Plymouth Square Shopping Center – Some Memories
by Brian Coll
Maybe May 23rd 2020
I took a walk and found myself at Plymouth Square shopping center. Sure, I’m here often, I shop at Weis, occasionally get a Five Guys Burger and of course Golden Dragon. What had me though on this walk was, I wasn’t running in and out of a store, I was just walking. While I was walking my mind went to a different period in time, and of course, it wasn’t exactly the same period of time. What I mean by that is this… I worked at a place called A to Z Office Supplies currently the UPS store is there. However as I was thinking about A to Z I was also remembering the old movie theater there. The two places weren’t open at the same time, but my mind jumped back to both times. So go with me here….
I’m in my mid 40’s and my memories of the shopping center may be a little different than yours. Also, I’m not fact checking what years things were open, I’m just going from memory here and that’s kind of cool. When my dad Jack writes here, or anywhere, like the Conshohocken books we’ve done, there is a lot of fact checking involved and while we hear some great stories about this or that. Jack doesn’t write about it unless he can go and back it up with facts. So forgive me right now if I casually mention anyone remember going to the old movie theater at Plymouth Square back in the 80’s…. I seem to remember that, but did it close in 1979? So.. having said all of that, let’s follow my trip around the shopping center.
I guess my mind starting with A to Z Office Supplies. I loved working there for a guy named Michael Drossner. He was a great guy to learn the retail business from. He had a set of parents that were always looking out for him and recently his mom Ann passed away, so if for some reason, he ends up seeing this, sorry to hear about your mom and thank you for everything you taught me at A to Z Office Supplies. I worked there in the early 90’s and it was where the UPS Store is currently located. In my mind that whole side is the “new side” because it was created until after the movie theater was gone. on my breaks from A to Z, I remember walking all the way to the other side of the center to the old school liquor store. Obviously before it moved to the Whitemarsh Shopping center.
I seem to recall hitting Franzone’s after sporting events at Archbishop Kennedy. Franzone’s was very cool to me in high school. Growing up I would hit Bolero’s and Pizza Time because they were close to my house, but in high school we could walk from Conshy all the way to Plymouth Square and hang out. Some of my best friends from that time period lived in West Conshohocken so it was a really far walk for them.
Woolworth’s, I can’t go back in time and leave out Woolworth’s. I worked at that Woolworth’s and everytime I mention it, someone brings up the lady with the long finger nails. Her name was Heidi and she was awesome. I’m not sure how old I was at the time when I worked there, but I loved it. My first day on the job I was shown the conveyor belt system to stock the shelves from the basement and I remember so many boxes of candy. Of course Woolworth’s sold everything…. It was a great place to work as a young man, my dad went onto work at Woolworth’s at the Plymouth Meeting Mall from the early 90’s until it closed in 1997. That was a two level store and even had the lunch place in the center of the mall, but of course, that’s another story for another day.
Whitemarsh Jewelers moved from the Whitemarsh Shopping center to Plymouth Square at some point and the Casinelli family was always great to the community.
Marshall’s seems to have been there forever, but of course that can’t be true… and who can forget Genuardi’s?
So…. I can’t leave out the bowling alley outback or BJ’s Billiards and how cool it was to go down the steps before it moved outback at some point. Wasn’t there a disco for a little bit at the shopping center, in more recent years a sports facility and even a church…..
What’s your memories? What’s your favorite thing there now? Let me know what you think in the Facebook comments. Hope you are all taking care and staying safe.