That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

August 12, 2005

Monday Morning, Went To Get Krispy Kreme Afterwards

Filed under: "coliseum mall",dead chains,J.C. Penney — Anita @ 1:18 am

Oh yeah, Monday morning I drove out to Coliseum Mall in Hampton, VA to take some pics. This mall is seeing hard times right now. The food court is 80% gone, it lost Dillard’s in 2003, and Burlington Coat Factory only took up half of the old Ward’s space, and I don’t think the Hecht’s is going to make the Macy’s turnover next year. I only took exterior shots:

First (and probably last!) Anchor Standing : JC Penney

This is the only original anchor that is left at Coliseum Mall. But if whoever owns the mall decides to reshift it into a town center, nobody really would be crying if it left because there is one at Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News that is only 5 years old, its not a two story though.

E Entrance To Coliseum Mall

One of the back entrances to the mall. I think that tall blue and white thingy (?) was added around a couple of years ago.

Gigantor Hecht's (Coliseum Mall, Hampton, VA)

Big and Plain is what describes this Hecht’s. This used to be a Thalhimers until either the late 1980’s or very very very (like I’m talking 1990) early 1990’s.

Gigantor Hecht's (Coliseum Mall, Hampton, VA)

I forgot how plain and massive this Hecht’s is. I drove all the way out here from Franklin (it was an easy trip, no big) to take pics of this place because I highly doubt that this place will make the big Hehct’s/Macy’s turnover next year. Macy’s will probably drop this location like a bad habit–who can blame them?!

A Entrance [To Coliseum Mall]

The back entrance to Coliseum Mall. I never used this entrance when I shopped here all the time when I lived in Hampton (or when I’d drive out here from Wakefield to shop at Lane Bryant, which is still open)

Dillards (1997-2003)

I wish I had gotten out of my car and took a pic, but Mall Security was rampant. The signs were still on the window for the Dillard’s hours when it was going out of business in 2003. I tried zooming in but it did not work.

Montgomery Wards @ Coliseum Mall (1985-2001)

This was the side entrance to Wards, now its nothing, when Burlington Coat Factory opened up in 2004, it only took up half the space of the old Wards.

Entrance That I Never Saw Anyone Go In

This was the main entrance to Dillards, I never really saw anyone come and go from this entrance, most people just went to Dillards though the mall.

I think if I squint hard enough I can see the label scars from the green diamonds that would be on the beginning and ends of the Proffit’s sign back when this building was a Proffits for about three years from maybe 1993-1996 or 1997 maybe?

Dillards' Labelscar 'Cause Scars Are Cool!

It was a bit jarring not to see the Dillards sign at the corner of the building, but then I remembered that this place has been closed for two years. This was the first Dillards in the area I think, opening in 1997. It’s also apparently the only one in the area to close too. This location and the bigger, nicer Patrick Henry Mall location in Newport News got merged together in 2003 and the Coliseum Mall location got left. I think the mall should just tear this down,

Fake Burlington Coat Factory Entrance (former Wards 1985-2001)

Ah yes, the fake Burlington Coat Factory entrance to Coliseum Mall. (Hampton, VA). This is where the Montgomery Wards used to be until 2001. I think if you can really look you can see the Wards label scar, I can’t tell. Like they tried to powerwash over it or something.

This building was a Korvette’s store until 1980 or so. ‘Don’t know what it was before it was a Wards though. Little help?
{edit – apparently it was vacant for years after Korvette’s closed}

It doesn’t help that this is the entrance that faces the busiest road in Hampton, good job, Copernicus!

Here is info on the plans of making this place a “town center”.
Brian Florence’s ‘photos’ of the mall in 2002
/// page on the mall
Daily Press’ “Review” of the Mall
Another article about prospective plans on the mall being changed to a town center [2/2006]
An article from my Alma Mater’s school newspaper
Wikipedia Entry On The mall
Boris Z’s Coliseum Mall Photos
My (probably) Last Trip To Coliseum Mall.
Coliseum Mall’s website screenshots [9/06]
Question on whether the Barnes and Noble will return
Article about the last Christmas Parade at Coliseum Mall
The last Coliseum Mall update by a friend
“End Of Era For Local Shoppers” Daily Press Aritlce 1-12-07
“Coliseum Mall Closing On Sunday”
A Running List Of Tenants
Coliseum Mall’s last day of business
WVEC Channel 13 News Coverage on the mall’s last day
Wallets Open As Doors Close
Coliseum Mall being demolished for ‘Peninsula Town Center’



  1. I like the JCPenney and the Hecht’s (GIGANTOR) but the Dillard’s and former Wards are tragic. Dillard’s does have nice doors though.

    Comment by Steven Swain — August 13, 2005 @ 4:09 am | Reply

  2. This mall seems pretty hideous, at least on the outside. The JCPenney and Hecht’s look like bunkers.

    Comment by Mitch Glaser — August 14, 2005 @ 5:29 am | Reply

  3. My husband and I started our married life as 2 airmen assigned to Langley AFB 1996-1999. The Coliseum Mall was where we got our first pet, a dog named Charlie whose still with us. It’s sad to see it so dead in these pics.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 25, 2005 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  4. When I first moved down here a couple of years ago, I used to go quite often to this mall when I was waiting to pick my wife up at work in downtown Hampton, (another dying area, btw). Anyway it didn’t seem like too bad a mall. The Dillard’s closed after Christmas of 2003, and the last time I was in there the AE Outfitter and Gap were gone. Which is too bad being that there is now only one Gap in all the Hampton Roads. Personally I don’t think there are any good Mall’s in this area. Lynnhaven is closest to a decent mall. McArthur could be a decent mall if it had some more interesting stores.

    Comment by Mark Dyer — August 27, 2005 @ 3:53 am | Reply

  5. I was one of the original managers at the Proffitt’s store at Coliseum Mall. Proffitt’s entered the market by acqiuring Hess’s. The Proffitt’s store was touted as the company’s flagship store in Hampton Roads, only to be shown up by the upstart store–Patrick Henry. The store was split into 2 locations: Proffitt’s Store for Women and Proffitt’s Men, Kid’s & Home Store. The store was very striking & sleak–unlike the drab Hecht’s store down the mall. I remember the curved cosmetic cases & the large floral carpet in the ladies shoe department very well. Alot of those design elements were carried over into the other Proffitt’s Hampton Road locations, but not to such as grand statement as at Coliseum. Proffitt’s tried to purchase the the Leggett stores in the Mid Atlantic to strengthen its marketshare. When Leggett sold their stores to Belk, Proffitt’s exited the market by selling its Virginia stores to Dillard’s. Ironicaly, Dillard’s then acquired the Hampton Road & Richmond Leggett stores from Belk. Proffitt’s has since been sold to Belk.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 4, 2005 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  6. I grew up in Hampton in the 1970’s and it’s sad to see this place so desolate and dead. I went here a lot as a kid and remember all the old stores with goofy names like Thalheimer’s and Rices Nachmans. That’s America I guess – when something gets a little age on it, we build something else down the road in a better neighborhood and move on. Chris Rock said every town has two malls – the one the white people go to, and the one the white people used to go to.

    Comment by Anonymous — December 7, 2005 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  7. I remember in the late 80s this mall would be so packed at Christmas you could circle the lot several times without finding a spot. Ironically, Patrick Henry Mall which seems to have been it’s death knell was once nearly dead itself. Many businesses went under at that location before the current building boom. The current Starbucks location was a gas station that went under. The Costco strip was first a supermarket that was bought by the ship yard as office space and is now retail again.

    Comment by Toni — January 16, 2006 @ 2:55 am | Reply

  8. Applied at a Barnes & Noble there today… It’s getting emptier by the day.

    Comment by MeefMan — July 14, 2006 @ 3:52 am | Reply

  9. I remember the Korvettes. Used to go the music section and window shop mostly (“hmm, cool album cover . . but is it really worth the $7.98”). Big memory there is how I, like many American teens at the time, just passed by the big display brimming over with newly released Never Mind The Bollocks LPs. My reaction was something of a slack-jawed “wha?”

    Yep, Korvettes’ music dept. was cool (even if I wasn’t).

    I have mid- to late-80s memories of buying cool cutout cassettes in essentially the same space, but I can’t imagine it was Korvettes still (or Wards). Sorry, I don’t recall the store.

    I forget the record store that was between the Penney’s and what’s currently Macy’s (back then a Miller & Rhodes?). But it was a small, compact store. And another source of mid-80s cutout cassettes. Including a Jonathan Richman solo thing I ended up giving to my nieces and a copy of Lou Reed’s Berlin that my boom box made a big show of chewing up in the very first moments of play on my way back home. A grand and harrowing slur of sound, then nothing.

    Comment by K. R. Seward — October 28, 2006 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

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