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Gulfgate Mall - Snapshot to 1970

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The Gulfgate Cinema across the 610 frwy was really nice, I recall seeing the "original" Poseidon Adventure there many times that marks it at about 1972. Theater very nice/clean kept up. Families would line up all the way across the bridge to the mall. Screen was shaped as a huge curve all white appeared as if you could step into heaven. This is when Cinerama & Cinemascope were the big deal way before "wide screen" was even a phrase. I worked at Wilson's Jewelers dept store directly across. Large contemporary store with quality items. Joske's Dept was at the other end. Weingarten's grocery was at west end, I recall there was a guy (that worked at checkout) that all the girls were crazy about because he had a very Rod Stewart hair style. There was a of the very convenient & inexpensive Piccadilly Cafeteria used to pack em in. One of the women's clothing store had several models that would get in the display window and act like mannequins. The crowds would gather waiting to see her move and she seldom ever did. When you least expected it she would jump at you the crowd would flip out! Great publicity for the store though. There was always a Santa of course. Then there was the now legendary Bowling Alley downstairs beneath the record store. It was huge and very mod 60's. The best part of the mall was that it was created on a huge man-made hill. Way ahead of it's time as far as innovation so if there was flooding you were always safe on this big hill. There were and always will be shoplifting and car thefts but nothing as wide spread as today. Anyway I am gald to say I knew the area in its prime. I wonder what happended to all the cool friends I made while working there. Our cigarette buts are scattered under the rubble somewhere near the old bridge (this is where most of the teens would hide out to take a puff or 2) Thats the way it was. I am sure there are many with similar endearing memories!

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You nailed it! Remember the Russell Stover's Candy outside Joske's? If I was a good kid I get those candy fruit slices when Mom finished shopping.

Joske's was always "stuffy" - like they did not want to run the a/c.

I saw Star Wars, Jason and the Argonauts and Pippi Longstocking at the theatre.

My parents would ride their bikes (me on back) up to the mall on Sunadays. We'd look in Sakowitz becuase legend was they used doberman pinchers to guard the store. This was about the same time a movie was out where people were attacked by guard dogs inside an apartment store.

I think I was 3 or 4 at the time.

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I worked at the Gulfgate Cinema a couple of summers in 70 thru 73. I was working there when M.A.S.H. premiered, also Dirty Harry and McQ.. We traded movie passes for food at the deli by the Weingartens I think it was called Mises'. Later I worked for Joskes at the Post Oak store in the early 80s but would fill in for the Credit Manager at the Gulfgate store when she would go on vacation. My senior ring came from the Zales there. A friend of mine drove a 64 Dart and he would drive it through the tunnel under the mall at night. Ahh memories of our youth.

joe

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Even though not part of the mall you can't talk about the Gulfgate and General Cinema area with out mentioning the Carousel Motel. The sign on the freeway side had a carousel that turned on top of it. It was nice in it's prime and then in the early 80s got a bad reputation as haven for prostitutes and drug addicts. In the mid 70s I hung out at the Carousel Club. It was a round night club at the top of the main tower on the 610 side. They had a live band, it was before the disco era. It was finally demolished sometime in the late 80s. I can't remember when, just one day I noticed it was gone.

joe

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Even though not part of the mall you can't talk about the Gulfgate and General Cinema area with out mentioning the Carousel Motel. The sign on the freeway side had a carousel that turned on top of it. It was nice in it's prime and then in the early 80s got a bad reputation as haven for prostitutes and drug addicts. In the mid 70s I hung out at the Carousel Club. It was a round night club at the top of the main tower on the 610 side. They had a live band, it was before the disco era. It was finally demolished sometime in the late 80s. I can't remember when, just one day I noticed it was gone.

joe

There are some existing topics about this. Try here and here.

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I worked at the Gulfgate Cinema a couple of summers in 70 thru 73. I was working there when M.A.S.H. premiered, also Dirty Harry and McQ.. We traded movie passes for food at the deli by the Weingartens I think it was called Mises'. Later I worked for Joskes at the Post Oak store in the early 80s but would fill in for the Credit Manager at the Gulfgate store when she would go on vacation. My senior ring came from the Zales there. A friend of mine drove a 64 Dart and he would drive it through the tunnel under the mall at night. Ahh memories of our youth.

joe

Fast forward from my original Gulfgate Cinema thread 1972. When the theater had midnight movies in the early 80's thats when it started it real decline. Reason I say is we were with several rows of friends & other local hippies watching Neil Young's "Rust Never Sleeps" when we heard a muffled pop. Didn't think much of it until we saw the exit door swing open as someone fled. Apparently that person didn't like the other one so he shot em! That was to be my LAST time there. It closed shortly after. Quite a contrast from the innocent days. They carried the poor guy to the lobby in a pool of blood in front of the concession stand. We were just stunned. Never got to see the end of the cool film either. Just went ahead and bought the album.

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There are some existing topics about this. Try here and here.

That was intresting reading, thanks for the link. Here all these years I thought I was just doing really good with these women at the club.

joe

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Even though not part of the mall you can't talk about the Gulfgate and General Cinema area with out mentioning the Carousel Motel. The sign on the freeway side had a carousel that turned on top of it. It was nice in it's prime and then in the early 80s got a bad reputation as haven for prostitutes and drug addicts. In the mid 70s I hung out at the Carousel Club. It was a round night club at the top of the main tower on the 610 side. They had a live band, it was before the disco era. It was finally demolished sometime in the late 80s. I can't remember when, just one day I noticed it was gone.

joe

I recall it had a Carousel theme throughout too. Seemed big must have been built during the 1950's or early 60's maybe because it was in a perfect location for tourists visiting the city because of the new Astrodome, etc? We would go there with groups of friends in the very early 80's to hear the country/rock bands ie: 38 Special type of music and for the very inexpensive brew & free buffet. Rare for it's day in that area. I think it had several pool tables too. That was the days when bars were allowed to advertise "Drink & Drown night" and "Beach Party Blow-Out!" Not to be seen again.

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Fast forward from my original Gulfgate Cinema thread 1972. When the theater had midnight movies in the early 80's thats when it started it real decline. Reason I say is we were with several rows of friends & other local hippies watching Neil Young's "Rust Never Sleeps" when we heard a muffled pop. Didn't think much of it until we saw the exit door swing open as someone fled. Apparently that person didn't like the other one so he shot em! That was to be my LAST time there. It closed shortly after. Quite a contrast from the innocent days. They carried the poor guy to the lobby in a pool of blood in front of the concession stand. We were just stunned. Never got to see the end of the cool film either. Just went ahead and bought the album.

Never heard that! I remember the last movie I saw there was Jaws 3-D. The 80's were rough on the whole area. One of my best friends used to work at Walter Pye's. I remember she told me that the mgmt told employees to take their mileage when parking cause kids would take cars for joy rides and bring it back and park in the same spot. I guess those were better times. Now they just leave em on an abandoned street and set em on fire.

That was intresting reading, thanks for the link. Here all these years I thought I was just doing really good with these women at the club.

The more you pay, the better you would have done! :lol:

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The Gulfgate Cinema across the 610 frwy was really nice, I recall seeing the "original" Poseidon Adventure there many times that marks it at about 1972. Theater very nice/clean kept up. Families would line up all the way across the bridge to the mall. Screen was shaped as a huge curve all white appeared as if you could step into heaven. This is when Cinerama & Cinemascope were the big deal way before "wide screen" was even a phrase. I worked at Wilson's Jewelers dept store directly across. Large contemporary store with quality items. Joske's Dept was at the other end. Weingarten's grocery was at west end, I recall there was a guy (that worked at checkout) that all the girls were crazy about because he had a very Rod Stewart hair style. There was a of the very convenient & inexpensive Piccadilly Cafeteria used to pack em in. One of the women's clothing store had several models that would get in the display window and act like mannequins. The crowds would gather waiting to see her move and she seldom ever did. When you least expected it she would jump at you the crowd would flip out! Great publicity for the store though. There was always a Santa of course. Then there was the now legendary Bowling Alley downstairs beneath the record store. It was huge and very mod 60's. The best part of the mall was that it was created on a huge man-made hill. Way ahead of it's time as far as innovation so if there was flooding you were always safe on this big hill. There were and always will be shoplifting and car thefts but nothing as wide spread as today. Anyway I am gald to say I knew the area in its prime. I wonder what happended to all the cool friends I made while working there. Our cigarette buts are scattered under the rubble somewhere near the old bridge (this is where most of the teens would hide out to take a puff or 2) Thats the way it was. I am sure there are many with similar endearing memories!

Was the record store Pickwick Music back then? I recall that's what it was called back in '79 or so.

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Was the record store Pickwick Music back then? I recall that's what it was called back in '79 or so.

I am pretty sure that was the name. There was another record store at the bowling entrance (east side) of the mall. My friend worked there gave me a free Saturday Night Fever & Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind album (with a promotional disco version of the theme). Still have!

I clearly recall JR Riggings mens store where I would by most of my Night at the Roxbury threads. Platform shoes were going away by then though! I still tease my cousin after all these years that we busted him buying an "ABBA" album at Pickwick Records. He could have burned me if he knew I had that Saturday Night Fever album! :P

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I am pretty sure that was the name. There was another record store at the bowling entrance (east side) of the mall. My friend worked there gave me a free Saturday Night Fever & Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind album (with a promotional disco version of the theme). Still have!

I clearly recall JR Riggings mens store where I would by most of my Night at the Roxbury threads. Platform shoes were going away by then though! I still tease my cousin after all these years that we busted him buying an "ABBA" album at Pickwick Records. He could have burned me if he knew I had that Saturday Night Fever album! :P

LOL, all you need is the big hair to match the butterfly collar! j/k, of course! :)

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I worked at the Gulfgate Cinema a couple of summers in 70 thru 73. I was working there when M.A.S.H. premiered, also Dirty Harry and McQ.. We traded movie passes for food at the deli by the Weingartens I think it was called Mises'. Later I worked for Joskes at the Post Oak store in the early 80s but would fill in for the Credit Manager at the Gulfgate store when she would go on vacation. My senior ring came from the Zales there. A friend of mine drove a 64 Dart and he would drive it through the tunnel under the mall at night. Ahh memories of our youth.

joe

Mom bought all our school clothes at Sakowitz and Joskes. The store I liked best was Playhouse Toys. It had that wonderful new toy smell. I can still smell it. I persuaded mom to get me a skateboard when I was 13 about 1970. We got it at Playhouse and I still have it. Maybe I should contact the Smithsonian. lol. It was about 15 inches long, 6 inches wide and made of thick wood with chicago wheels. You remember the pink wheels like on the old rollerskates. She would by candy from Russel Stover for our easter baskets. I remember one Saturday they had a band playing in the middle of the mall and they had long hair so I thought it was the Beatles. Ahhh youth. I loved that mall.

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Mom bought all our school clothes at Sakowitz and Joskes. The store I liked best was Playhouse Toys. It had that wonderful new toy smell. I can still smell it. I persuaded mom to get me a skateboard when I was 13 about 1970. We got it at Playhouse and I still have it. Maybe I should contact the Smithsonian. lol. It was about 15 inches long, 6 inches wide and made of thick wood with chicago wheels. You remember the pink wheels like on the old rollerskates. She would by candy from Russel Stover for our easter baskets. I remember one Saturday they had a band playing in the middle of the mall and they had long hair so I thought it was the Beatles. Ahhh youth. I loved that mall.

I was 12 in 1970, so you and I might have crossed paths there at Gulfgate. I was there in the early 1960s. Yes, I remember Playhouse Toys very well. But my mom would tell me that we couldn't go into Joske's and Sakowitz because those stores were for rich people. I lived just down from where Old Galveston Road intersects Park Place Boulevard. I can still smell and hear the popcorn popping in Newberry's. As you said, Ahhh youth!

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I loved that mall. Worked in National Shirt Shop in the summer of 1970, then Graham's Men and Boys from Christmas of 1970 every summer and holiday until about 1976 - whenever it closed.

I remember one whole day at the mall - I think I was all of 13, my Mom dropped me and my best friend off when it opened. We had lunch at either Woolworth's or Joske's, and I bought my first pair of penny loafer's at Baker's. They gave me the shiney pennies to put in them. I felt like I was a grown up. Then we walked across the bridge to see a movie - don't remember which one. Then we came back and went to Newberry's for makeup - even though I wasn't supposed to wear any until I turned 15!

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I loved that mall. Worked in National Shirt Shop in the summer of 1970, then Graham's Men and Boys from Christmas of 1970 every summer and holiday until about 1976 - whenever it closed.

I remember one whole day at the mall - I think I was all of 13, my Mom dropped me and my best friend off when it opened. We had lunch at either Woolworth's or Joske's, and I bought my first pair of penny loafer's at Baker's. They gave me the shiney pennies to put in them. I felt like I was a grown up. Then we walked across the bridge to see a movie - don't remember which one. Then we came back and went to Newberry's for makeup - even though I wasn't supposed to wear any until I turned 15!

The stores that I personally remember are Newberry's, Playhouse Toys, Weingarten's, Joske's, Sakowitz, Grant's, and the underground bowling alley. I don't remember Woolworth's in Gulfgate.

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Oh my gosh the memories! I lived at the Carousel Apartments and my mom would give us money to walk over and see a movie- I was only 5 or 6 and my brother was 7 or 8! I remember sometimes our mom would get us warm Shipley's Donuts. I still have toys from Playhouse toys (I am 52) and I remember all the stores you are all mentioning. I remember there was a gap jeans ("Fall into the gap!") there too. I think there was Florsheim shoes? Or some fancy (to me) shoe store. I remember the sound inside that mall. Once our mom gave us money to go to one of the little temporary fairs they had in the Gulfgate parking lot and some kids pickpocketed my brother and took all of the tickets he had just bought. We were pretty poor, so we were so upset because it was a sacrifice for our mom to pay for that.

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