Friday, February 13, 2015

Acme – Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Location: 7901 Lansdowne Avenue, Upper Darby, PA 

The recent trend of pitched-roof store coverage continues with today's post. Impossible to tell from this angle that a pithed-roof building is buried in there somewhere but it is. Judging from the historic aerials, the store came into its current form in the mid-90's. The pyramid over the entrance would seem to indicate an early 90's remodel but this pyramid isn't quite a match to those used during the brief Checkerboard Arch remodels. Below are some examples of the early 90's remodels with the pyramid entrances...

The former Acme of Berwyn. For full coverage, please click here.

The from Sucussunna Acme. For full coverage, please click here.

This store had several expansions over the years. An addition was put on to the left side of the store in the late 60's/early 70's. Then an expansion into existing stores on the right side happened in the 90's.

The Upper Darby Acme opened August 21, 1963, replacing a 1940's store just across the street which closed on August 18, 1963.

Sav-on signage remains without an update with the blue wave. This store is one of the more recently remodeled locations although I'm not sure of the exact date. New Albertsons was including Upper Darby in mentions of the remodels of the Devon and 19th and Reed stores. I thought that the "Quality Built" decor might be here as well, but it is not. Heading inside...

Premium Fresh and Healthy version 3.0 replaced the Albertsons Marketplace decor. The 90's Red/White/Blue floor remains intact.

Produce was missing its department sign. The brackets were installed on the ceiling but no sign was hanging from them.

The Produce Department is located in the section that was added to the left side of the pitched-roof building.

Typical 90's "superstore" layout.

I would say the remodel comes across a little better in these pictures than it does in person. One weakness of this decor package is it feels very generic. That's kind of how the whole store felt while I was there. The place certainly has more color now than it did with its previous decor package, which is a big plus.

The Seafood sign looks a little lonely not being paired up with any product shots. Notice the tile along the back all is from the Alberstons Marketplace package.

Heading into the aisles...

Lots of support columns in this portion of the store, making for some wide aisles.

When we get to aisle 5 we see some very interesting support beams. These are really eye catching when walking throughout the store. I wonder if these extend to the highest point of the pitched-roof. Seems to be about where it would be located in the store.

The store was actually pretty busy when I was here although you wouldn't know it from these pictures. I do try to get as many people-free photos as possible.

A mix of different types of frozen food cases...

Some leftover signage in the Pharmacy from the Alberstons Marketplace remodel.

Several different ceiling levels on this side of the store.

So they DO have plastic bags here. When I was heading into the store, every shopper that was leaving had paper bags. I thought perhaps there was a ban on plastic bags in the area. I forgot to investigate more closely when I got into the store but I am seeing some plastic bags at the self-checkout in the photo.

Heading around side to the back...

Pitched-roof clearly visible from the back with the 70's, flat-roof expansion on the right.

The compressor beam has been removed!

Aerial Views

You can see how the store is made up of a hodge-podge of additions to the original building.

Historic Images

The above image is from Google Earth. Gong forward, I will be using a mix of historic images from and Google Earth. The quality of images from continues to decline which is very disappointing. While they have improved the website's overall functionality, the images themselves are becoming absolute garbage.




As of 1992, the store still looks to be made up of only the pitched-roof building and the addition to the left side.





Now for a look at the 1940's Acme across the street...

Just a stone through away from the Upper Darby Acme but this one was in Drexel Hill.

Location: 802 North Lansdowne Avenue Drexel Hill, PA

Relying on some screen grabs from Google Maps. I hadn't done thorough research of the area before my road trip last May and had no idea a '40's Acme was just across the street!

Here's a look at how the 40's Upper Darby store would have looked. You can see the windows along the side are an exact match to this classic Acme in Wildwood. The tower may not have existed here. There isn't any sign of it in the historic aerials below. We usually can see the shadow it casts at the very least.





  1. I wonder what happened to the Produce sign. Maybe they took it down to clean it?

  2. The decor in this store is very plain. I think it makes the store look "cheap" to some extent. There is too much wall and not enough decor elements. Is this decor package strictly from the current ownership or does it have any roots with Supervalu? There are a couple of Shoppers Food Warehouse stores near me that have been remodeled with a similar but not exactly the same decor package. Lastly you've said it before and I'll say it again. Acme, Please replace or paint the ceiling tiles! The old tiles and the dirt around the AC vents takes away from the newness of the decor remodel.

  3. I recall that while this Acme was being remodeled a few years ago into the PF&H decor, a large Super Saver sign was uncovered along the back wall for a while. Also, for a time in the 70's, I believe that the former Acme across the street (now CVS) was a Holiday Thriftway.

    1. You are correct. It was Thriftway until '87 or 88 I believe and then it became "Ardmart Antiques"

  4. I feel like this would have looked better with the Marketplace decor.