That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

February 12, 2006

That Devilish Orange Julius!

Filed under: newmarket fair mall,newspaper clippings — Anita @ 12:16 am

So yesterday, I drove out to Newport News to do research on my speech I’m doing about Newmarket North Mall/Newmarket Fair Mall. I went to the big main library, and they have this big room just full of old phonebooks, microfilms, files of old newspaper clippings, it was my dream come true. I told the woman there what I was looking for, she turned away from me, walked a few feet, opened up a file cabinet, and she gave me a folder with a few clippings on the mall from The Daily Press (photocopies of the mall on opening day on March 26, 1975, newspaper clippings about the mall’s disastrous remodel in 1990, a 1994 article on “How’s Newmarket Fairing?” — get it? Newmarket Fair = Newmarket Fairing, hehe lame deadmall geek joke). So since we found the date the mall opened while looking through the clippings, she showed me how to use the microfilm (Yeah, I’m 22 and I’m just learning how to use Microfilm) and I could’ve been in there for hours and hours looking at old microfilms. I did find a microfilm of the day before the mall opened, and I can finally get a clear image in my head of what the mall looked like when it opened. I have no memories of the mall before its disastrous remodel. I call it disastrous because the mall really took a nose dive after the remodel, and the color scheme of the mall — gray, fushica, turquoise, yellow, light blue was outdated 3 years later.

I’ll you guys some of the scans from the microfilm copies: (they’re kinda big, so I have to give them the ‘link’ treatment)
{1, 2, 3}

Picture #1 is from 1990 when the mall got a remodel that Debbie Gibson would’ve loved, picture #2 is right before the mall opened, and picture #3 is a picture of the old Miller & Rhoads store that I never got to see growing up (it closed in 1990). I “dyed” the scans colors because I’m putting them in a power point slideshow, and it looks better than just b&w scans.


I also went to the ex-Howard Johnsons that is now a Chinese restaurant in Newport News as well yesterday. It looks really nasty on the outside, but its beautiful in the inside. It’s this huge buffet place, and almost everything in the place is brand new, and they had some unique stuff that I have not seen at a Chinese buffet (at least not out here) like oysters, and stuffed mushrooms, and scoopable ice cream (not soft serve [although I do love soft serve] like at Ryan’s — is that place defunct? The Ryan’s in Newport News and Suffolk closed a couple of years ago) If only they’d do something about the outside of the place. It’s not in a great part of town either, I came in at the tail end of lunch time, and the Rouse Tower workers were getting ready to leave and the crazies were getting ready to come in. This old man who had ordered take out was saying that he was buying Chinatown out or some crazy stuff.


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