weird comments like that for a while now.

  3. I thought the Deluxe Albertsons Marketplace non service departments have the letters affixed to a black background surrounded by a border. Aisle Markets look like they belong to a Repaint version of Albertsons,

    1. They do. The version here is SUPER deluxe.

  4. Too bad you didn't swing by the mall. It's like a time capsule of the late 80s in there.

    1. Had no idea it was outdated. Just found this interesting article about it's possible future…

  5. This was the first ACME I had ever been to. My grandparents took me there when they had to make an emergency grocery run. I had just been watching a ton of "Looney Tunes" and I was mildly disappointed when I didn't see rockets for sale there.

  6. By the way, the entrance around back is now home to PennDOT, and the rear lot is used for driving tests. Also, what's up with those many scars along the side?

    1. Might have been windows for the smaller stores that were on the left side of building. They caught my eye too in the satellite images but that was long after I had been to the store so I couldn't investigate.

  7. From what I understand the front and back entrances used to be connected by one big hallway; the actual Acme entrance was inside to the right and the Thrift Drug entrance was to the left along with two or three smaller stores, as if it was a tiny mall (it was originally referred to as the Granite Run Mini-Mall). Once Thrift and the other stores were gone Acme expanded to the rest of the building, minus the PennDOT section.

  8. Sorry for not replying directly to your last comment, Acme Style (the reply button wouldn't work). The Granite Run, Bala Cynwyd, and Folsom stores all definitely had major ceiling redesigns done by Albertsons. But I guess that was more common for Acme stores than I realized. Also I am not quite as attentive to detail as you might be about Acme store decor, layouts, etc but I find the histories of Acme locations very interesting.

  9. The Granite Run store replaced a classic tower store on State Street in Downtown Media at the end of the Media Trolley Line. The trolley from 69th Street has operated for over 100 years, and for over 25 years was a convenient way to get to the Acme! At some point, the Acme received a brick front replacing the original metal. For a small store, it was busy until the end!

  10. So granite run opened 1976 with the expansion around 1999. It has always done well, but anytime a remodel was talked about, it would be scrapped. The cases in the store are strangely colored. It's the only store I've seen pink and a greenish blue. Also it can not be made out in the pictures, but at the top of aisle 3 or so, there is ruminants of the old cinder block wall which was the end of the old store where it met the mini mall. While the frozen markers and decor are cool, they never received the blue light boxes or were the department signs back lit. The top corner by deli indeed was a Starbucks. It was removed all together instead of trying other coffee station's like other stores have. Since its removal, it has basically been filled with various vendor products. Very difficult spot since it's behind you when you walk in.

    1. The mall opened in 1974, though I wouldn't be surprised if ACME opened a bit later. I stopped in there yesterday, the Frosted Mug was installed in the front end of produce with most of the beer shelves in the old Starbuck's corner. The lattice and spotlighting over produce and checkout are gone. The mall itself is pretty sad these days... probably less than 20 stores were open when I stopped by there, most of those being temporary stores targeted at customers coming in for the closing sales. They had plans of what will be put where the mall is now hanging up. (don't worry- ACME is staying). Boscov's is still a relic of the '70's with mirrored ceilings and neon signs. You should probably check it out if you're in the area. The reconstruction probably spells doom for the old décor...

  11. Geno is the type of commenter who likes to ruin everything. Look how he tried to discredit your post about the uniqueness of granite run but wound up looking like he has no idea what he was talking about.

  12. Anonymous...I love Acme Style, but come on--it's a blog about supermarkets. I highly doubt anyone is taking it that seriously so as to try and discredit anyone else. Please let's keep the drama on General Hospital.

  13. Any chance this store would have had R/W/B décor back in the early 2000's? It looks like this store has some remnants of both this design and the chalkboard décor...