Original Stores at the Upper Valley Mall
Posted in the Urbana Forum
#1 Dec 21, 2012
Can anyone tell me some of the original stores at the Upper Valley Mall? Went shopping there yesterday and it was quite sad. I know there are stores I've forgotten about over the years. Thanks in advance.
#2 Dec 25, 2012
thom mccann shes
Father and son shoes
#3 Dec 25, 2012
harvest house cafeteria
york steak house
#4 Dec 28, 2012
Our mall now is horrible its not thriving like Fairfield Commons or other malls. The selection of merchandise is sparse and not current and more than likely picked over. Lets not.even discuss the terrible food places, three or.four to choose from I'd save my money and hit up the mcd's dollar menu and shop out of town
#5 Aug 16, 2014
what was the other music store other than Camelot named?
#6 Aug 16, 2014
can anyone tell me the other music stores name besides camelot please
#7 Aug 16, 2014
can anyone tell me the other music stores name besides camelot please and also what year did the upper valley mall open?
#8 Jan 8, 2015
#9 Jan 8, 2015
Sun coast Video
#10 Jan 9, 2015
The other music store was NRM
#11 Feb 20, 2017
#12 Feb 20, 2017
Oops! I mean NRM.
#13 Apr 11, 2017
#14 Apr 11, 2017
The Upper Valley Mall opened in 1971. It had/has a sort of 'T' shape, with the top of the T being the long side that ran roughly north/south and the stem of the T being the short side that ran roughly east/west.
The following list of stores is based on my best recollection from the mid 1980's to the early 1990's. I certainly don't remember them all, and I probably have some stores slightly out of sequence, but I'm sure of their general placement in the mall.
// Start by walking from roughly from the northern end (Sears anchor), hugging the western wall, to the southern end
Sears (northern anchor store)
Radio Shack (as I recall, this was the first store encountered after walking out of Sears)
// a store or three that I don't remember
Woolworth's (I think Woolworth's also had it's own entrance/exit to the outside)
Woolworth's snack counter
Lazarus (originally Rike's, now Macy's, if that is still there)
// I recall that either Lazarus or Elder-Beerman had two stories with an escalator, but I don't recall which (I think it was Elder-Beerman)
// There were several other stores along the way by this point that I don't recall what they were or their specific position. It is about this point that you are near the middle of the mall.
// I don't have much recollection about the remainder of the west side of the mall stores until you get to the southern anchor store, JC Penny.
JC Penny (southern anchor)
// Now, turning around and walking back North, hugging the East wall.
A drug store (I don't remember what it was called then, but today it is a CVS. The drug store also had it's own entrance/exit to the outside)
Original Cookie Company (sold big, pizza sized cookies)
A cheap jewelry store (don't remember the name (Claire's?) my sister got her ears pierced there)
A clothing store that I don't recall the name of
Stinky Sticker Club (?)(I think this was the name of the store, but I could be wrong. It was a sticker store that sold memberships to the Stinky Sticker Club. I remember getting a club membership with a sticker book and each month you would come in and receive a free sticker. Scratch & Sniff stickers were my favorite)
Gloria Jean's Coffee Bean (I've never liked the taste of coffee, but I always loved the smell of this store)
// Again, I'm sure I missed a store or two along the way to this point
// Gloria Jean's was on the corner/intersection of the 'T'
#15 Apr 11, 2017
// Now, Turning east to go down the Southern wall of the 'T stem'
Hot Sam Pretzels
Fun & Games (Arcade)
Pet Store (don't remember name)
// There were two or three other stores scattered in there that I don't recall, including one on the end
// You're now at the big main entrance doors
// Now, going across to the northern wall of the T stem and walking back west
Mark Pi's (this Chinese food eatery didn't come until later - I'm not sure what was in it's place before)
// I don't have much recollection of the other three or four stores on this wall, until you come to the corner of the T, but I'm almost sure there was an ATM ("Green Machine") somewhere along the way
Jewelry store (on the corner, I don't recall the name)
// Now, turning and walking North along the East wall, back towards Sears
B. Dalton Books (had an upstairs area where a lot of the youth books were)
A music & video store (which some here have identified as NRM)
Kay-Bee Toys (at this time, it was Kay-Bee, not KB)
// Again, there were several more stores along the way here that I can't remember
That's about it for the stores that I remember.
I also recall in the center of of the mall was a large-ish (to me, anyway) fountain that people threw penny's/coins in. I don't think the fountain is there any longer.
Also near the center were several bench seating areas around a bank of television sets, which always seemed to be tuned in to Channel 7. I recall that I was often there during the early afternoon, so it was usually NewsCenter 7's noon-time report or The Young and the Restless, which came on at 12:30. Several large plants (real or fake, I don't recall) were situated in this area.
One other thing was the attached* cinema.*attached to the mall, but had it's own entrance - no shared entrance with the mall. The cinema was located just to the right of the main entrance to the mall. I'm not sure if it's still in business or not.
Also, the MC Sports section was new construction, added sometime in the late 90's or 2000's.
The last time I was there in 2012, it was truly a shell of its former self.
In the 1980's it was a big deal. No Fairfield mall to compete with. The other two 'competing' malls were the Dayton mall and the Salem mall (now gone).
#16 Apr 11, 2017
^ pennies, not penny's (ooops)
#17 Apr 11, 2017
Also big for shopping in the same area (across the street from the mall) back then were:
*Hills - which had a 'no credit card' policy for the longest time (to keep prices low), a terrific snack bar in the entry way and the best toy department around
*Service Merchandise - where the church is now
The area was really hustling & bustling in the 1980's
#18 Jun 7, 2017
I didn't read everyone else's replies, so some of these may be duplicates. These also may not be original stores. They are just ones I remember from when I was a kid.
Sultan's Castle (that was the original name of the arcade).
Dr. Pet Center
Hos Sam Pretzels
Wren's (departement store)
B. Dalton Bookseller
Had a lot of fun at that mall, so long ago...
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