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Memorial City Mall History

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I can honestly say I've never been embarrassed by the absence of those stores.

Nor I. I am more embarrassed Houston doesn't have an amusement park anymore... :lol:

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My grandfather was a movie projector operator (back then, a union job) when I was growing up. That was the ollllldd theater (the 1st of 3 that have been in there) that was located toward the center of the mall. I remember seeing Mary Poppins in that theater, specifically, on a rainy afternoon. He and my grandmother lived in the apartments directly across the street. I remember going there and eating at York Steak House. This would have been in the late 70's. I remember the ad jingle...."Memorial City....it's the place to be!"

Oddly enough...and I still don't recall how...I ended up writing advertising copy for the mall directed at high school kids when I was in high school. Later I worked at the batting cages and worked in cash control for the mall, generally....all as summer jobs while home from college. As I walk through that mall I can tell you what was at almost each location going back 3 decades. I think way too much of my life has happened in that mall, for better or worse! :)

I really like the improvements they've made...and the face of the area has changed so much in general as this side of town has repopulated itself, and then some. That mall's ups and downs have nearly mirrored this side of town.

Made another great memory with my wife and oldest son when we went to see Dark Knight there at the Cinemark this weekend! :)

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Made another great memory with my wife and oldest son when we went to see Dark Knight there at the Cinemark this weekend! :)

I heard it was sold out all day at Cinemark Memorial City for that movie (talking about Friday).

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I heard it was sold out all day at Cinemark Memorial City for that movie (talking about Friday).

It was ultimately. I picked up tickets in the afternoon for an evening show.

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I don't miss Mervyn's at all. Their clothing always seemed rather low quality. But I never really cared one way or another about them until they rebranded themselves as "Mervyn's California." That was a ridiculous move, IMO, especially in Texas. I actually started to actively dislike them that day.

They used to be okay. When I was a kid I bought most of my clothes there. They seemed to be going downhill before the rebranding, but I agree, what a strange move in other states.

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I can honestly say I've never been embarrassed by the absence of those stores.

Well, I'm talking about a strictly economic standpoint. As for Mervyn's, they're going to file for Chapter 11 soon.

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Well, I'm talking about a strictly economic standpoint. As for Mervyn's, they're going to file for Chapter 11 soon.

I've never been economically embarassed that Texas has no Lord & Taylor's or Bloomingdales. Why would I be?

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Texas still has plenty of Mervyns though. They are all in the Panhandle and West Texas.

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Isn't it also embarrassing that Texas has no more Lord & Taylors, very few Mervyn's, AND no Bloomingdale's?

Blame it on that "Wal-Mart" of department stores -- Macy's. Its parent corporation bought out Lord and Taylor circa 2003 (and MANY other department stores all over the country, including Foley's) and closed many Lord and Taylor stores in order to remove competition for Macy's stores. (A sidenote: it turns out that one company bought Lord and Taylor chain from the parent comapny in 2006, and kept or opened many stores in the northeastern US. It'd be nice if one opens up again somewhere in Houston -- it's really annoying that the only department stores these days, not counting upscale ones like Neiman Marcus, are Macy's, Dillard's, JC Penney and Sears.)

Texas still has plenty of Mervyns though. They are all in the Panhandle and West Texas.

I used to think that all the Meryn's were gone -- until I saw one in Phoenix, AZ a month ago. That really surprised me. I also found many chains there that I thought were gone, like Marie Callendar's

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But now there ARE trains back at MCM. The Houston Tinplate Operaters Soc. have several operating layouts at MCM. We are near Target, behind Radio Shack. We run 3 rail O guage trains. Lionel and the like. Mainly Postwar, and modern. Have one layout llike the one you would see at downtown Foley's at Christmas. Others are for morse scale equipemt. Also have wooden Brio and Thomas type trains.

Timetable:

Tuesdays: 7:30-9:00 PM

Saturdays: 1:00-5:00 PM

Membership is NOT needed to come!

Also, you can bring your Lionels and Marx trains to run. Or see if they CAN run.

Also Sears: Somebody told me they actually had a hitching post because in the early days, people would ride horses there to go shopping!

The Galleria has Sacks (sp?) 5th Ave!

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Other history: At one time, there were two different companies which owned T&C and MCM. Then Metero National owned both (Not the transit authority). Then all the stores seemed to jump to MCM after the rebuild. MN then sold T&C. T&C flatlined.

Edited by LionelFan

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I went there in the late 90's and was shocked that blacks would dare show their face in Memorial. I'm glad they and their Katrina cousins took the Metro down to Silber.

Just say what you mean. The common use of the word swarthy is to describe someone who is of dark complexion.

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Just say what you mean. The common use of the word swarthy is to describe someone who is of dark complexion.

It's bad forum etiquette to twist someone's quote, even if it possibly was veiled racism. The actual quote was "I think it's an understatement to say that it went into decline until the late 90's. I went in there in the late '90s and was consistently startled by the swarthiness of the clientele. It is so much nicer now. I think the hoodlums migrated to the Edwards Cinema plex at Silber and I 10.".

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While we can't tell the exact thoughts of a poster through various words, it doesn't seem like there needs to be much further explanation (especially with the following two replies) unless the original poster would like to (while keeping on topic and respectful).

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Just say what you mean. The common use of the word swarthy is to describe someone who is of dark complexion.

Since when did "swarthy" become a commonly used word? :huh:

Gimmie a break....

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Since when did "swarthy" become a commonly used word? :huh:

Gimmie a break....

I didn't say it was a commonly used word. I stated that the common use of the word is to describe or reference dark skin colors or complexions. Yes, it is subtle, but usually subtleties are something a working human brain can pick up upon with little problem.

But I still find it odd that I am the one being questioned and lectured on internet etiqutte when we have someone who believes that there were too may darkies at Memorial City Mall.

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I worked in the mall 1989-1990. Around that time, Memorial City was just like any other mall rat hang out- nothing fancy or special about it, but not too run down either. Retail was struggling at that time. I was on summer break from college in June of 1989 walking thru the mall when I got a job with Fame City, which was mentioned earlier had a location on Beechnut near Hwy6. That main location was an arcade/water park. They were opening up a new arcade location in Memorial City Mall. I was cash control manager, so I would stay late emptying coins from machines, etc. It was great having the mall to myself after hours, and sometimes staying until midnight playing video games all by myself. There was an arcade area in the food court, with an escalator that lead to an upstairs play area for kids that had some kiddie rides and was a good place to have kids bday partys, etc. Then on the other end of the mall was a skating rink along with another arcade area. Fame City eventually sold out to Jungle Jim's, who I think had a main location next to Sharpstown Mall. But they didn't own it long before selling to the Memorial City Mall Management (Metro National Coro or MNC or something like that- the same company that owns a LOT of property in the Memorial City/Gessner area). They were running it when I left. (They offered me a job in the corporate accounting department since I was studying accounting, but I was going back to college at Sam Houston so I turned them down- I wonder where I'd be now in my career if I'd have taken that job). A couple of stores I remember from my time in Memorial City Mall- I think there was a Pipe Pub on the corner of the food court area. And I was there when the movie theater opened up down near Sears. There was a cafeteria (Picadilly I guess) but it was on the end of the mall with Monty Wards and there was really nothing else on that side of the mall- so if you weren't going to Wards or the cafeteria, you'd never wander over there.

Edited by boomerd35

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I worked in the mall 1989-1990. Around that time, Memorial City was just like any other mall rat hang out- nothing fancy or special about it, but not too run down either. Retail was struggling at that time. I was on summer break from college in June of 1989 walking thru the mall when I got a job with Fame City, which was mentioned earlier had a location on Beechnut near Hwy6. That main location was an arcade/water park. They were opening up a new arcade location in Memorial City Mall. I was cash control manager, so I would stay late emptying coins from machines, etc. It was great having the mall to myself after hours, and sometimes staying until midnight playing video games all by myself. There was an arcade area in the food court, with an escalator that lead to an upstairs play area for kids that had some kiddie rides and was a good place to have kids bday partys, etc. Then on the other end of the mall was a skating rink along with another arcade area. Fame City eventually sold out to Jungle Jim's, who I think had a main location next to Sharpstown Mall. But they didn't own it long before selling to the Memorial City Mall Management (Metro National Coro or MNC or something like that- the same company that owns a LOT of property in the Memorial City/Gessner area). They were running it when I left. (They offered me a job in the corporate accounting department since I was studying accounting, but I was going back to college at Sam Houston so I turned them down- I wonder where I'd be now in my career if I'd have taken that job). A couple of stores I remember from my time in Memorial City Mall- I think there was a Pipe Pub on the corner of the food court area. And I was there when the movie theater opened up down near Sears. There was a cafeteria (Picadilly I guess) but it was on the end of the mall with Monty Wards and there was really nothing else on that side of the mall- so if you weren't going to Wards or the cafeteria, you'd never wander over there.

Wait, 1989-1990? The ice rink I thought didn't open until 2002 or so and I thought the second-level theater was all new construction. You're confusing me!

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Wait, 1989-1990? The ice rink I thought didn't open until 2002 or so and I thought the second-level theater was all new construction. You're confusing me!

His post confused me some too, but he is right about there being a movie theatre back then down by Sears (across the way from the new theatre). It was 8-10 screens and was the old style (pre stadium seating). The current theatre is the 3rd one in this mall as far as I know. When I was a very little girl, I remember one that had a "grand" staircase carpeted in a plush red near the middle of the mall. My parents confirmed this theatre and said it was there most of the 70's (if not before) and maybe some of the early 80's -not sure. I also remember something about a fire there.

I don't remember a rink there in the late 80's- those were my high school years and we went there often. There were seasonal rinks set up from time to time, but I don't remember a permanent rink at that time. There may have been a rink many years before, but not at that time.

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Was the food court around before the big renovation? What was it back then?

Any pictures of ANYTHING pre-remodel?

In the mid 70's there was no food court at Memorial city. The area where the food court is now, would have been York's steak house. York's was kinda like a Bonanza or Golden Coral (minus the buffet) type of place.

Wish I had pictures though.

Rhino

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Just wanted to add a few things...I spent many weekends running around Memorial City Mall, but probably spent more time at T&C.

Every Sunday after church we would eat at Picaddilly, which had a surprisingly good rectangle of fried fish, and a bowl of strawberry's covered in some red goo. i loved it.

It also had a great arcade called Quiptars (sp?) that gave 10 tokens for 1 dollar and a robot that would exchange your dollar into tokens.(never saw it working though)...this would have been around 1984ish, another arcade called Video Celebrity that eventually started charging per hour, and you could play any game you wanted for that hour. I want to say it was 5 bucks? Both of them were at the end of the mall away from Sears...near the Whataburger and army, navy, air force recruiters.

The Sears end of the mall had an arcade called Greens..which seemed a little bit shady.

I seem to recall the original movie theater to have a balcony, that actually fell down after the theater closed. Don't think anybody was hurt, but it happened while the mall was open. Maybe 1985?

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It also had a great arcade called Quiptars (sp?) that gave 10 tokens for 1 dollar and a robot that would exchange your dollar into tokens.(never saw it working though)...this would have been around 1984ish, another arcade called Video Celebrity that eventually started charging per hour, and you could play any game you wanted for that hour. I want to say it was 5 bucks? Both of them were at the end of the mall away from Sears...near the Whataburger and army, navy, air force recruiters.

The Sears end of the mall had an arcade called Greens..which seemed a little bit shady.

I rememer those arcades. I was a senior in high school and had this crush on one of the navy recruiters from the mall. We would go hang out in the arcades, or at the lanes on Bunker Hill on the other side of the mall, drinking beer and bowling. Greens wasn't so bad. It was mainly stoner nerds buying weed.

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Several weeks ago I went to the Memorial City Mall and wow, it's awesome. However, I heard that it wasn't always as vibrant, busy, unique, and upscale as it used to be.

Any anecdotes/photos?

What a fascinating thread. I used to hang out at Memorial City a lot when I lived in Houston in the mid to late 1970's and early 1980's. I'm surprised there aren't any pictures of the interior around, so I've posted a couple I have in an old album. They were taken by my Dad in 1975 not long after my family moved to Houston, and are views from the bridge over the fountain at the first crossover.

mc-north.jpg

This one is looking north towards Montgomery Ward's. The craft store mentioned in the earlier post is to the right. I recall someone telling me it used to be a grocery store somewhere back in the dim distant past, but I don't know if that's true or not. Up that end of the mall at the time was also the Houston Trunk company, a store that sold "party supplies" (mainly paper plates and plastic glasses) and a place that sold electronic keyboards and organs.

mc-west.jpg

This one is looking west towards where Lord and Taylor's first store would be built a couple of years later. At the time this was the main entrance to the mall, and had a portico over the door. Next to the entrance was an insurance office. Further down there was a barber shop, candle store, and a place called "Orange Julius" which sold a soft drink of the same name.

Just hidden behind the tree to the left of the picture was Walgreen's. They had their own entrance from the parking lot. At the mall end they had a coffee shop with an old-fashioned soda fountain where you could get ice-cream sundaes in tall glasses and triple-decker sandwiches held together with toothpicks. I was surprised to read that the mall was only built in the 1960's as the coffee shop looked much older (like it was from the 1940's or 50's) so it may have been transplanted from another, older Walgreen's.

I remember EJ's well. It had a model racing car in a glass case out front of the store -- a Bugatti or Mercedes (or something similar) from the 1930's. It was incredibly detailed, right down to the miniature car keys. Next door to EJ's was Record Town.

Another store I remember from that part of the mall was called Columbus, or Cornelius (or something like that). It had an eclectic mix of merchandise including wicker baskets and metal goblets. They had a suit of armor by the door that nobody ever bought.

The theater was nice -- until they divided it in half so they could show two movies at a time. I saw "Return of the Pink Panther" starring Peter Sellars there. Apart from the restaurants it was the only place open on Sundays at the time, which was kind of weird.

Next to the theater was a place that sold pizza by the slice. It was served up by really cute girls in VERY tight hotpants (well, this was the 1970's). All the fast food places seemed to shut down when the food court was opened -- this would have been about 1980-81. I don't know of this was a coincidence, or if the people running the mall wanted all the food in one area. Even Walgreen's ripped out the coffee shop and replaced it with a one hour photo processing lab.

I last visited MC around 1984, not long before I moved away from Houston. It looked pretty much the same as the photos -- except Lord and Taylor's had been built and the shack looking stores to the left of the lower photo had been taken down -- but the decor was starting to look tired and dated. I gather it looks a bit different now :o !

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Wasn't there a Whataburger in the mall at one time?

Yes, Whataburger was in the hallway to the left of Wards (now Target.) If you were approaching Wards from inside the mall, you would turn left before you went into the store. It was somewhere near the Army recruiting office.

Oh, and someone else mentioned a grocery store. There was a Weingartens located near where the skating rink is now.

It was closed some time in the 70s and United Jewelers took its place. I think this was before Lord & Taylor was built.

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Yes, Whataburger was in the hallway to the left of Wards (now Target.) If you were approaching Wards from inside the mall, you would turn left before you went into the store. It was somewhere near the Army recruiting office.

Oh, and someone else mentioned a grocery store. There was a Weingartens located near where the skating rink is now.

It was closed some time in the 70s and United Jewelers took its place. I think this was before Lord & Taylor was built.

I remember that the Mall was from Sears to where Wards used to be( before Wards was built) That was all the mall. Wards was built and then they added the automotive center next to Wards.

Then they made the mall into a "T" shape in the early 70's, and there was a Coin Shop on the right side almost to the end of the "T".

They lengthened the "T" and had a food court at the end on another "T" and there was a Game place there also.This was in the mid to late 80's.

Then they started a real remodel and adding stores to the west side of the mall. And on the east side of the mall some new stores came in and took up lots of the old parking lot areas.

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I worked in the mall 1989-1990. Around that time, Memorial City was just like any other mall rat hang out- nothing fancy or special about it, but not too run down either. Retail was struggling at that time. I was on summer break from college in June of 1989 walking thru the mall when I got a job with Fame City, which was mentioned earlier had a location on Beechnut near Hwy6. That main location was an arcade/water park. They were opening up a new arcade location in Memorial City Mall. I was cash control manager, so I would stay late emptying coins from machines, etc. It was great having the mall to myself after hours, and sometimes staying until midnight playing video games all by myself. There was an arcade area in the food court, with an escalator that lead to an upstairs play area for kids that had some kiddie rides and was a good place to have kids bday partys, etc. Then on the other end of the mall was a skating rink along with another arcade area. Fame City eventually sold out to Jungle Jim's, who I think had a main location next to Sharpstown Mall. But they didn't own it long before selling to the Memorial City Mall Management (Metro National Coro or MNC or something like that- the same company that owns a LOT of property in the Memorial City/Gessner area). They were running it when I left. (They offered me a job in the corporate accounting department since I was studying accounting, but I was going back to college at Sam Houston so I turned them down- I wonder where I'd be now in my career if I'd have taken that job). A couple of stores I remember from my time in Memorial City Mall- I think there was a Pipe Pub on the corner of the food court area. And I was there when the movie theater opened up down near Sears. There was a cafeteria (Picadilly I guess) but it was on the end of the mall with Monty Wards and there was really nothing else on that side of the mall- so if you weren't going to Wards or the cafeteria, you'd never wander over there.

Holy crap, I worked that very same job in the summer of 1993!! Cash control for Kids' Kingdom and Outer Limits!! It was great being there late...but also a bit creepy. That's incredible! It was such a unique job, particularly for a college kid. And until it was time to do a "token run" or count back the tills, there wasn't much to do. I'd listen to the Astros and read a book back in that little locked room with the safe and with cameras on all doors.

There was a Piccadilly by Sears....on the other end of the mall, near Montgomery Ward's (which is now Target) was a Luby's.

What a fascinating thread. I used to hang out at Memorial City a lot when I lived in Houston in the mid to late 1970's and early 1980's. I'm surprised there aren't any pictures of the interior around, so I've posted a couple I have in an old album. They were taken by my Dad in 1975 not long after my family moved to Houston, and are views from the bridge over the fountain at the first crossover.

mc-north.jpg

This one is looking north towards Montgomery Ward's. The craft store mentioned in the earlier post is to the right. I recall someone telling me it used to be a grocery store somewhere back in the dim distant past, but I don't know if that's true or not. Up that end of the mall at the time was also the Houston Trunk company, a store that sold "party supplies" (mainly paper plates and plastic glasses) and a place that sold electronic keyboards and organs.

mc-west.jpg

This one is looking west towards where Lord and Taylor's first store would be built a couple of years later. At the time this was the main entrance to the mall, and had a portico over the door. Next to the entrance was an insurance office. Further down there was a barber shop, candle store, and a place called "Orange Julius" which sold a soft drink of the same name.

Just hidden behind the tree to the left of the picture was Walgreen's. They had their own entrance from the parking lot. At the mall end they had a coffee shop with an old-fashioned soda fountain where you could get ice-cream sundaes in tall glasses and triple-decker sandwiches held together with toothpicks. I was surprised to read that the mall was only built in the 1960's as the coffee shop looked much older (like it was from the 1940's or 50's) so it may have been transplanted from another, older Walgreen's.

I remember EJ's well. It had a model racing car in a glass case out front of the store -- a Bugatti or Mercedes (or something similar) from the 1930's. It was incredibly detailed, right down to the miniature car keys. Next door to EJ's was Record Town.

Another store I remember from that part of the mall was called Columbus, or Cornelius (or something like that). It had an eclectic mix of merchandise including wicker baskets and metal goblets. They had a suit of armor by the door that nobody ever bought.

The theater was nice -- until they divided it in half so they could show two movies at a time. I saw "Return of the Pink Panther" starring Peter Sellars there. Apart from the restaurants it was the only place open on Sundays at the time, which was kind of weird.

Next to the theater was a place that sold pizza by the slice. It was served up by really cute girls in VERY tight hotpants (well, this was the 1970's). All the fast food places seemed to shut down when the food court was opened -- this would have been about 1980-81. I don't know of this was a coincidence, or if the people running the mall wanted all the food in one area. Even Walgreen's ripped out the coffee shop and replaced it with a one hour photo processing lab.

I last visited MC around 1984, not long before I moved away from Houston. It looked pretty much the same as the photos -- except Lord and Taylor's had been built and the shack looking stores to the left of the lower photo had been taken down -- but the decor was starting to look tired and dated. I gather it looks a bit different now :o !

Thanks so much for posting those pictures.

I was born in 1974, so a lot of this is very early childhood memory for me....but I guess I must have spent a lot of my life in that mall :) I remember eating at the Walgreen's diner with my grandparents...getting a chocolate shake there as a little boy.

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There was a Piccadilly by Sears....on the other end of the mall, near Montgomery Ward's (which is now Target) was a Luby's.

Thanks so much for posting those pictures.

I was born in 1974, so a lot of this is very early childhood memory for me....but I guess I must have spent a lot of my life in that mall :) I remember eating at the Walgreen's diner with my grandparents...getting a chocolate shake there as a little boy.

Excellent photos! I started going to this mall in 1969/70, and I remember that, at that time, there was no anchor store at the north end... the mall just ended with some glass exit doors. Close to that end of the mall, at that time, was a beauty parlor (on the west side). I can't remember a grocery store, but I do remember that Sharpstown Mall had one attached to it in the late 1960's. It would have made sense that a grocery store would round out the shopping services provided by the mall to the housewife of the 1960's. I believe Gulfgate, originally had one as well.

In the 1970's, if you were a senior at Memorial High School, you were able to go off campus for lunch, and York Steakhouse was a hot spot for a quick steak meal for the football players! It was cafeteria style service and was located about where the present merry-go-round is in the current food court. I have some pictures in my high school year books, but am not sure about copyright. There is one shot that looks to the east, straight down the 1970's added cross-axis. It shows the edge of 'Albert's Hosiery' and a red brick-faced 'Casual Corner' on the south side. Foley's, with its old style, lower-cased lettered sign (with a flower for its apostrophe) is visible in the distance. The floor of the mall, typical of that era, is of durable terrazzo.

I loved Orange Julius on the little west side axis of the oldest part of the mall. It seemed to be gone by 1980. Mervyn's was later (mid-1980's) attached to the west end there, where the skating rink is now. I remember that, when Foley's was built to cap off the east end of the new east wing, it was floored with wooden parquet tiles, which were very popular at the time. Shoes would 'click' on the wood, and the tiles were not so durable and ended up popping off some years later. Foley's was 1 story and there was a small cafe, within the store, located at its extreme east side. (This was something you also found in other finer department stores of the time, such as Joske's).

Lee Wards was the fabric/craft store located on the west side of the main mall axis, about where 'Hot Topic' is, now. Further north from that location, on the same side, was a Spencer's Gifts which had the venerable 'black light room' to show off the psychedelic posters! Oh, I also remember that when the mall got a face lift in the later 70's, a 'Limited' was located at the NE corner of the main axis in the older mallway.

Across from the old movie theatre, which was built as a single screen with balcony originally, I remember that, in the 70's there were some curious and unique shops, such as a 'smoke shop'. I can't remember its name. The movie theatre was split up into 2 screens by the late 70's. I didn't go there often, as the theatre complexes at Town & Country (Town & Country 6; Loews 3) were the hotspots for movies back then. The multi-cinema had just been introduced in the 1970's, and the 6 theatres seemed like a lot back then!

Briefly, in the 1980's, when the old original theatre was closed, the mall built a multi theatre complex just to the north of Sears, on the west side of the mall. I remember seeing a couple of movies there. The seats were uncomfortable. Before that, in the same location, there used to be located a large clothing store. We used to shop there a lot, but the name escapes me right now.

Another tidbit of info, is that in the early 1970's, further north from the above mentioned clothing store and also on the west side of the older mallway, was a ladies' work-out spa named 'Slenderbolic'! My mom used to go there. That space later turned into an stereo store by 1980. I believe Slenderbolic was bought out by and eventually became 'President and First Lady' (now Bally's) which built a large, stand-alone edifice in the NE corner of the mall area, north of Foley's around 1980.

I have an old copy of 'Villages Magazine' (Nov. 1992, p. 14) which also explains that the lands to the east of Memorial City Mall, bordered by Bunker Hill and Barryknoll, were once owned by the Beinhorn family and they set up a horse riding area upon that land. There is a photo of a barrel rider, from the mid-1960's, which shows the new Sears in the far distance.

If you look at the old, separate building which stands at the NE corner of Gessner and Barryknoll, you can see it is still faced in the rock which was original for the building, originally the Sears garage and auto supply store. Sears used to have a southern entrance which was their 'garden supply and hardware' entrance. I remember it being a sort of enclosed porch area.

The Piccadilly Cafeteria, located in the mall, just outside of Sears (to the east) had nifty little tray garages in its wall through which you could place your used tray on a conveyor belt which was enclosed by the wall. The Almeda Mall Piccadilly still had this feature and similar dated decor when I went to it about 5 years ago.

Oh, I also remember that, if you continued walking down the mall from Sears, also on the east side were Margo's la Mode, an import shop (old Pier 1??) and Baker's Shoes. Memorial City always had art shows which were held in the mallway during the late 1970's and early 1980's. Those were always fascinating to me.

Pipe Organ Pizza was built onto the east side of the original mall axis, before you got to the Montgomery Wards. I believe it opened in May of 1977, or possibly 1978. Mickey & Minnie Mouse would appear at 6 pm every evening and Donald Duck would be there on Saturdays!

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Here's some recent history...a 2003 floorplan shows the mall just after the major remodel, where Target, ice rink, etc. have come. There are big differences. Mervyns and Lord & Taylor still exist, a water feature is in the original "crossroads", Old Navy and Panera Bread are instead Borders and Cheesecake Factory, respectively. The fireplace is a Panera Bread. And the cinema is not finished. Remember, Town & Country is still alive at this point!

http://web.archive.org/web/20030820071745/...lease_plans.pdf

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- Some confusing aerial photography suggests that the mall never did a major expansion. It looks like Foley's was razed for Dillard's, and that was it.

- Was the original Foley's one story or two?

- When did the food court open?

- An upstairs area near Sears was once a Loews 6, and at another time it was an amusement park area. When were they these things, and what is it now? Please note that in looking in an aerial that shows the sides, it does NOT connect to the current cinema. So what is there now? A possible suggestion is that the escalators once led up to it is in the space reserved for that new sports grill. Do they occupy it now?

- I'm preparing a replacement to the Wikipedia article for the mall, which you can see here. Please edit and tell me what I did wrong/need to add.

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- Some confusing aerial photography suggests that the mall never did a major expansion. It looks like Foley's was razed for Dillard's, and that was it.

- Was the original Foley's one story or two?

- When did the food court open?

- An upstairs area near Sears was once a Loews 6, and at another time it was an amusement park area. When were they these things, and what is it now? Please note that in looking in an aerial that shows the sides, it does NOT connect to the current cinema. So what is there now? A possible suggestion is that the escalators once led up to it is in the space reserved for that new sports grill. Do they occupy it now?

- I'm preparing a replacement to the Wikipedia article for the mall, which you can see here. Please edit and tell me what I did wrong/need to add.

I'll try:

1. Foley's was one story...it was not where Macy's is today. It was on the east side of the mall...but the mall stretches out further east now than it did then, i believe.

2. The newly remodled food court opened in the last 4-5 years or so...before then it was just an expanse of space to the west if you entered from the south/central entrance. Before that...I'd really have to go back in memory...I don't remember a food court...I remember a York Steak House that was in the same general vicinity, though, within the mall.

3. There have been 3 movie theaters in MCM. The first was centrally located...my grandfather ran the projection there when that used to be a union job. It was near where Forever 21 is now. It was a Lowe's. It was an upstairs facility but I believe it only had 3 screens. It closed down and for a while there was no theater there in the mall...but about 89 or so they opened up the second Lowe's theater which was near Sears. It was all on the first floor, however. It had 6 screens, I think. And then it closed down and we didn't have a theater there again until the new Cinemark opened up about 2 years back.

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I'll try:

1. Foley's was one story...it was not where Macy's is today. It was on the east side of the mall...but the mall stretches out further east now than it did then, i believe.

2. The newly remodled food court opened in the last 4-5 years or so...before then it was just an expanse of space to the west if you entered from the south/central entrance. Before that...I'd really have to go back in memory...I don't remember a food court...I remember a York Steak House that was in the same general vicinity, though, within the mall.

3. There have been 3 movie theaters in MCM. The first was centrally located...my grandfather ran the projection there when that used to be a union job. It was near where Forever 21 is now. It was a Lowe's. It was an upstairs facility but I believe it only had 3 screens. It closed down and for a while there was no theater there in the mall...but about 89 or so they opened up the second Lowe's theater which was near Sears. It was all on the first floor, however. It had 6 screens, I think. And then it closed down and we didn't have a theater there again until the new Cinemark opened up about 2 years back.

Madmax - We are the same age (also born in 74) and have many of the same memories. I've been going to this mall as long as I can remember and will try to help out.

Point #1 - He is correct. It was on the east side, but the mall is MUCH longer now. It used to end about where the Starbucks rotunda is. It was a straight shot with the Foley's (one story) ending the mall there. As you were walking towards Foley's, I do remember a Palais Royal (or something similar) on the left hand side. I'm not sure how long it was there, but I know it was there in my high school years until they started rehabing the mall. (We did a school choir fundraiser there by helping w/ inventory one year. )

Point #2 - I don't personally remember the steakhouse, but have heard about it. I do remember the food court from the 80's and 90's. It was in the same area - just much smaller than today. If you take away that part that juts out by McDonald's and goes to more eateries, the bathrooms, and carousel, etc, and make it a straight wall down to the exit by Berryhill/ arcade, that was the food court back then. The whole side where Taco Bell and all those restaurants are and the part of the other side with storefronts near Chickfila were there then too. I also remember one of those recording studios that were everywhere in the 80's. You know the kind where you wore headphones and the gave you sheet music and they recorded you singing a famous song and gave you the tape. This one had a TV moitor where you could watch the people recording in the food court. It was located near the present day Marble Slab counter I think.

Point#3 -Our memories match up well except I was thinking the second theater (late 80's-2000ish) was a few more screens -maybe 8-10. My only memory of the first theater is a large curving staircase covered in red velvety like carpeting. My dad saw the Excorist there and the popcorm machine caught on fire during the movie and everyone had to be evacuated. He took this as a sign to never watch movies like that again -lol. (He said half-joking.)

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- Some confusing aerial photography suggests that the mall never did a major expansion. It looks like Foley's was razed for Dillard's, and that was it.

- Was the original Foley's one story or two?

- When did the food court open?

- An upstairs area near Sears was once a Loews 6, and at another time it was an amusement park area. When were they these things, and what is it now? Please note that in looking in an aerial that shows the sides, it does NOT connect to the current cinema. So what is there now? A possible suggestion is that the escalators once led up to it is in the space reserved for that new sports grill. Do they occupy it now?

- I'm preparing a replacement to the Wikipedia article for the mall, which you can see here. Please edit and tell me what I did wrong/need to add.

Okay, I'm not remembering a Loews 6 upstairs at all. I don't think that is correct. There was the original balcony theater w/ red plush carpeting and a grand staircase near the current Forever 21. I'm not sure when that closed as my memories of that are few (see previous post). Then they opened the multiscreen theatre on the ground floor down in the Sears wing -across from the access to today's theater. As you were walking in the mall towards Sears, it was on the right hand side just before a hallway that lead to the parking lot (I believe this hall is still there w/ a restaurant - maybe Beck's Prime?) and then past the hall was Sears. I can't remember what is in that space now, but there were doors from that side hallway and the main corridor to access the theater. I think this theater closed in the late 90's.

As far as the upstairs amusement park, I've read alot about this over the years and it perplexes me as I have no memory of it at all. It might just be the timing is off for me to remember it as I think some dates put it around 93-94 and I was away at college then. I do remember hearing of a play place upstairs that existed when I was really little near the old original theatre (current Forever 21 area), but have no memory of accessing such a place later on in that location. I do remember a place I think that was called Exhilarama that actually had rides and I believe was 2 stories in the mid 90's. It started where the little arcade in the food court is today and went way back for a long ways (probably into what is currently some of Penney's space). There was a staircase to a 2nd floor w/ more stuff if memory serves me correctly. I only went there once or twice w/ my nephew when he was little. I remember a 2nd floor there, but all these things I read about a 2nd floor play area near Sears confuses me. CAn anyone help me w/ this? I've always wondered about this inconsistent memory.

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Okay, I'm not remembering a Loews 6 upstairs at all. I don't think that is correct. There was the original balcony theater w/ red plush carpeting and a grand staircase near the current Forever 21. I'm not sure when that closed as my memories of that are few (see previous post). Then they opened the multiscreen theatre on the ground floor down in the Sears wing -across from the access to today's theater. As you were walking in the mall towards Sears, it was on the right hand side just before a hallway that lead to the parking lot (I believe this hall is still there w/ a restaurant - maybe Beck's Prime?) and then past the hall was Sears. I can't remember what is in that space now, but there were doors from that side hallway and the main corridor to access the theater. I think this theater closed in the late 90's.

As far as the upstairs amusement park, I've read alot about this over the years and it perplexes me as I have no memory of it at all. It might just be the timing is off for me to remember it as I think some dates put it around 93-94 and I was away at college then. I do remember hearing of a play place upstairs that existed when I was really little near the old original theatre (current Forever 21 area), but have no memory of accessing such a place later on in that location. I do remember a place I think that was called Exhilarama that actually had rides and I believe was 2 stories in the mid 90's. It started where the little arcade in the food court is today and went way back for a long ways (probably into what is currently some of Penney's space). There was a staircase to a 2nd floor w/ more stuff if memory serves me correctly. I only went there once or twice w/ my nephew when he was little. I remember a 2nd floor there, but all these things I read about a 2nd floor play area near Sears confuses me. Can anyone help me w/ this? I've always wondered about this inconsistent memory.

The second floor actually wasn't near Sears...it was above the old mall offices...there was a staircase to it (it was called Kids' Kingdom) from the site where Forever 21 is now...and a staircase to it from the old food court. It was particularly geared towards younger children. You are right...given you were born in 1974, it would have been when you were away at college. They had another spot at the exact same time down where the ice rink is today (general vicinity) called Outer Limits. It had roller skating and batting cages. So one summer I came home from college and worked the batting cages...and the next I worked cash control for both from the mall offices.

Exhilarama came later...and the people who worked for MetroNational were fired up about it. I think they envisioned it would last far longer than it did...and that it would be much more impactful than it was. Now it's just a Tilt....and doesn't have very much to offer at all.

I actually wrote advertising copy for the mall directed to high school kids when I was in high school. :) Remember the book covers that you'd have to use to cover textbooks at school? I got to know the management of Memorial City pretty well..particularly the marketing folks...and they asked me to design something. I wrote a top ten list and had someone help with other stuff...it ended up placing 2nd in a national competition, up against stuff designed by professionals! :) I sound like I'm patting myself on the back, but it's too long ago for it to really matter or for me to take any credit for it!!!

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So, did I get this correct: the mall opened in 1964 with Sears, Wards came in 1965, Lord & Taylor 1979, and Foley's 1967?

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So, did I get this correct: the mall opened in 1964 with Sears, Wards came in 1965, Lord & Taylor 1979, and Foley's 1967?

I would say that Wards came around 1972. We moved to that area in 1966 and there was parking in the spot that Wards later occupied. Lord and Taylor came in 1977 and Foley's in 1973.

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I could be completely wrong here but early on (around 1970), didn't the MCM just abruptly end at the first theater that was there ?

Seemed like forever before they added on......and have kept adding on.

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I remember the Foley's at MCM, it was an old gray building. I think they tore it down in 2002. Then they built that newer yellow Foley's which is Macy's now. Im barely 19 too.

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Here's an old pic of the Katy Freeway frontage of MCM. I have determined that this photo was snapped between September 18 and October 26, 1974.

"Gone With The Wind" was re-released in Houston on September 18, 1974, and on the MCM marquee there is an art show through October 26.

Enlarge the photo and take special note of the U.S.A.F. fighter aircraft parked in the East lot, between the mall and the Goodyear tire store. Wassup with that?

post-8254-12609142129646_thumb.jpg

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Here's an old pic of the Katy Freeway frontage of MCM. I have determined that this photo was snapped between September 18 and October 26, 1974.

"Gone With The Wind" was re-released in Houston on September 18, 1974, and on the MCM marquee there is an art show through October 26.

Enlarge the photo and take special note of the U.S.A.F. fighter aircraft parked in the East lot, between the mall and the Goodyear tire store. Wassup with that?

I can't seem to be able to enlarge the photo. When I click on it, the screen just goes to black.

I know that Gone With The Wind was also playing at Memorial City in the fall of 1971.

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I can't seem to be able to enlarge the photo. When I click on it, the screen just goes to black.

I know that Gone With The Wind was also playing at Memorial City in the fall of 1971.

Same here with that photo . . . hmmmm, I dunno how to "fix" that.

If anyone here would like a better, cleaner, larger copy of that pic, send me an e-mail to bell-auto <at> comcast.net and I'll reply back with the file.

Really interesting to me is the fighter aircraft near the Goodyear store, sure would like to find out more about why it was on display @ MCM back in the fall of '74.

I'll bet it was a b!tch to get it trucked in there, LOL!

I've "googled" about that fighter 'til my fingers were just about worn out, with no success.

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