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Hey that Burger King is very nostalgic to me! That's where I had my first Mustard Whopper! Also where I ate my first and only Whaler!!! Those were the days when it was a treat to go "out to eat"

Awesome article. http://blog.chron.com/bayoucityhistory/2012/05/almeda-mall-in-pictures/

I didn't live in that area, but I remember the store with the toppled-wall look, it was a landmark in Houston for awhile. As I recall, it was designed by an out-of-town outfit called Ant Farm. The s

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Am I the only one that remembers the blue awnings on the Foleys arches, and the aztez calendar logo on the mall doors and canvas coverings?

I remember, the Foley's arches had turquoise coverings. The picadilly cafeteria was gold and pink.

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Am I the only one that remembers the blue awnings on the Foleys arches, and the aztez calendar logo on the mall doors and canvas coverings?

The awnings were metal and removed years ago when they became unsafe. The bolts and brackets had rusted beyond repair and they were barely holding on. They were also removed from the Foley's at Norwest Mall.

I remember the door handles but I do not know why they were removed. The bronze door handles at the Macy's at El Con Mall in Tucson have a beautiful Aztec design with the Levy's logo; what I find funny is that hardly anyone even knows that Levy's ever existed. Since the 80's, the same store has remained open but went from Levy's to Sanger-Harris to Foley's to Macy's.. Gone are the days of personalized door handles..lol

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My memories of Almeda Mall are vague, but I do remember the awnings - wish I had a photo. I also remember:

At the Foley's, a small pirate ship or something similar in the kids' shoe department on which kids could climb. A separate room for girl-scout and boy-scout uniforms and equipment. An area close by that sold Hello-Kitty-type merchandise - little diaries and notepads and the like. In the girls' clothes area, I think there was a small raised pavilion or something. And I remember really well many trips to the store restaurant - up on the second floor, I think - that would give kids two or three crayolas and a page from a coloring book. The old Foley's shopping bags.

In the mall at large, the Farrell's that has been mentioned elsewhere, and lots of details about it and the candy shop at the entrance. The pet store, which I think was across from the Farrell's. The record store, though I forget what it was called in the 1970's/early 80's. The Spencer's, with the black-light-lit posters section at the back, and its 18+ section. The center fountain meeting point. The book store, which always had different color pens with big feathers attached to them. The movie theater, I think, too.

I'm sure I'm forgetting others - my early mall memories are from Almeda, the Galleria, Gulfgate, and Baybrook, and a lot of them mix together.

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Am I the only one that remembers the blue awnings on the Foleys arches, and the aztez calendar logo on the mall doors and canvas coverings?

I remember them also.

Northwest Mall and Almeda Mall were built by the same builders ( I believe) and had basicly the same stores in them when they first opened up. Both were built around the same time. The last time I walked around all of NW Mall the 2 fountains ( the center one and a smaller one in front of where J. C. Penny's was, were covered up.

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The movie theater at Almeda Mall was a free standing building if I remember right.

The movie theater at Baybrook Mall was inside the mall itself.

It is still there in the back behind former Penney's. Had been converted into several dance clubs over the last decades. It is talked about quite a bit in Movie Theaters of the past section on Haif.

Coincidence you mentioned, while hearing "Staying Alive" on the radio this morn it always reminds me of a goofy double date (high school) where we were forced to see Saturday Night Fever :wacko: at that very theater. Saw some of the best movies of the mid 70's there. It was very safe and family-oriented then.

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At the Foley's, a small pirate ship or something similar in the kids' shoe department on which kids could climb. A separate room for girl-scout and boy-scout uniforms and equipment. An area close by that sold Hello-Kitty-type merchandise - little diaries and notepads and the like. In the girls' clothes area, I think there was a small raised pavilion or something. And I remember really well many trips to the store restaurant - up on the second floor, I think - that would give kids two or three crayolas and a page from a coloring book. The old Foley's shopping bags.

The restaurant was called "The Terrace", and it had two rooms. One was a lunch counter, the other a dining room with a high ceiling. In the middle of the ceiling there was a large wooden board, hinged at the top, that swung back and forth to fan the room.

My favorite store at Almeda was Samperi's (not sure of the spelling) imported food store. They had meats, cheeses, beer, wine, chocolate, tea, cookies, etc., from all over the world. They made pizzas and sandwiches from the deli case that were some of the best mall food I've ever had. Oh, and they had Dr. Brown's sodas long before you could find them at grocery stores.

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My memories of Almeda Mall are vague, but I do remember the awnings - wish I had a photo. I also remember:

At the Foley's, a small pirate ship or something similar in the kids' shoe department on which kids could climb. A separate room for girl-scout and boy-scout uniforms and equipment. An area close by that sold Hello-Kitty-type merchandise - little diaries and notepads and the like. In the girls' clothes area, I think there was a small raised pavilion or something. And I remember really well many trips to the store restaurant - up on the second floor, I think - that would give kids two or three crayolas and a page from a coloring book. The old Foley's shopping bags.

That ship was a great idea, there was a train kids could climb on in the kids shoe dept. at Foley's - Pasadena (before the mall there was only the Foleys bldg.). Many yrs. ago I bought a life-size fiberglass carrousel horse from Foleys Warehouse. They were cleaning out their display warehs., had a big sale. I remember seeing one of the horses in the Foleys store-Almeda (there were about 4 of them at the sale). It had 4 or 5 layers of different colored paint on it. The logo on the sacks looked like a 4-leaf clover.

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There were 2 diffrent theatres at Almeda each in the same parking lot but on diffrent sides. One night I was there with some friends and we were waiting in line to see a movie. Soem kids came up in a fancy custom car did a few donuts and burn outs then shot across the parking lot towards the other. About half way across the car suddenly gave a lurch and there was a gring noise. Evidently they did not know or forgot about the big curb dividing the parking lot down the middle. Luckily no was hurt but I think they ended up ripping their under carriage out as well as a few other things. When we got out of our movie two hours later they were still out there with a tow truck and a few police.

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There were 2 diffrent theatres at Almeda each in the same parking lot but on diffrent sides. One night I was there with some friends and we were waiting in line to see a movie. Soem kids came up in a fancy custom car did a few donuts and burn outs then shot across the parking lot towards the other. About half way across the car suddenly gave a lurch and there was a gring noise. Evidently they did not know or forgot about the big curb dividing the parking lot down the middle. Luckily no was hurt but I think they ended up ripping their under carriage out as well as a few other things. When we got out of our movie two hours later they were still out there with a tow truck and a few police.

Thats right! Almost forgot about the one in front of Penney's. One of the last films we saw there was TRON so that dates it to what 1982? By that time the staff just slouched around & the floors were gross. Cable TV, MTV, VHS and Beta were just beginning to take over so these small theaters were pretty much doomed. and here we are today.

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Am I the only one that remembers the blue awnings on the Foleys arches, and the aztez calendar logo on the mall doors and canvas coverings?

I remember. They lasted until Hurricane Alicia is I remember correctly.

I also remember Samperi's. We'd buy pizza crust there to make our own.

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In the mall at large, the Farrell's that has been mentioned elsewhere, and lots of details about it and the candy shop at the entrance. The pet store, which I think was across from the Farrell's. The record store, though I forget what it was called in the 1970's/early 80's. The Spencer's, with the black-light-lit posters section at the back, and its 18+ section. The center fountain meeting point. The book store, which always had different color pens with big feathers attached to them. The movie theater, I think, too.

I'm sure I'm forgetting others - my early mall memories are from Almeda, the Galleria, Gulfgate, and Baybrook, and a lot of them mix together.

They had the 2 fountains the one near JC Pennies that you could step down into, and the center one that had a pineapple top to it.

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Am I the only one that remembers the blue awnings on the Foleys arches, and the aztez calendar logo on the mall doors and canvas coverings?

Are you kidding me? Growing up in Baytown in the 1960s and 70s, Almeda Mall (pronounced ALA-meda by my dad) was the only malll in the area. It was a treat to get to go there. My brothers and I thought those blue awnings looked like giant blue eye lids.

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Ah, memories. As a Child of the Sprawls (or at least, the ticky tacky tract homes built on 518 in the early/mid 60s, a trip to Almeda was a trip to civilization. We played on the pirate ship at Foleys, I got my girl scout uniforms there, and ate at the Picadilly. The first scary movie I saw was Jaws at the almeda twin. If we were really good and didn't act up during back-to-school clothes shopping, we got to eat at the Burger King behind the mall.

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I remember. They lasted until Hurricane Alicia is I remember correctly.

i was wondering what storm it was. i seem to remember one falling down during a storm and then they realized the others were safety issues so they removed em all.

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Those big blue awnings (I never thought of them as awnings) always looked like elephant toe nails to me. I saw my first scary movie there, too, but it was "Alien". I also got in trouble with mall security there and at Baybrook. Baybrook had a much better mall jail than Almeda.

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Those big blue awnings (I never thought of them as awnings) always looked like elephant toe nails to me. I saw my first scary movie there, too, but it was "Alien". I also got in trouble with mall security there and at Baybrook. Baybrook had a much better mall jail than Almeda.

looks like your time in the slammer really made you a changed person. :mellow:

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There isn't a mall jail on the Gulf Coast that can hold memebag.

OK, I just laughed out loud.

I will never again be able to listen to Bon Jovi's 'Wanted Dead or Alive' without thinking of meme in mall jail.

Actually my goal is to get through life never having to hear that song again, period, but if I do..........

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If we were really good and didn't act up during back-to-school clothes shopping, we got to eat at the Burger King behind the mall.

I remember that eating at that Burger King was quite a treat as a kid. That was before the Dairy Queen closed and C&D Burger Shoppe opened. After that, there was no reason to eat at the Burger King.

All I really remember of Almeda Mall is getting photos with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. We spent a lot more time shopping at the Sears Surplus down the street than at Almeda Mall. I hated the Sears Surplus...not much for a kid to enjoy there.

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Does anyone remember Officer Garnett? He was an HPD Sgt. who used to make appearences on Kitterick's Carosel TV show to talk to kids about safety and trusting the cops. My brother and I saw him in Almeda Mall one day while walking back from one of those restrooms that was located down a long, winding corridor. He was dressed in full HPD regalia, wearing mirrored aviator shades and smoking a big cigar. We stared at him, stunned that we were actually seeing a famous television star. As he walked by us he said, "hi boys."

I can never even walk near that spot with out thinking of the late Officer Garnett.

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  • 3 weeks later...
The restaurant was called "The Terrace", and it had two rooms. One was a lunch counter, the other a dining room with a high ceiling. In the middle of the ceiling there was a large wooden board, hinged at the top, that swung back and forth to fan the room.

My favorite store at Almeda was Samperi's (not sure of the spelling) imported food store. They had meats, cheeses, beer, wine, chocolate, tea, cookies, etc., from all over the world. They made pizzas and sandwiches from the deli case that were some of the best mall food I've ever had. Oh, and they had Dr. Brown's sodas long before you could find them at grocery stores.

Thanks for the additional info - the restaurant name definitely sounds right, and I can maybe remember the lunch counter and the board fan - they certainly don't sound wrong. I'll have to see if my parents can remember them. Wish I remembered Samperi's - it sounds great. I remember a store having lots of those gift packs containing little meats and cheeses, and giving out a lot of free samples, but can't remember which mall it was in.

And now that y'all are talking about it, I do remember the awning coming off in Alicia.

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I remember a store having lots of those gift packs containing little meats and cheeses, and giving out a lot of free samples, but can't remember which mall it was in.

I'm beating my head trying to remember what those stores were. Swiss Colony?

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Thanks for the additional info - the restaurant name definitely sounds right, and I can maybe remember the lunch counter and the board fan - they certainly don't sound wrong. I'll have to see if my parents can remember them. Wish I remembered Samperi's - it sounds great. I remember a store having lots of those gift packs containing little meats and cheeses, and giving out a lot of free samples, but can't remember which mall it was in.

And now that y'all are talking about it, I do remember the awning coming off in Alicia.

Was it Hickory Farms, the label now which was once a whole retail store? There used to be lots of 'em in malls back in the day.

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Was it Hickory Farms, the label now which was once a whole retail store? There used to be lots of 'em in malls back in the day.

I don't remember a Hickory Farms being there prior to 1981. I can remember a Swiss Colony being at Baybrook during that time.

This thread has brought back some memories for me. I'd forgotten about Samperi's until reading about it here. Same with the Terrace restaurant and the pirate ship in the shoe department at Foley's. That building will always be a Foley's to me, no matter what name it carries or may carry in the future.

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Of this I can be sure... it was Swiss Colony and/or Hickory Farms. I was probably remembering both. Thanks!

It seems like one of those stores started out fun (for a little kid - probably the free samples - I remember some cheese with bits of sausage in it, I thought that was genius) and then got heavily into health food (carob is what I remember, and trail mix) and vitamins. Maybe it was just my parents getting into health food and vitamins, though, and taking us to GNC Nutrition instead of Swiss Colony.

Our trips to Almeda usually included a trip to Target. Where I remember watching cakes being decorated. And to a garden store close by that I think had fish - must have been in a pond. And there was the Best store, which has already been mentioned a lot. For some reason, all I remember of the inside of it was the jewelry department.

I think it was Almeda - but, again, could have been Baybrook - that had a store with a lot of interesting woodwork items in it. Maybe some small fountains, and possibly some bonsai. Probably a late-70's hippyish store of some sort. I picture it on the left just before an anchor store, but that could be wrong.

Funny to be nostalgic for malls. But it's fun that others remember some of the same things I do, and better than I do.

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I remember the Woolworths near JC Pennies with the cafe in it, the one thing that stood out was the water stains on the ceiling tiles.

That Woolworths always had great fun Halloween stuff and the good aroma of fresh popcorn going out in the mall entry into Penney's. The book store directly across and the toy store next to that and I think that cheap haircut place is still in the corner. It must be pretty dead since Penney's closed, that is what brought in that last decent crowd.

Passed by this mall this past weekend and it was so depressing. All seems so outdated and 70's. Needed to head to Baybrook area to remind myself it is 2008 and not 1978. really Almeda days must be numbered. It seems like a big 5 & dime store now like Sharpstown mostly hip-hop attire/junk sells. Ugh.

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Of this I can be sure... it was Swiss Colony and/or Hickory Farms. I was probably remembering both. Thanks!

It seems like one of those stores started out fun (for a little kid - probably the free samples - I remember some cheese with bits of sausage in it, I thought that was genius) and then got heavily into health food (carob is what I remember, and trail mix) and vitamins. Maybe it was just my parents getting into health food and vitamins, though, and taking us to GNC Nutrition instead of Swiss Colony.

Our trips to Almeda usually included a trip to Target. Where I remember watching cakes being decorated. And to a garden store close by that I think had fish - must have been in a pond. And there was the Best store, which has already been mentioned a lot. For some reason, all I remember of the inside of it was the jewelry department.

I think it was Almeda - but, again, could have been Baybrook - that had a store with a lot of interesting woodwork items in it. Maybe some small fountains, and possibly some bonsai. Probably a late-70's hippyish store of some sort. I picture it on the left just before an anchor store, but that could be wrong.

Funny to be nostalgic for malls. But it's fun that others remember some of the same things I do, and better than I do.

I'm guessing Hickory Farms. They were big in the malls, but it seems like Swiss Colony was more of a mail order catalog operation with chocolate cakes and fruit gift boxes. Hickory Farms had a lot of meat and cheese products, and of course the free samples. Just the spot for a last minute Christmas gift when you couldn't think of anything else.

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Just the spot for a last minute Christmas gift when you couldn't think of anything else.

Yea, nothing says "Happy Birthday, Jesus" like a Hickory Farms Yard O' Beef! When we were kids (and no one cared about germs), we would eat the free samples in the front of the Almeda store.

My family always ended up with a HF box under the tree, from distant relatives. I distinctly remember it contained a block of smoked cheddar cheese that was brown and gross.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I remember when Almeda Mall opened. We had done all our shopping at Pasadena Plaza or across the street at Monkey Wards before that. Also, within just a couple years after opening, Foleys added a 'huge' (we thought at the time) extension to the north side.

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Google maps and others still show a shopping center on Shaver called Pasadena Plaza, but its not there. What was it and why did it disappear?

it was a small mall. i remember a porte cache for dropping off people and then when you went in you were in a "plaza" like area and you had to go up a short set of stairs to go to the rest of the mall. my memory isnt too good..so that may be wrong.

I seem to remember a Penneys and a Palais Royal as the main anchors. I Definately remember the Panchos. It had curved colorful booths and arched windows that opened into one of the mall hallways. the hallway had a barbershop in it.

i think Mi Tienda is there now and something else...maybe apartments. Seems like it was torn down in the mid-90s

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There was a Whites Appliance on one end and a grocery store on the other. Byrds Pet Shop was always fun. I bought alot of turtles there. I remember the Palais Royal, a drug store, possibly Kresge's (spelling?) with a diner, a TSO, a Playhouse Toys, and an H & H Music. The H & H also sold records and you could actually play a record before you bought it. The plaza parking lot didn't have speed bumps - it had speed dips, and I remember Dad's car bottoming out on them.

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There was a Whites Appliance on one end and a grocery store on the other. Byrds Pet Shop was always fun. I bought alot of turtles there. I remember the Palais Royal, a drug store, possibly Kresge's (spelling?) with a diner, a TSO, a Playhouse Toys, and an H & H Music. The H & H also sold records and you could actually play a record before you bought it. The plaza parking lot didn't have speed bumps - it had speed dips, and I remember Dad's car bottoming out on them.

There was also a Tandy Leather, which I remember well from my days as a Boy Scout in the mid-80's. Pasadena Plaza was pretty much on its last legs at that point.

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Oh Yeah! I made a wallet from a Tandy leather kit one time - had completely forgotten about that. Spent days threading little leather strips through holes to make a wallet. I remember Zales too - bought my senior ring from Zales, Pasadena Plaza in '74. Man, that's going way back.

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Does anyone remember Officer Garnett? He was an HPD Sgt. who used to make appearences on Kitterick's Carosel TV show to talk to kids about safety and trusting the cops. My brother and I saw him in Almeda Mall one day while walking back from one of those restrooms that was located down a long, winding corridor. He was dressed in full HPD regalia, wearing mirrored aviator shades and smoking a big cigar. We stared at him, stunned that we were actually seeing a famous television star. As he walked by us he said, "hi boys."

I can never even walk near that spot with out thinking of the late Officer Garnett.

I went to school with one of his sons. I was in the first grade - he was my first "crush".

I remember when he was killed.

He attended our church.

I was so sad.

Brought back hapy and sad memories at the same time.

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it was a small mall. i remember a porte cache for dropping off people and then when you went in you were in a "plaza" like area and you had to go up a short set of stairs to go to the rest of the mall. my memory isnt too good..so that may be wrong.

I seem to remember a Penneys and a Palais Royal as the main anchors. I Definately remember the Panchos. It had curved colorful booths and arched windows that opened into one of the mall hallways. the hallway had a barbershop in it.

i think Mi Tienda is there now and something else...maybe apartments. Seems like it was torn down in the mid-90s

That was a beautifully designed mall. From what I can recall, it had three long narrow wings, the middle having the half circle porte-cochere "pedestrian drop off" with planters. Looked like a 1960's built structure, never had much business, when I was there, late 60's, early 70's. There was also a Kinney's or Thom McAnns , with the Buster Brown Golden Egg machine, with the glass display cases out front, like at Gulfgate. Also there was a huge Rexall store, near the pet shop. I can recall the long, sleekly polished mall floors. The bldg. was located West of the Montgomery Wards.

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Anybody who truly remembers Almeda Mall from their childhood (mine was the 70's) remembers the best place in that whole mall ---- Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor. That was a dream trip when I was a kid to go to Farrell's and if someone was fortunate enough to have a birthday party there, it was awesome. Remember they also had the huge candy section as you left the store. The waiters/waitresses came out with the clanging bells and straw hats. The "Farrell's Zoo" served up to 10 people and two waitstaff had to bring it out. Those were the good old days!!

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Almeda Mall: Where do I start?

I worked at the Chick Fil A part time for about 2-3 years. (My first job) I usually only worked on Saturday. I was in Jr High School at the time and thought the mall was huge. I went back a few weeks ago and had a feeling of sadness due the mall basically becoming a flea market. The Macy's store is about the only decent store there. And the mall seems very small now.

I spent many night going to the midnight movies at the Almeda Theaters and sneeking in to see "R" rated movies like "Porky's"....

Foley's: I remember the Ship in the Kids shoes area. I told my wife about that a few weeks ago as we walked thru the store. I also remember Foley's selling music. Upstairs, there was an area near the furniture area that you could buy vinal records, 8 tracks and cassetts. I remember some strange deal the music product was behind glass in a case on a wall. You picked the assigned number of the music product you wanted and the product would drop onto a belt and go to the cashier. I remember this because I bought a Rodney Dangerfield Vinal Album (that I still have) and brought it home to play for my mother. I had just seen Dangerfield host Saturday Night Live the night before and thought he was funny. The album was filled with four letter words and adult humor and my Mom flipped out that I bought it. I think I was 13 or so at the time.

The other thing about Foley's "Aztec" theme was a huge "Sun" mural that was located in the escalator between the 1st and 2nd floor. The sun had a smilimg face that I still remember today.

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