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Apr 10

Madonna Plaza Opens 1968

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December 4, 1968
Some in the downtown feared the 1968 opening of a shopping mall with free parking but there are businesses still here from that era.
The demise of Gottschalk’s is a reminder that shopping trends can be fickle.
Not a single one of the stores that opened in the shopping center next door to Gottschalks,  remain there today a little over 40 years later.
We still buy shoes but not at Gallenkamp or Kirby’s.
There is a pet store there, but it’s not Pet Manor.
Maxwell’s and W.T. Grant Co. Department Stores preceded Mervyn’s and Gottschalk’s in death.
Even the steadiest business of all, a bank, United California Bank, is now only a memory.
Perhaps I chose a bad example highlighting banks as a steady business.
T.G.&Y Variety Store, gone,I guess no one wants variety any more.
Thrifty Drugs is long gone.
Kids no longer have a chance to spill rapidly melting dime ice creams on car seats, after they burn their legs sitting on the overheated vinyl back seat in shorts.
I’m not saying this ever happened but it seems plausible.
My microfilm search could not match the photo with a news clipping but it looks like a grand opening type crowd. There are no decorations so it may be some other event but the original stores are in the background.
Later Sears would be wooed from downtown to the Grant location.madonna-plaza-theater12-6-1.jpg
Another page outlines the opening of the Madonna Plaza Theater.
When I worked at the Wiz One Hour Photo during my college years the overwhelming scent of popcorn would waft through the ventilators every afternoon about 3 pm.
On the right of the page Mrs. Joseph Sarullo placed an ad protesting the teaching of Sex Education in schools.
She protests “Sexual Dictatorship” in Sweden and declining morals on television.
I wonder what she would think of MTV today.
Photo by Michael Raphael 

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  1. 1968 Purity Store Shopping Spree
  2. Mission Plaza is born
  3. 1968 San Luis Obispo at night
  4. 1968 La Fiesta Parade
  5. 1965 Madonna Equipment Auction