Thursday, June 02, 2011
MacArthur/Broadway Shopping Center - Oakland - 1965
One of three enclosed shopping malls in Oakland, California, this advertisement from the Oakland Tribune announces the grand opening of the MacArthur/Broadway Shopping Center on September 9, 1965.
"A whole century ahead of its time... The most fantastic one-stop shopping and dining extravaganza in the entire universe!" proclaims the advertisement. The center is billed as "completely space-age in concept and philosophy."
Features included the following:
* A space ramp, an escalator for shopping carts. A concept employed today by multi-level Target stores and the IKEA in East Palo Alto.
* An Astro-Bus, a taxi service to shuttle shoppers from the mall entrance to their cars.
* Space-Port Parking... 1,100 cars fitting comfortably on the roof of the center.
MacArthur/Broadway Shopping Center, commonly called M/B Center, was a mall without a conventional department store anchor (although Woolworth's anchored the mall). After years of decline, the center was demolished in 2009. A new Kaiser Permanente hospital is rising in its place.
Visitors may fondly remember The Hamlet, essentially an early food court concept.
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The Google Street View still shows the center pre-demolition. Mall entrances had been sealed by then.