Fashion Square Mall Sears Ads

Fashion Square Mall Sears is closing. This is Sears on East Colonial Drive. Today was the last day. Soon, it’ll be demolished to make way for something new.
I’ll always have a soft spot for Sears and Roebuck. My mom took me there often when I was a kid. My Sears was at the Cutler Ridge Mall, back in the 1980s. This Orlando Sears very much reminds me of that one from my youth. Same basic floor plan, although this one was built earlier, back in the early 1960s. Since moving to Orlando in the early 2000s, THIS store has been my Sears. It makes me nostalgic for a variety of reasons.
Below, I’ve attached a couple of full page Orlando newspaper ads from 1969. The primary Sears in town at that point was the East Colonial Drive location, and it’s featured prominently in the bottom of each ad. Click either image to get the full page ad.
orlando sears
Orlando Sears
I like the fact that these ads also feature the locations of other regional Sears stores. The Downtown Orlando store, Cocoa-Rockledge, Titusville, Melbourne, Leesburg, Pine Hills, Mt. Dora and Satellite Beach.

Here are some photos of Fashion Square Mall Sears on it’s last day. It’s a sad view of a store singing its death song.

Looking at the side of the store, almost from Maguire Boulevard.
The back entrance, near the tool department.
I bought and coveted a lot of Craftsmen tools in this department. I spent some quality time here.
The filing cabinet on the right has been inside this Sears for a long time. Note three separate shades of paint. The green is most likely original, but there’s been new layers of brown and beige. The structural lines of the handles and label frames make me think it’s from the 60s. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an original fixture in the store.
Empty jewelry display counters.
These chairs are from the shoe department, I believe. Either that, or from outside the dressing rooms. The style bespeaks the early years of this Sears. They may not be from the 1960s or 70s, but  I wouldn’t bet on them being from any later than the 80s.
So many empty fixtures.
What? Nobody wanted these pregnant mannequins?

Some external photos of East Colonial Sears, before and after Fashion Square Mall:

A photo from Swampy’s Florida of Sears in 1963
A photo on Pinterest of Sears in 1982

Six Gun Territory Promotional Photos

six gun territory ocala florida stage coach
When I was child in the 1980s, I used to visit my Grandmother in Ocala, Florida. An hour or so north of Orlando and it’s multitude of tourist attractions and themeparks, Ocala was fairly sleepy. Beautiful rolling horse land was the main attraction for a visitor. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some vestiges of the old Florida tourist trade. Silver Springs and its natural wonder was of course the main draw for visitors, but I will never forget my visits to Six Gun Territory. I just recently stumbled across this collection of promotional photos at an estate sale and I wanted to share. It took me right back. Read on, and click the images for higher resolution.
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Weeki Wachee 1960s Florida Attraction Brochure

I still have never been to Weeki Wachee, but it’s one of those old Florida attractions that I feel I have to see. It’s a shame, because I wasn’t far from there yesterday when my wife and I did a day trip for our eleventh anniversary.
Being in close proximity reminded me of the huge amount of Florida ephemera that I’ve collected. As I was going through it, I found this Weeki Wachee pamphlet. What I particularly love about it are the celebrity endorsements.
Click the image below to see the front and back of the pamphlet.

Arthur Godrey says, “Weeki Wachee is one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World”.
Bob Hope says, “The live Mermaids are the greatest at Weeki Wachee… and it’s fun!”
Ted Mack says, “This is the finest underwater talent in the world.”
Don McNeil says, “What a thrill. What a joy. You’ll love the mermaids at Weeki Wachee!”
Weeki Wachee is still around today. If you’re visiting Tampa or nearby cities, it’s a great place to take in a little of that classic Florida tourist attraction nostalgia. Here’s their homepage.

Toyshop Theater – Universal Studios Florida 1989 Press Kit

We didn’t really go to Universal Studios when I was a kid. We were most definitely a Disney World family, and frankly I’m okay with that. That said, I love themeparks, and now that I’m an adult, I’m just as intrigued by the design and history of Universal as any other park.
About 6 months to a year ago, I stumbled across this interesting little find at an estate sale. What appeared to be a media kit for the opening of Universal Studios in Orlando. I bought it for 8 bucks (a steal, I think) and promptly forgot about it. Today, after finding it in a closet, I thought I’d share my first reaction of opening it up. Here’s the film.

Summer Fun 1961 – Orlando Travel Brochure

Orlando in the 1960s beautiful retro swimsuit model Orlando in the 1960s gary's duck inn

Ads for Gary’s Duck Inn and Cherry Plaza Hotel.
I found this brochure at an estate sale recently. It features marketing and promotions for Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland and Central Florida, circa 1961. Lots of good stuff. It’s also a good reference guide to Orlando in the 1960s. Click below for more. As always, click the image for a larger version.
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Orlando Food in the 1970s, Pt. 2

This is another bunch of ads from the Orlando Sentinel food sectionals from 1972. Check the original article here. Above is an advert for Sweden House. My love for “All You Can Eat Buffets” knows know boundaries. Of course, back then it was called a “Smorgasbord”. I’m not sure which is the classier moniker. These places were all over Florida in the 60s and 70s. I hope they had Swedish meatballs. If Ikea had all you can eat meatballs, they’d have to wheel me out on one of those HÅVET chair beds.

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Retro Florida Menu – Aunt Hattie's Chicken in the Woodpile

aunt hattie's restaurant florida
I found this menu for Aunt Hattie’s Chicken in the Woodpile on eBay a few years ago. It’s especially neato because it’s autographed by Edward “Uncle Ed” Boore, husband of Aunt Hattie and founder of the restaurant. Aunt Hattie’s was opened in 1939 by Ed and Hattie Boore who had previously run a fruit stand. It closed in 1985. The full history of the restaurant is recounted by Scott Taylor Hartzell in this excellent St. Petersburg Times article.
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Pumperniks Menu

Pumperniks MiamiPumperniks was a Saturday afternoon staple for my family when I was growing up in Miami. It’s the first place I ever ate Matzo ball soup and a brisket sandwich. The experience of eating this food for the first time was enough to make me consider converting to Judaism. Read more

"It's Playtime in Miami" – Sheet Music Art

Playtime in Miami
I found some beautiful old sheet music when I was in Saint Augustine last weekend. I found it at Wolf’s Head Books, one of the finest antique and used book stores in Florida. The song is called, “It’s Playtime in Miami” and was written in 1940 by composer Clark Ringwalt as a fund raising measure for the South Florida Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida.
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Orlando Groceries and Food in the 1970s

Orlando Grocery 1970sOh, hello Richard Deacon, character actor of such classics as “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. I had no idea you were a television chef. Was this before or after you were in “The Happy Hooker Goes to Hollywood”? Answer: It was before.

I found a stack of “Orlando Sentinel” Food sectionals from the early 1970s, loaded with adds for local restaurants, grocery stores, appliance stores, etc. I have tons of these, so this is the first in a series. Click the images to make bigger.

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