Wayne Hills Mall; Wayne, New Jersey

Wayne Hills Mall in Wayne, New Jersey

If you’ve been following along, you know that about three weeks ago I took a big trip down to New Jersey for the weekend to try and see the last of the malls that I hadn’t yet visited. The last one I grabbed before coming home was this one, and it was somewhat on a hunch: I didn’t even know for sure that it was enclosed.

Hidden in the hills northwest of Paterson, the Wayne Hills Mall is a small enclosed shopping center in a shopping district located amidst a densely populated and largely residential section of suburban Wayne, New Jersey. Unlike Wayne’s other malls, the Wayne Hills Mall is far from major highways and was clearly always intended as a smaller, more convenient mall to serve residents in the immediate surrounding area. Together with the neighboring Preakness Shopping Center–which hosts a standalone Macy’s (former Stern’s), amongst much else–it provides a decent amount of retail space to residents of the area without trekking to the larger malls to the south.

This little, T-shaped mall was anchored by Meyer Brothers, a small local chain department store described as being like Stern’s (and which is now occupied by a Burlington Coat Factory), and a Kmart that is accessible only via an external promenade across the parking lot. The mall also counted Child World (closed 1992) and a Pathmark Supermarket (closed 2001) as anchors in the past. The floorplan at Wayne Hills Mall is strange, essentially there is a small enclosed mall that, at the center’s eastern end, leads to an outdoor promenade that crosses to a strip mall with a Kmart and a gym. It’s very strange (you can see it in the pictures) but pretty neat, and a good example of how to integrate strip-center uses and an enclosed mall.

Wayne Hills Mall in Wayne, New Jersey

…or at least it would be, if the mall had any stores. As you can tell from these photos, there isn’t much going on at the Wayne Hills Mall anymore (I’d say it qualifies as a “dead mall“). While the mall is in good shape, due to a (seemingly recent) renovation, there are very few stores still operating in the mall’s interior, and almost no patrons walking around. See these photos? They weren’t taken at 10 at night; it was seven, and during the Christmas shopping season. Ouch.

One of our readers, who often posts here with the moniker “DayGlo!,” was helpful in piecing together some of the history of the Wayne Hills Mall, and sent me some great stories about the way it used to be. I want to include some of her email below:

DayGlo!:

The weird thing about Wayne Hills Mall, to me, was that the dead mall aura hung over it long before it actually died. Neighboring Preakness Shopping Center, a leviathan in the days before big box centers came into vogue, always seemed much busier despite being open-air. Still, the mall was well-situated enough that it did okay. I don’t remember the names of a lot of the smaller stores simply because it’s been a looooooooong time since I’ve been to that mall, but even when businesses left, they were replaced pretty quickly. At one point, there was a sit-down restaurant/coffee shop whose name evades me, but one of my mom’s friends worked there as a waitress, so trips there usually meant free ice cream. Pretty sure it was gone by the time I started high school. There was a store called Peacock Fashions, which was like Hot Topic before there was a Hot Topic. It was the place to go for band shirts, posters, and other “head shop”-type stuff the chain music stores wouldn’t touch. That closed when I was in high school. There was also a Select-a-Ticket outlet, which got my patronage in high school; there were no Ticketron or (later) TicketMaster outlets where I lived, and Select-a-Ticket always scored the good seats anyway, albeit at a price. Other than that, lots of mall basics. I’m nearly positive that the Foxmoor where I got my Michael Jackson jacket back in the day was in that mall. I remember a Sam Goody moving in at some point when I was in late grade school or high school, and I’m pretty sure there was a Kinney Shoes. Meyer Brothers was the anchor. A small local chain, it was comparable to Stern’s (which was in the Preakness Shopping Center before the rebranding) or Hahne’s (which Rockaway’s Lord and Taylor was in its previous incarnation) — not quite on the same level as Macy’s, but more upscale than Sears and J.C. Penney. At one point, there were three stores listed on the bags — Wayne Hills, Paterson, and somewhere else I don’t remember. The downtown Paterson store remained the flagship even after the Wayne Hills store opened. It stayed open long past the point where the other big department stores pulled out of the inner cities, but was destroyed in a fire in 1991. The Wayne Hills store closed maybe a couple years after that. I was kinda surprised that none of the retail juggernauts offered to buy out the store, as the surrounding area is very well-off and has the purchasing power to support more upscale retail, but that didn’t happen. The outlot stores included Fayva Shoes, KMart (which the store locator indicates is still there), and Child World (which is a Toys R Us now, even though the Totowa store is only 5 or 6 miles away and huge in comparison). What always struck me as odd was that there was a Kmart by Wayne Hills and a comparably sized S.S. Kresge in Preakness well into the ’80s, if not the ’90s. I thought all of the latter stores were rebranded to the former long before.

Wayne Hills Mall in Wayne, NJ Wayne Hills Mall in Wayne, New Jersey Wayne Hills Mall in Wayne, New Jersey

Wayne Hills Mall in Wayne, New Jersey Wayne Hills Mall in Wayne, New Jersey Wayne Hills Mall in Wayne, New Jersey Wayne Hills Mall in Wayne, New Jersey

150 Responses to “Wayne Hills Mall; Wayne, New Jersey”

  1. The low ceilings and narrow corridor do jog my memory, as does the placement of a few of the stores (Foot Locker, Karin’s Kurtains, and the shuttered Sam Goody). When I last saw the mall, it was still a sea of typically ’70s browns and tans, and the entrance was much more spartan-looking. I’m really tempted to think that the redesign hurt the mall rather than helping it. It looks too sterile and too reminiscent of Willowbrook without the plethora of variety Willowbrook has to offer. The mix of unique local stores and mall staples was its draw. Without that, and with so much else nearby, there’s no reason to go.

    The weird thing about Wayne Hills was that despite its diminutive size and proximity to much bigger shopping centers, it served an audience that extended past the immediate vicinity; people actually traveled to shop there. We lived closer to Rockaway, and my dad worked maybe a mile from Willowbrook, but we went to Wayne Hills more than to either of those malls. My mom seemed particularly enamored with Meyer Brothers’ children’s department, which took up most if not all of the second floor. Not sure why, because I don’t remember anything particularly remarkable about it, but most of our neighbors, family friends, and so on also made the drive.

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    Laura Reply:

    @DayGlo!,

    There was also a Lerner’s in the mall.

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    Laura Reply:

    @Laura,

    Oops! it wasn’t Lerner. It was Joyce Leslie!

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  2. Now I know what it feels like to be in a coffin! Too bad it’s dying… it has a lot of charm. That ceiling, if raised another 10 feet, would be awesome.
    Scott

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  3. I live 2 minutes away from this mall, and other than the 2 floor Burlington Coat Factory, its pretty much shuttered. A lot of restaurants have closed. Waldenbooks is open, but that may close soon too. Outside the mall is a K Mart and an LA Fitness, as well as a Toys R Us. Considering there is a shopping center right down the road, as well as a freestanding Macy’s, it’s better to go there (shopping center is called Preakness). I definately recommend a trip here, if possible, and I will upload pictures as soon as possible.

    I suggest an article on this website for Preakness shopping center also.

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  4. Scott –

    Wow! I didn’t even think of that when I looked at the pic. That’s brilliant! ;)

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  5. Does anyone know who currently owns the mall? Perhaps they could be persuaded to revitalize it.

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  6. I highly doubt anyone would listen. The mall’s owner is a man named Adam. I forget his last name. As long as people go to Adam’s mall, whether it be rowdy teenagers or anyone else, he is happy.

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    tracey Reply:

    @Kyle
    i worked in the mall during the 80s and 90s. i believe the owners last name is Levine.

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  7. I remember that mall when it was new. I remember there was a McDonalds on one end, and an Arthur Treicher’s Fish and Chips almost across the isle. Consumers Distributing was between that and Sam Goody’s, which “might” have begun as a Harmony Hut(???) There was a cool arcade there near the Fish and Chips place. There were a fair amount of small shoe stores and clothes stores. I hadn’t stepped foot in that mall since the late 80s until just last week. I had moved away in the early 80′s and only stopped in these two times. The mall is in excellent condition, but it is a ghost mall for the most part.

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    sandy Reply:

    @Tab, you just brought back so many wonderful memories for me i remeber the mall when it was just as you said my mom and i would go there to shop we only lived like 10 min from the mall so it was wonderful my mom isno longer with me so i thank you for the memories you just gave me sandy

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    Ursula Reply:

    @sandy, Don’t forget Celeste Gifts :)

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  8. I can remember a lot of the original stores.. There was a Chock Full O’Nuts (Later became a 4-n-20 Pie shop), on the far end of the mall from K mart.. there was Harmony Hut (later to become Sam Goody’s), Mc Donald’s (the first one that I had ever seen that was not a standalone) .. Arthur Treacher’s.. Meyer Brothers, Foxmoor, Puppy palace (pet store.. that later became an arcade by the name of Fun palace.. they merely changed the first part of the sign..)….

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    Susan Reply:

    @Rob,
    As soon as I read Chock Full O’Nuts I could smell the store!! This post is bringing back so many memories of shopping with my mom as a kid.

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  9. I work at this mall, and let me tell you something, the guy who wrote this article went [i]easy[/i] on it.

    dead is an understatement. I work at the waldenbooks, and we struggle to make plan each week. My manager says we may close down soon, and three stores have closed/are closing within the past 2 months. (champs, avenue, and the ruki jewlers pictured)

    The owner clearly dosen`t give a damn about the mall’s fate. He owns about 10 other malls, and uses this graveyard as a tax write-off.

    In the whole mall, quiznos, foot locker(who got a boost from champs closing), and the anchor are perhaps the only ones who do well. It’s a sad state.

    Every time someone walks into the store, and I do mean LITERALLY people say this every day, they say,”What is happening to this mall?” we don`t know what to tell them.

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  10. Does anyone know a website where I can get a listing of the stores in the mall? I am looking for the name of a photo shop in the mall where I got some pictures taken a couple of years ago.

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  11. Handren, how is Burlington Coat Factory doing?

    Wayne Hills Mall is a very sad place. It’s a shame, because the building is kind of cute. It reminds me of how dead the Morris County Mall in Cedar Knolls was after Bradlee’s closed and before Walmart came along. Completely dead.

    There’s a Marshall’s practically across the street along with a Cost Cutters. Too bad they don’t relocate within the mall. Or a HomeGoods or something. Those stores are ALWAYS busy, even on a weekday. Of course, Marshalls would hurt Burlington Coat Factory, practically the only store left, but a HomeGoods could work.

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  12. Man, I love this mall. I remember going to it as a kid and as I was growing up. I remember the Meyer Brothers well and also their use to be a store called *Afterthoughts*, which is now the Quiznos. Its sad to see how dead its become. Hopefully something can be done. :(

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  13. Also, I think the remodel hurt the mall rather than help it. Lets just hope something can be done to save the mall.

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  14. How would renovation hurt it?

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  15. Because it became too much like other malls and looking the same. Theres no individuality.

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  16. I hope they keep it open, but with all the stores leaving and no new ones coming in, I dont see how this mall is gonna stay open. :(

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  17. I used to come here when I was little. (late 80s early 90s) i remember throwing coins in a big fountain. I didn’t see the fountain in the pictures, I wonder if they removed it.

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  18. does anyone remember the cool christmas show they used to have??? santa came down the halls and the polar bear named “pinky” i think?????

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    Laura Reply:

    @chris,
    I remember pinky!

    I live in SC now so I am just reminiscing.

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    Susan Reply:

    @chris
    The Singing Santa was always the best part about going to this mall during the holidays!

    and throwing coins in the fountain….

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  19. The location of this property is still good .I believe that the owners have are probably looking to redelvop property for mix usage. They have not rented any stores in some time, where strip stores in lesser locations are getting $25 to $35. It would probably be relatively easy to bring in a number of diversified tennants at reduced rents for a year or two if they really wanted to. Instead they will allow existing tennants to die on the vine and knock the center down and redevelop. The tradgedy is the small mom and pop operations that used to be there who have gone by the wayside because of their mismanagement intentional or otherwise. Having worked for Retail chains and REIT for 25 years I only wish I could buy and turn this property around.

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  20. Many, many years since I’ve lived in Wayne. I don’t remember when the mall was built, but it existed in 1974, when I was in my first year at Wayne Hills. I remember we used to walk down the hill, across an open field (I think there’s a housing development there now, although I’m not sure), and we’d scarf up a cheap lunch at McDonald’s (is it still there, I wonder?). There was a Walden Book Store there, I think, from which I stole a book or 2 back in the day (hopefully I didn’t put them out of business). There was a Sam Goody there as well. I didn’t spend a ton of time there, as I moved during my freshman year, and it’s sad to think that it isn’t doing well, even though in my adulthood I’m not one to patronize malls. It was a place of some positive memories though, as was Preakness Mall, which is where my parents used to shop when I was a child.

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    sandy Reply:

    @Ed, that was my first year at wayne hills too i remember going thru that field to go to mcdonalds what good memores ya know sandy

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  21. In 1977 I worked at that Kmart and before leaving NJ to move to CA in January 1978, my co-workers and I ate at McDonalds, Arthur Treachers and The 4 N 20. I shopped at Meyer Brothers, Foxxmoores and Karin’s Kurtains. There was a travel agency in the mall also-My fiancee(now my husband of almost 30 years) called in his credit card number to purchase my plane ticket to California. We all loved the Preakness Shopping Center but there was some excitement to a new mall without all the commotion of Willowbrook!!

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  22. It upsets me, because I went there this weekend and they got rid of Cutting Crew, which was my favorite hair cut place. :( I wonder if they moved to another location. I remember Pinky (the bear that Chris spoke of), and I use to come to the shows as well when I was a kid. I also remember throwing coins into the fountain, which sadly, is no longer there. :( Theres only about 8 stores left now, I believe. Theres Waldenbooks, some watch place, a Quiznos, a nail salon, Burlington Coat Factory, GNC, Payless. I really hope it doesn’t go under, somebody needs to do something to revive it, but that seems highly unlikely. :o/

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  23. I have fond memories of the mall too. My dad took me there every Sunday because one of his friend was a security guard there.

    We always went to the Christmas show when I was a kid. I used to buy my parents christmas cards in “The Town Mouse” card store when I was a kid.

    I bought my first record with my allowance money in Sam Goody (Duran Duran).

    It’s been a ghost town for a few years now. I was there today to go to GNC and also noticed that Cutting Crew closed! I’m so upset! I always gothere to get my haircut. Did they move?

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  24. Hey Heather,

    I’m not sure if Cutting Crew moved…It looks like they just left really sudden. I was really surprised, actually, since they use to get so much business. I loved The Town Mouse as well. It was a cute store and the cards were great. I was always at Sam Goody as well and bought a lot of cds as well as movies there. I like the group Duran Duran as well, and have a lot of their songs. :) I really hope something gets done about this mall. I would hate to see it go. :(

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  25. I go to Burlington quite often and i always walk in through the burlington entrance. i cant bring myself to face the inside of the mall. It’s so depressing in there. The fountain is long gone and I’m not sure if Santa comes anymore. I remember the Christmas and Easter shows. They were the big thing when i was younger. Pauly’s pizza (which was in Willowbrook –where Cheesecake Factory is now, tried the end location for awhile but I guess that didn’t make it either. I loved Joyce Leslie and Sam Goody. Once McDonald’s left, it was kind of the last straw. I grew up wearing Meyer Brothers clothes (my grandpa insisted on buying me things from there)… but since it closed when i was young, i only have memories of the children’s dept.

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    Patty Reply:

    I was wondering if your grandfather bought clothes from the original Meyer Bros clothing store in Manhattan? I believe that my grandfather was one of the original Meyer Brothers.

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  26. I go to the nail salon there and have for several years. The manicurists are all buzzing about how they don’t think they will be there to much longer. They do a great job and definitely have their busy days but apparently not enough of them. I heard the plan is to completely refigure that whole section. Make it a downtown type area since Wayne really has no official center of town. We’ll see what happens. I too enjoy that little mall. So much less hussel and bussel there.

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  27. this mall is so depressing now. i have so many childhood memories of this mall. getting happy meals at mcdonalds. i remember being in my carriage shopping with my mom in the big store that is now burlington coat factory. looking at all the jewelry and stuff in the glass displays in service merchandise. buying new shoes at tom mcanns. playing the video games and seeing santa every christmas. i hope they do something usefull with this mall and not just tear it down.

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  28. I used to love this mall as a kid. The arcade was called Fun ‘n’ Games, as I recall, at least originally. We moved to Wayne when I was in the Second Grade in 1976. I remember Meyer Brothers (I worked there one school vacation), Sam Goody and Consumers Distributing. There was a Pearl Vision, Celeste Gifts, McDonald’s, Arthur Treacher’s, Walden Books. There were two fountains in the mall, both accepting coins for local fundraising/charities. I have an early memory of going with my father to S.S. Kresge at the Preakness Mall when we first moved there, and being told that it was the original K-Mart, even though there was/is a K-Mart store nearby. Also, the old Cider Mill Restaurant was across Berdan Ave. from Meyer Brothers. I remember monstrous snowbanks there after the Blizzard of ’78 which seemed to last until about June. It is an affluent area, there’s absolutely no reason this place should be this dead.

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    Susan Reply:

    @Readville 2980,

    Yes! I remember all those you mentioned! Celeste Gifts was a fabulous gift shop. There was another big one across from them, can’t remember Imagination or something? TheDepot was there also, great place to buy designer jeans. Foxmoore great 80s fashions and I think I remember MerryGoRound? Joyce Leslie. Thom Mcan and Kinney Shoes were right next to each other. Wow, some great memories! And, the old Cider Mill had great food although not in the mall. We used to cut last period and walk across the field to the mall. Too sad to see what it is now.

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    Keith Reply:

    @Susan, The gift shop (Hallmark store) was Images One. It was changed to The Towne Mouse. I worked at Images One for a long time and I’m dismayed to hear what has happened to the mall. I moved from NJ around ’94 and haven’t been back since. So sad….

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  29. I don’t even know what made me think to look up Wayne Hills Mall on the web, but I did, and found my way here. I’ve been living in TX since ’99, but I grew up in the 70′s and 80′s in Wayne. Like many of you, my parents did a ton of our clothes shopping at the Meyer Brothers’ sales. I played in the clothes racks while my older sisters shopped. I bought my Mom a piece of silver jewelery on sale there when I was a kid and thought I was so grown up. Remember the Cheese Chalet? I don’t think anyone has mentioned that yet. Never bought anything there as a kid, just ate free samples. I too got most of my childhood shoes at Thom McAnn or Kinney. I spent a ton of money (at the time) on Smurfs at Celeste Gifts. I remember getting Arthur Treacher’s, but only when they had coupons, and eating at McDonald’s all through high school (especially fond of the Shamrock Shakes at St. Patrick’s Day). Walking through the “flat tracks” where all those condos or whatever are now to go from WHHS to the mall. I used to save up money to by 45′s at Sam Goody, but only when a song I wanted was on sale for 99 cents. I later worked at that Sam Goody for a year or so. I got my ear pierced on a break one day at whatever jewelery store was just down from Sam Goody. Also used to love to play Spyhunter and that hockey game that was sort of like foozball-in-a-dome in Fun Palace (which became Fun N Games). I remember filling out the slips from the catalogs at Consumer’s Distibuting and then turning them in so the people could go in the back and get what you were buying, and then being so disappointed if they came out and said they didn’t have it. I loved the Christmas display near Meyer Brothers. I also stole a book from Waldenbooks (sorry), which was the only thing I ever stole. Life marches on. It does seem bizarre with how popular malls still are in NJ that this mall would fade away like this. The ownership must have the rent so out of whack or something in order to kill it off. Thanks to all for your contributions – I enjoyed the memories that you’ve helped bring to the forefront.

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  30. Did the arcade fun and games really reopen at this mall?

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  31. That places scares me. i went with a friend of mine and it was just creepy to be in there. we went back and told a few more friends about it and then they wanted to go check it out. the problem was we went at about 1030 pm. the mail was closed or so it looked. we really needed to use a bathroom so we started walking toward the mall. about 50 ft away from it the lights went out. the real creepy thing was that right after the lights went out this strange music came blasting out. it really scared us. creepy place.

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  32. “Fun Palace” was the arcade at the Wayne Hills Mall. I spent a lot of time and quarters there as a kid. “Fun N Games” was run by the same folks (I think) but was at the Willowbrook Mall. I think Fun N Games just closed in November 2007. Fun Palace is a long time gone (don’t know when exactly), but their signage is still up, last time I checked. Fun Palace also had a back entrance from the driveway behind the mall.

    As far as Wayne Hills Mall stores go, I also remember the Cook’s Attic quite well. After Arthur Treacher’s fish and chips place was gone, I think their old space became a discount electronics shop whose name escapes me – I got a cheap VCR there once.

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  33. From 1975 to 1983, I lived in the Berdan Court apartments, right next door to the Wayne Hills Mall. I shopped in Pathmark all the time. That mall and all the stores were so convenient. Wayne was a nice town to live in and it didn’t flood where I lived!

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  34. This has been interesting to read. I now live in CA, but grew up in Wayne. I frequented the Wayne Hills Mall over the years. I remember hanging out at the McDonald’s with friends, and shopping for my first bra at Meyer Brothers with my mom! That was a nightmare, to say the least. I also remember a store called Joyce Leslie that had really cheesy teenage girl clothing. I hated shopping there. My favorite memory of the mall was going to the TCBY after school!

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  35. Does anyone one know when if ever the Carrodos(Sorry I’m a bad speller)
    up the street from this mall will open?

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  36. Once in a while I stop in at Wayne Hills Mall, and it is heart breaking to see how dead that mall has become. It gives you a feeling like “beneath planet of the apes”… Very weird… I used to have soo much fun going there as a kid with my parents, and I used to work there at Celeste gifts and the candy shop (C’s Candy). The Candy shop was in the hall in front of McD., and the gift shop was down by Karins curtains. When I walk through there, I look around in disbelief because it used to be a very busy mall. The only time it would be slow is in the middle of the summer
    (july), other than that, it was fairly popular (especially fall through christmas and easter)… What happened to it? This is my best guess…

    I remember the woman I worked for complaining that the rent was getting too high, and it was making life difficult for the small shop merchants. Not long after that some of the stores started closing and leaving. including some of the “unique” type stores. And I think that is what did it, losing the “uniqueness”. That is what attracted a lot of the consumers, the mall used to have a very “special mix” of stores that were hard to find in other areas, and at one location. That mix made it a very special little mall. In my opinion, losing that specialness killed it. and it is very odd how that is a dead mall in the middle of a very thriving area of Wayne.

    To revive that mall (if it still can be) I would sit tight until the economy turns around, and give very low rent to attract merchants AND TRY AND GET MORE UNIQUE AND SPECIALTY SHOPS. Yes, be more selective with the types of stores to try and recover a good mix that will attract consumers again. Just review the history of the mall and see what stores were there when it was at its pinacle. and try and get a similar diversity…

    Again, It breaks my heart when I walk through there, and I see so many memories of fun with family, freinds, and employment just disappearing.

    Damn I miss the 70′s and 80′s LOL Daryn. ;)

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  37. OMG!!! u all are killing me with memory’s. how about the t-bowl shopping center with the bowling ally and shop-rite and taco hut and the red barn ice cream shop??? wayne hills mall WAS the best, when the snow fell, the clean up crew made the best snow piles!!!! toys r us plant used to be CYANIMID plant!!! Arthur was the name of the man who ran the arcade. and who remembers VICTORIA STATION? that was a resturant to remember!!! i think bob m. pretty much hit it on the head with everything. thanks everybody for the trip back home!!!! :)

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    Evelyn R Reply:

    @chris s., Arthur at Fun Palace!!! I remember him. What about Tony with the radio from T-Bowl? Taco Maker was right across from the mall and we hung out there. There use to be a Fotomat in the mall next to Fun Palace. I have great memories!!

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    tracey Reply:

    @chris s., I loved the victorian station!!!! i tried onion soup for the first time there and have been addicted ever since :)

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  38. I miss Wayne, grew up there, used to ride my bike to the Wayne Hills mall all the time as a kid. Spent many hours in the arcade, eating at McDonalds, hanging out with friends. That mall was special and it’s a damn shame the owner let it die out like that. I may have to take a drive back down to Wayne for a trip down memory lane. Thanks for bringing back the memories guys.

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  39. I also grew up in Wayne, and now live in Wayne with my husband and son. I also remember Foxmoors, Kinney and Thom McCann, Meyer Brothers (I got most of my clothes there as a kid), The Depot (clothing store) Fun Palace, Arthur Treachers, Joyce Leslie, The Town Mouse, The Cheese Chalet and the store with all the decal T-Shirts! There also used to be a cheesy teen girls clothing store next to the jewlery store and I can’t remember the name of it!

    I went to Waldenbooks last Christmas to pick up a gift and was so sad. I had hoped my son would be able to experience at least some of the things I did as a kid, like the Christmas show! That was the best! Oh well, I guess he’ll just have to settle for the display at Fountains of Wayne :-)

    I wish the owner would do something with this place. As its been said, Wayne is an affluent town with money to spend. A dead mall there is crazy!

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    Susan Reply:

    @Nicole,
    Fountains of Wayne is now closed too :(

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  40. I must be one of the few people that still goes to the mall. I’m there whenever I’m up in that area. Why, I don’t know.

    I’ve been buying books at the Waldenbooks ever since they closed my Borders (in Wayne Town Center), so it kinda bugs me to hear they might be going down.

    Didn’t the nail salon just close, too?

    I know Watch Tower moved out…and that was after they friggin’ moved into one of the stores in the upper half! What the hell?

    Personally I think the LA Fitness moving in where Pathmark was was a huge mistake. They needed a big box retailer to go there. (Leaving the Pathmark sit vacant for 6 years didn’t help, I’m sure.)

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  41. Exemplifying the tragedy of the Wayne Hills Mall perfectly, Chris Rock once stated, “And every town’s got two malls: they got the white mall, and the mall white people used to go to. ‘Cause there ain’t nothing in the black mall. Nothing in the black mall but sneakers and baby clothes.”

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  42. Just to clear up some stuff about the arcade:

    Fun Palace, I believe, went out sometime in 2005, although I think they might’ve stuck around until ’06. I’m surprised they still were open- even though I always ended my mall trips with a stop there their selection of games was kind of lousy (and some of them were broken). Hadn’t seen a Ridge Racer arcade game and I’m pretty sure they kept it until the end.

    The only times I saw workers there, they were wearing referee shirts- considering that F&G had their workers wear the ref shirts too, I’d guess that would mean that they were the same owners…

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  43. I also grew up near and spent a lot of my time at the Wayne Hills Mall.

    My favorite memory at the mall was the Christmas show. I now live 1 1/2 hour away and would like to take a trip down memory lane and also bring my 9 year old son who I think would enjoy the show.

    Does any one know if they still do the Christmas show with Santa Clause? If so please email me at jottati@aol.com. Thank you.

    Joyce

    [Reply]

  44. Handren here once more. Don`t work at waldens anymore, The place is even deader than before. Hair and nail places are history, as is watch tower. (which moved next to the new food town on route 23 where michaels used to be)

    If all goes through, Waldenbooks’s lease runs out next spring, and it’s underperforming(no, really?) so It’s probably going to go next.

    All that’s left would be burlington, GNC, payless, foot locker and Quiznos.

    even the BANK in the mall is moving out next January.

    [Reply]

  45. This is all really depressing to hear. Theres gonna be nothing left in that mall. :( Someones gotta do something about it to revive it. Im really hoping they dont tear it down. :o/ & Joyce, I believe they still do the Santa Clause shows. Its not the same as when we were kids, though. :(

    [Reply]

  46. Does anyone know if Santa is going to be at the mall this year. My son has been going to him for 4 years now (since he was a baby) and loves him to death. I know Santa said last year he may not be there this year but I haven’t heard anything. I grew up in the area and remember the same Santa from when I was growing up. He’s the best He has two costumes so depending on what day you go, you may get Santa in traditional red and white or you may get the old fashioned Santa (which is my favorite costume)
    We now live an hour away but still would make the drive if our Santa is still there. My son will be so upset if he isn’t. If anyone has any info on Santa at the mall please let me know.

    [Reply]

  47. i work at the waldenbooks, as far as i know, there is no santa this year. you could try calling the mall office. we have no “official” word from corporate or from the mall that we are leaving….but as the former employee said, our lease is up soon. apparently, foot locker is leaving right after the holidays and gnc’s lease is up soon as well. mind you, this is coming from the mailman since we don’t get told anything.

    [Reply]

  48. Just returned from a visit to Wayne, NJ – I grew up there but left in the mid-70s never to live but I’ve visited several times over the years. I was surprised to see how empty the mall was. We went to China Paradise (still once of the best Chinese restaurants around!) on a Saturday night – didn’t go to the mall but from the outside it looked practically deserted! I remember going to mall when it was fairly new – early 70s … they had a pretty good pizza place there (does anyone remember this place – the name?) with brass rails and white tiles. I had a friend who worked at Arthur Treacher’s and used to shop for records at Goody’s. Too bad its dying a slow death – suspect the next time I make it to Wayne it will be gone and replaced by condos (seems to be the way things are going in Wayne – every free scrap of space is being built on – very sad).
    Does anyone know when the Colonial Grill (its a bagel place now) and the old Cider Mill closed???
    Thanks to all for the memories – Wayne was a great place to grow up in the 60s & 70s but it’s changed so much – not at all what it used to be!

    [Reply]

    Nancy Reply:

    @PAFR, Cider Mill closed in the late 1980′s. Colonial Grill is in Oakland now. (Falls View)
    go visit http://www.lilharolds.com its a great website for the famous cheesecake Harold made at the Cider Mill.

    Good luck.

    [Reply]

  49. Those pictures bring a sad nostalgia to me. In highschool/college, I worked at the Consumers catalog showroom for 3 years located next to the old Sam Goody. At that time, the mall was always bustling, and due to the small size, workers ended up knowing workers from other stores. (I remember Samir was the manager of Fun Palace :) Its been well over a decade since I’ve been there – I wasn’t even aware they redesigned it!

    [Reply]

    tracey Reply:

    @Jack, do you remember jim the cop??????

    [Reply]

  50. Wow, makes me want to cry… I remember going there every weekend with my parents in the late ’70s and ’80s. We used to live in Oakland and it was just a shortly ride to Kmart and the mall. So many memories, from birthday parties at McDonald, playing in the arcade and sitting on santa’s lap. I remember asking him for a StarTrek action figure when I was about seven. My son is now seven and I no longer live in New Jersey but this mall will always have a special place in my heart. On my next road trip back to NJ I’ll have to drop by…..

    [Reply]

  51. Well, apparently the Waldenbooks is done officially now. How do I know? Email from Borders.

    In a way it’s good to have a Borders Rewards card.

    [Reply]

  52. All Waldenbooks stores?

    Meh, figures. Not suprising though.

    That leaves Book World in my town, which for me, is at an inconvenient location…downtown. Pooey.

    Guess if I need books, I’ll have to order online now. Amazon and B&N will be getting my business.

    [Reply]

  53. No, not all Waldenbooks are closing. Just certain underperforming locations in marginal (dying) malls.

    [Reply]

  54. This mall looks like it is well maintained, even though it is dying. It is unfortunate that it isn’t surviving. Personally, I like the mall renovation, it seems to make this place bright and open. I would kill if the local mall in my town, Swansea Mall in Swansea, Massachusetts would be renovated in this fashion. It is so outdated and 80s looking, and not a good 80s look either (Terra Cotta Tiles and Neon Lights).

    I would love it if you did a feature on Swansea Mall. At one time, it was the leader of the pack, essentially killing downtown Fall River department stores, but slowly it has degraded and is in desperate need of revitalization.

    [Reply]

  55. Ahh ok. Good, because with no Borders or B&N in town, I feel our Waldens does a decent business.

    Same probably can’t be said for the store to my east, in Sheboygan though. That mall that the store is in (which the store itself is highly outdated…the old “Walden Bookstores” prototype from the early 1970s), is virtually dead. The only stores sticking around are probably only on month-to-month (leases), and could close at any time. Save for the mall’s anchors…..they own their buildings.

    [Reply]

  56. I worked in the Pearle Vision Center in the 80′s. Sam Goodies was where the cute guys worked. I remember a guy named John(I THINK THAT WAS HIS NAME) worked in the LIQUOR STORE where I would get my beer, when my parents would go away 4 the weekend!! Those were the days!!! The place on the corner with icecream was owned by Jim V and I think was called Jodies Place. I also remember a pizza place out side McDonalds that I would go 2 alot because lunch would b under 2dollars. LOLOL. I remember Dave from Sam Goodies.(Hi DAVE) Remember dancing at that club?? What great memories of that mall……………………..

    [Reply]

  57. Hi John from cooks Attic….

    [Reply]

    tracey Reply:

    @tracey,

    [Reply]

  58. Yeah, I remember Dave! That Sam Goodies was always so busy..And does anyone remember the Afterthoughts that was in place of the Quiznos? I used to get perfume and jewelery from there…I think this was back in the 90s. I’m sad to hear that Waldenbooks is going out. I took a trip there tonight and was sad to see the sign on the door that they’re closing the 24th. :( Soon there wont be anything left of it if somebody doesn’t do something quick. :*(

    [Reply]

  59. It’s sad to see such a good-looking mall die. Wayne is a GREAT place, but everyone shops at Preakness Shopping Center and Willowbrook. I think there’s about 5 stores left. The owner wants it to be empty. He gets tax cuts if the mall is below 20% capacity (I believe it’s 20%). Nobody goes there anymore, and there is a rumor going around that the owner might sell it for housing. (Can they cram anymore housing in Wayne?) And in reply to PAFR’s post, Wayne is a great town to grow up in with a beautiful town and EXCELLENT education.

    [Reply]

  60. Well, Waldenbooks is done tomorrow. I went in there and bought my last item there that I will ever buy. I was surprised that there was actually A LINE THERE! Can you believe it?

    I was reminiscing sadly with another customer and said I was gonna miss the place, and the customer agreed with me. I wished the clerks good luck as I left…and felt a little empty inside.

    I don’t know why they’d sell the mall for housing…there’s not enough room on that plot of land, and the Kmart and Toys R Us seem to pull their weight. Plus they only built that gym…what, two years ago, three years ago? And the owners have their headquarters right at the mall, so I doubt that severely. However, the mistake they made, I think, was putting the gym in where the Pathmark was. They needed a big-box retailer in there like a Best Buy.

    BTW, Foot Locker’s still open and doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. So as of Sunday, it’s down to Burlington, GNC, Payless, Quiznos, and Foot Locker.

    [Reply]

  61. The housing idea is a rumor, and they COULD put housing there.

    [Reply]

    Nancy Reply:

    @Ty, The mayor wouldn’t let it happen. The last mayor didn’t, and housing was denied up the street from there. It would be interesting if we new that for sure. Let me know what you find out.

    [Reply]

    Bob Reply:

    @Ty, from the cache of Yahoo –

    Wayne Is Latest To Attempt Creating a Downtown

    Monday, September 17, 2007
    Andrea Alexander, Staff Writer, The Record

    Wayne is trying to reinvent itself from a sprawling suburb to a community with a model downtown.
    But what downtown Wayne should look like is a matter of debate — specifically, whether housing
    should be part of it.
    The township and Passaic County have each received grants, totaling $240,000, to come up with
    a plan that would likely be centered around the Wayne Hills Mall area on the Paterson-Hamburg
    Turnpike.
    Wayne is following in the footsteps of several other North Jersey towns that worked to create
    vibrant centers.
    Englewood has been successful drawing upscale development to Palisade Avenue. Emerson has
    a plan to remake the downtown district on Kinderkamack Road with retail and residential and
    River Edge has a redevelopment plan that calls for four-story mixed-used buildings.
    Wayne, however, is trying to do something that few other towns have tried — create a downtown
    in a community without a definable center.
    If one were created, it could draw people like Wayne resident Diane Forman-Berg who said she
    never eats out in her hometown. Instead she goes out for dinner in towns like Ridgewood and
    Montclair so she can “walk around and look at the shops.”
    “You don’t have that here,” she said.
    The biggest bone of contention is whether Wayne’s new downtown should be a place where
    people live. A $220,000 study by the county planning office — paid for with federal transportation
    funds — suggests that it includes housing, an idea opposed by local officials.
    Everyone agrees Wayne has the final say over what a town center would look like. But the county
    study recommends turning a stretch of mostly disconnected strip malls into a neighborhood
    where people could work, shop, walk around — and live.
    Horseshoe-shaped strip malls would be redeveloped like city blocks, and mixed in with offices,
    town houses and condos. Berdan Avenue would become the main street of the new downtown.
    The concrete barrier on Hamburg Turnpike would be replaced by a landscaped median. Other
    ideas include bike lanes, pedestrian walkways and bus shelters that would be easy and safe to
    walk to.
    Now, bus stops aren’t all clearly marked or accessible by sidewalk, according to the county study.
    Wayne officials like the county’s recommendations to redesign the turnpike, but they envision a
    center that would be limited to shops and maybe offices.
    “You don’t want residential because residential costs you money,” Mayor Scott Rumana said,
    referring to the cost of public services. “We have 55,000 residents. We don’t need any more.”
    Rumana supports tying in existing residential neighborhoods through pedestrian walkways,
    instead of building housing.
    Councilman Chris Vergano said Wayne residents want a community where “commercial and
    residential are separated by buffers” so they don’t have to worry about lighting, traffic and noise.
    “When you have shops with people living on top of shops it changes the outlook of the town,” he
    said. “I don’t think that is the way we want to go.”
    The state has also weighed in.
    Ben Spinelli, executive director of the Office of Smart Growth, called a town center without
    housing “just a mall by another name.”
    He said the investment in Jersey City and Hoboken, and the success of towns like Montclair,
    Morristown and Chatham, prove that mixed-use downtown communities can work.
    “To think that people don’t want to live in walking distance to shopping, [that they] want to be tied
    to their cars, that is a mistake in perception,” Spinelli said.
    He said there’s an opportunity to create a neighborhood not dependent on cars – where residents
    don’t have to get in a car to buy milk.
    But during a process that will likely last years, the county will have authority over changes to
    Hamburg Turnpike and Wayne over creating a downtown. But some officials tend to call the
    various studies “starting points for discussion.”
    So why does Wayne even need a downtown center?
    “It’s responding to what many residents are looking for,” Rumana said. “It brings people together
    in a very nice way that creates a community.”
    He said it could become a destination where people go to congregate.
    At least one property owner is eager to become part of a downtown. Robert Hekemian Jr., whose
    company is owner of the Preakness Shopping Center next to the Wayne Hills Mall, said he
    already has plans to redevelop it with a “more downtown feel.”
    Hekemian said that would include redoing building facades, adding new lighting landscaping and
    redesigning the parking lot and the entrance — in general, an inviting place that could have a book
    store and outdoor cafes.For now, Hekemian said it has been difficult in getting some tenants to
    buy into the changes.
    “We are going to keep trying,” he said, “and eventually we think they will come around.”
    No one knows how long it could take to build a town center. Rumana said it could depend on the
    economy, available financing and cooperation from private property owners.
    Township Planner John Szabo Jr. wants to present a concept plan by the end of the year. The
    township has received a $20,000 grant from the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth to begin the
    planning. Szabo promises an extensive public comment period before any decisions are made.
    While different neighborhoods have been considered, officials are leaning toward developing the
    Wayne Hills Mall area, from Alps Road to Church Lane, a thriving commercial district for decades.
    A partner in the company that owes the Wayne Hills Mall declined to comment.
    In the end, the county has to move forward with plans to transform Hamburg Turnpike for the
    town center to happen, Rumana said. The project will come to be through the private investment
    of the property owners, and the public investment of the county, he said.
    Passaic County Planner Michael La Place said the county would apply for state and federal funds
    to cover the costs of redesigning the Hamburg Turnpike. He said he didn’t know how much the
    project would cost because it hasn’t reached the engineering or design phases.
    No matter how long it may take, it’s a project that some residents are looking forward to.
    “I think Wayne needs it,” said resident Carol Galatioto. “It’s a better way for kids to grow up and
    socialize.”

    [Reply]

  62. It is true about the owners and that they want to turn it into housing. The town is refusing it because the town gets more tax money from it being a retail location. The story go’s back and this comes from a former cop in town. Back in the days when the mall was popular it was owned my a man he died and lefted it to his grankids who were loaded with money. In hense they could care less about the mall I hear one is a doctor and another is something else. The grandkids went to town hall and asked to have there taxes lowered. The town replied when you lower the leases at your mall. Again the town is dead set on not letting it become housing. They would lose alot of tax money.

    [Reply]

  63. If the mall owners were smart they would take a look at MIll Creek Mall that was in Secaucus NJ. The owners gor rid of all the tenants knocked it down and added Toys R US and Baby’s R US and Sports Authority and TJ Max along with Kohls which was already there. This could be one of there plans.

    [Reply]

  64. I just went there last week and sadly, the Footlocker is gone as well. I wonder what happened with that…They probably just figured they weren’t making any money. It had to be recent, though, because the tvs were still plugged in when I went there. :(

    [Reply]

  65. I was in there tonight…the Foot Locker had to have closed between January 23 and Feb. 2, then.

    I still don’t understand what the hell the point would be of putting housing on that damn plot of land…it’s not fucking big enough!

    Someone needs to buy the mall and rehabilitate it. Soon. There’s no reason to let this mall continue dying the way it is.

    [Reply]

  66. Well when I posted back in December I said that I would have to stop by and check it out during my next trip back to NJ. Well last week I was able to walk through the mall and I got to say it’s a weird feeling you get seeing a place that was so busy when I was a kid just sitting there empty. A lot of great memories but the world is always changing. I’m curious to see what will become of the mall over the next few years. Thank you to all that worked there in the ’70′s & ’80′s from one that shopped there.

    [Reply]

  67. I moved to Glen Rock, NJ from NY in late 1984 and Wayne Hills was one of many malls that me and my family went to when we lived in Glen Rock from 1985-89. For us, it was a diversion from the busy and nearby Garden State Plaza, Paramus Park and Bergen Mall.

    I remember Meyer Bros. and McDonalds plus the Sam Goody. That’s where I bought Heart’s self-titled album on cassette (back around 1986). I remember the card store was called “Images One” and the book store (I guess it was Waldenbooks) was where I bought the Sniglets books (if anyone remembers HBO’s Not Necessarily The News from the mid ’80s). It was a nice mall, and for my family, a nice drive from Glen Rock through Franklin Lakes to Wayne.

    I recently drove back there and it is sad to see it dead. Being there was deader than the Bergen Mall two years ago. I don’t even remember the last time I had been there; maybe 20 years because we moved further north in Bergen County after 1989.

    [Reply]

  68. The Wayne Hills Mall will apparently remain in it’s current state, until all of the “Wayne Towne Center” plans are either approved or shelved. I don’t know if anyone has had a chance to review them, but based upon the architectural renderings and the Planning Commission blueprints, this mall would practically be at it’s epicenter. If that was to happen, then the propoerty could triple in value. I believe that we are merely wirnessing a gamble on the owners part that the plans will be approved. Until then, you’ve got Quizno’s, Burlington and not much else (except for some wonderful memories…that reminds me – after finishing a Quizno’s sub the other night, my wife stopped into Burlington for about 20 minutes. I took the time to start walking laps, rather than just sit around waiting. I was able to complete 7 R/T’s throughout the mall, without seeing one other person – not one! I was constantly reminded of how I once had to fight through crowds at this Mall, just to find a certain CD at Sam Goody’s…oh well)

    [Reply]

  69. Okay, here’s some news you guys might want to hear.

    Was at the mall tonight. Found out that the entrance nearest Kmart was closed. Decided to go to the main entrance in the center of the mall. That’s closed, and the bank is also gone.

    Decide to go through Burlington to the outside and then I see why….there’s a big blue wall up in the mall closing off the lower two thirds! It was put up between the old card store and half of where Champs was. I don’t know what that means but maybe it’s a good sign.

    Oh, Bob B,…are they really calling it “Wayne Towne Center?” Methinks the owners of the JCPenney/soon to be vacant Fortunoff center might have something to say about that…

    [Reply]

  70. Ok.. I have to agree with everyone on this blog. That mall was my second home. I grew up there. Every day after high school (wayne hills) I would ride my bike through the flats where Brittney Chase stands and go for ice cream at the McDonalds. I later worked at McDonalds probably around 1993. I think that cheap electronic store across from McD’s was called “Save Mart”. I remember the after school fights would be in the back at the mall right outside McD’s. Man they were great! Its sad to see that place become what it has become. I remember my very first bank account was at Columbia Savings in that mall. I too am guilty of stealing something from Walden Books.. they were packs of baseball cards… booooo to me… I really hope they do not knock down that mall. Lets hope they are in the works to revitalize it and make it what it use to be.

    [Reply]

  71. Rumor has it that it will be torn down when all the leases are up and made into a strip mall. I got this info from one of the workers at GNC. Thanks everyone for the memories. I’ve been going to the mall since 1978. No one mentioned the great “spinning Christmas tree” on top of Meyers Bros. every year at Christmas. My kids loved it.

    [Reply]

    Oldsmobabe Reply:

    @Debbie, I TOTALLY REMEMBER THAT! OMG! Christmas at that mall was CRAZY FUN! My parents took us there every year! :)

    [Reply]

  72. Hi all – Just some random Wayne Hills Mall trivia/memories:

    The site of the mall was originally one of Wayne’s hills. The apartment block was on the lower slope of a relatively high hill. At the top was the Haledon Hatchery, which was a large, old, almost Charles Addams-ish/Gothic house. We used to go up sometimes and just look in the windows, I believe after the business had moved. (There was an outlet across Hamburg Turnpike from the T-Bowl Shopping Center, which itself was formerly the site of a small private airport. The old bowling alley there at the west end of the shopping center was in, I believe, a renovated hangar of some kind: the roof line was raised).

    When Wayne Hills Mall was constructed, they basically shaved off the top third or so of that hill, and formed the steep grade that now rises from the parking lot. Of course, the old house disappeared.

    Fun Palace was called that because the preceding retail tenant was Puppy Palace: the arcade owner just bought signage that said Fun and placed it up there beside the existing Palace (having removed the Puppy sign beside it).

    The center fountain originally had a sort of cone of thin wires that were anchored in the ceiling.

    I went to Wayne Valley High School, not Wayne Hills High, right near the mall. One day, some friends and I cut out of school and went for burgers at McDonald’s at the mall. The place was filled with Wayne Hills kids doing the same. We started eating. Suddenly, a kid rushed in and screamed, “Bailey!!!” And it was like a fire drill – teens running everywhere, scattering, hiding under tables and the bathroom, fleeing out the door that faced Pathmark and K-Mart.

    Bailey, we later learned, was Wayne Hills’ truent officer.

    [Reply]

    CJS Reply:

    @Scott,
    Haledon Hatchery was a store next top the Grange by Preakness school. The old house, may have been owned by the same family. Haledon Hatchery sold feed and other farming needs.

    [Reply]

    Evelyn R Reply:

    @Scott, Mr. Bailey was a science teacher at Wayne Hills High School who had a classroom in the upstairs corner of the school overlooking the flats we walked through to the mall. He had a pair of binoculars and would spend lunchtime watching for the kids who were cutting school and taking “all 3 lunches”. He would take trips to the mall and caught kids who were cutting class all the time.

    [Reply]

  73. Who remembers Tony? Tony was an intellectually disabled young man who was at Wayne Hills Mall just about daily, hanging out between Fun Palace and McDonald’s, from sometime in the late 70s. He was a friendly guy, perhaps in his early 20s when we were in high school (Wayne Valley). Tony always had a radio with him at the mall and when his favorite band I’m about to name was at the top of the charts (1979?), often said, “Cheap Trick, everybody, Cheap Trick!”
    I had a friend whose very first paying job was at Arthur Treacher’s. He would greet and chat with Tony.
    That’s 30 years ago. About 15 or 20 years ago, I was visiting Wayne and stopped by the mall with that aforementioned friend. Who was there? Tony. Looking pretty much the same, slender and fit as always, except for just a hint of gray hair. I don’t think he had his radio.
    He was a real Wayne Hills Mall stalwart. The unofficial greeter of the mall, who seemed to enjoy the place. Thinking about Tony really brings back other memories of those times. I wish him the best.

    [Reply]

    Sandy Reply:

    Scott, did that same guy Tony hang out in the T-bowl in the ’80s?? I remember someone that fits that description that I use to talk with when I was a small child while my father bowled in the old T-Bowl. If so, I definitely know who you’re talking about.

    [Reply]

    tracey Reply:

    @Sandy, yes he did!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    mtuch Reply:

    @Scott,

    Scott,

    Wow! I forgot about this guy. I never knew his name was Tony but I do remember him. He was always out in front of the McDonald’s listening to his walkman and sometimes singing. He always offered a friendly smile when someone would walk by him. I hope he’s doing well. ROCK ON TONY!

    [Reply]

    Evelyn R Reply:

    @Scott, Tony lives in an adult home in Oak Ridge, New Jersey and is doing great!!

    [Reply]

    tracey Reply:

    @Scott, i remember we called him “tony radio” lol…. what a blast from the past!!!

    [Reply]

  74. Geez. These memories are sparking others. Some random ones:

    One friend worked in Wayne Hills Mall’s outlying K-Mart, in the stereo department, about 1980. He used to tell us how elderly customers would come in and ask to see the “Victrolas”.

    Another friend of mine worked at Meyer Bros. at Wayne Hills Mall for years – right through high school and briefly into college, I think. He once had a fistfight over an ex-girlfriend with her then-suitor outside in the parking lot. He lost. The degree to which he was helped (or not) by a by-standing friend was the topic of much speculation and controversy for some time.

    Moving away from Wayne Hills Mall:

    Right across Berdan Avenue, the Cider Mill had the best hamburgers in the area, in my opinion (followed by the Anthony Wayne on Rt. 46 near the DMV, and Burger Chef on Rt. 23, and later, the chiliburgers at Rascal House on 46).

    The building currently (last time I looked, anyway) housing the bank at the corner of Hamburg Turnpike and Church Lane – across Church Lane from the T-Bowl Shopping Center – was, in its previous shape, once a snack bar or restaurant and/or some office serving that private airport (mentioned in my earlier comment) on the site of the shopping center. For some years after the airport was gone, a small mock airplane remained on the roof of the building.

    A few yards away, right across Hamburg Turnpike, is the Wayne Public Library’s Preakness Branch. I believe it says 1903 on its simple white facade, but again that’s just scant memory. Anyway, I’m not sure of this – easy enough to check – but that little building was moved to that location sometime around 1970-71 from its original site in front of Wayne Valley High School. When the building was there, it served various functions, including the temporary home of Temple Beth Tikvah, and later the Wayne PAL. (If I remember correctly, that’s where I signed up to play PAL baseball).

    Circling back to the Berdan Avenue area, this time the Preakness Shopping Center (which, incidentially, is now more than 50 years old): A bunch of my high school friends and I would squeeze into the Trans Am of a friend a year older and cruise around Wayne in the dead of winter; we are talking 1978-79. Late at night once or twice, we were in the Preakness Shopping Center parking lot after ice had formed on the pavement. The driver would accelerate and purposely throw the car into a spin – it would revolve several times. Over in the Wayne Hills Mall parking lot, Pathmark’s actually, we would pull shopping carts and smash them into the concrete bases of light posts. We weren’t bad kids at all, but it’s amazing what we found fun.

    [Reply]

    CJS Reply:

    @Scott,
    That was a real plane on top of the resturant at the corner of Church Lane and Hamburg Tnpk left over from it being part of the airport. The little white school house next to Preakness School that served as the library back in the day was not moved from down at Valley. I think that is it’s original location. I know it was there in the 1950′s and 60′s when my brother and I went to Preakness school. My brother had overflow classes there and I used to wait in the library after school before there were actual after-school programs. There was a white clapboard house in front of Valley High School that PAL used. I went to baton twirling there and I think that is what you are thinking of. I am assuming they just tore it down at some point like so many other things in Wayne.

    [Reply]

    Evelyn R Reply:

    @Scott, Do you remember Vinnie’s Pizzaria was originally a Hardees??

    [Reply]

    Zenmont Reply:

    @Evelyn R, I was waiting for someone to mention this. I worked at that Hardees. It was the very first job I ever had. I still think they offered more than any other fast food place (steak sandwiches, chili dogs, roast beef sandwiches, every kind of burger, pies, etc.). And there was a Burger King a little ways down the hill. Also, something that’s driving me crazy, no one has mentioned this so I’m not sure if I’m just remembering this wrong….didn’t the store that was Meyer Brothers used to be a Bambergers? I moved to Wayne in ’76 and I thought it was Bambergers before it became Meyer Brothers.

    [Reply]

  75. i grew up in wayne from 1983-1998 then moved to tx. went back to visit in 2007 and it just blew my mind how the mall became a ghost town. my parents used to take me as a kid in the 80′s to mc donalds and fun palace almost every friday night. there was also an ice cream place where blimpies was, but left in the early 90′s (i think) i remember champs sports being something else, but cant recall. the funny thing is that a lot of it still looks the same. karins kurtains, artworld, etc. but now they are empty. anyone remember those pay phones that were in the middle between champs and wessel uniforms??

    Cliff B.
    katy, tx

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  76. I went to Wayne Hills Mall last week; they have now boarded up all access to the mall except a small chunk of space where Burlington Coat Factory and Quiznos is. There is now only one entrance, and that’s right where Quiznos is. Sad. I went to this mall often in the mid-late ’80s, especially on a Sunday (when stores were open; I was from Bergen County).

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  77. I talked to some local experts, and they say that building was not moved up to Hamburg and Preakness. The building that once sat in front of Wayne Valley High School was demolished in the early 1970s, not moved. The old building up at Hamburg and Preakness evidently has been there for about a century.

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    CJS Reply:

    @Scott, Oops did not see this when I posted above.

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  78. WHEN I WAS 9 YEARS OLD MY FAMILY TOOK DOWN THE OLD BARNS THAT WERE ON THIS PROPERTY SO THE MALL COULD BE BUILT. THAT WAS 1956. YES! I AM AN OTTILIO AND MY FAMILY ACTUALLY BUILT THIS MALL. I GREW UP WITH THIS MALL AND SO DID MY CHILDREN. WENT TO SEE SANTA EVERY YEAR AND SO DID MY CHILDREN. I WISH THE OLD DAYS WERE BACK BECAUSE THE FUN IN THAT MALL WAS FANTASTIC. SO SAD EVERYTIME I SEE IT. I WAS THERE LAST WEEK AND IT WAS SO DEPRESSING. I WISH THE OWNERS CAN SEE HOW IT IS CRYING TO BE RENEWED. I WISH THE BEST TO COME BACK ONE DAY.

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  79. Scott, did that same guy Tony hang out in the T-bowl in the ’80s?? I remember someone that fits that description that I use to talk with when I was a small child while my father bowled in the old T-Bowl. If so, I definitely know who you’re talking about.

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  80. The mall is done, torn down, gone. Fortunoff is still having it’s going out of business sale and is quite busy. By the way, “Maria’s homemade ravioli” across the street is FABULOUS !!!! So delicious, try it for yourself.

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    Caldor Reply:

    @Frank, I think you might be talking about Wayne Town Center. This mall doesn’t have a Fortunoff.

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    Ty Reply:

    @Frank,

    Yeah, you aren’t thinking of the same mall as we are…..

    Is payless still open? I need some dress shoes lol.

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  81. This is so sad…..I have many, many fond memories of the Wayne Hills Mall from when I was younger. I grew up in Butler, NJ and my Mother took us to the “Retail Trinity” (Willowbrook, Wayne Hills, and Preakness) a lot back in the 80s. Wayne Hills had a kick-a** Christmas show every year. They had lots of fountains there too, which many malls have gotten rid of over the years. My first “real” haircut was at that mall at a salon that I am sure is no longer there. My Mom was a nurse and all her uniforms came from a uniform store in that mall. When we got a bit older, I remember my Mom letting me and my sister separate from her for a bit so we could to look at all the awesome clothes @ Peacock Fashions or browse the RECORDS (yes, I said records) at Sam Goody. (My sis and I were about 7 and 4 at that point, so being allowed to go into a store without my Mom, who was RIGHT OUTSIDE the store, felt kind of grown-up! LOL! We got countless birthday and Christmas presents from the Child World at WHM….so many memories……thanx for letting me take a stroll down memory lane.

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  82. Hello, all. Not sure if anyone still frequents this page and I haven’t gotten to read through all the comments, but I thought I might as well help out in any small way I can…
    I have been working at the Quiznos in this mall for the last 3 years or so. There are currently 4 stores left: GNC, Payless, Burlington and Quiznos, which are all in the same wing. There is a very blue wall cutting off the rest of the mall – it really is an eyesore – and all other entrances are locked down.
    I have seen some mention of the owner waiting for all the leases to be up before doing anything with mall. I sincerely hope that this is not true (we know about as much as anyone else does), because we have about 6 years left on ours… seriously. So it’s going to be a while. We probably do less than 120 people a day on average (this of course, is quite bad for a restaurant), so I’d hate to see how we’re doing when we’re the last ones there. We’re hoping for a buyout, but we’re not holding our breath.
    I don’t have the memories that many of you all have, but I have seen the SamGoody, the nail and hair salons, Waldenbooks, Watch Tower (he has moved to Rt.23 N, the Super Foodtown shopping center, if anyone is looking for him), and so on all pack up and move out. I had my own friends that worked at and frequented these places, and it was sad to see them go.
    The mall’s downward spiral has been continuing, despite that you would think it’s already reached rock bottom. The mall’s music player broke a few months ago, and instead of trying to fix it, they just left it off. Light bulbs that went out have not and will not be replaced. There are no longer any holiday shows; though the stage remains, barren and unused, ignored save for the occasional restless child. Furthermore, the whole reason that ugly wall had to be erected in the first place is because kids from the neighboring high schools were riding their bikes and skateboards around in the empty area and generally causing trouble. My boss constantly had to reprimand them as there is no security. Everyone is miserable.
    Anyway, long story short, the place is pretty much a ghost town. I have seen people walk in for the very first time, turn around and leave immediately without a second glance. I don’t blame them one bit.

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  83. I am moving to Wayne this weekend, I live now in Miami and my company is transfering me there. I saw this mall is close to the hotel I am going to stay in. Is this mall still open? how many stores does it have? IF you live in Wayne what malls do you recomend?

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  84. Does anyone remember if there was a Chess King at Wayne Hills?

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  85. The Wayne Hills Mall wow brings back some great memories.
    My uncle got a job laying bricks when they were first building
    the mall.I remember a large Helicopter putting the large A/c units
    on top of Meyer brothers.Why they used a Helicoper good Question.It was cool.
    I lived on Cadmus Place behind Tbowl.I see everyone forgot about the Depot and Depot2.
    You bought your Jeans there Levis.I lived at the Mall.
    Fun Palces was a Fav.Playing Pinball in the Hayday of Pinball.
    Arthur and Lenny Taking care of the arcade.Hanging with all my friends there
    We all would meet there.Some of the Guys that I hung with called them selfs
    The Dogs.Remember (NOWHERE)Fires…..
    .I remember back in 1976 the mall had these Garbage cans That looked like Eagles.
    It was wierd I remember one of the heads of one of the cans was in the woods
    where we would hang and drink beer over 20 years ago.(Nowhere) So I decide
    to see if it was still there about a year ago.I found it.
    It was still in Ok Shape I took it home.

    I find myself stopping by every once in awhile.I guess we all just want to catch
    a qlimps of some good times gone By.

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  86. Wow. blast from the past

    If I had back all the quarters I dumped into Track and Field and Missle Command at Fun Palace…I could retire.

    My first job was in 1977 at the Cider Mill right across the street.

    Best steak sandwich I ever had. (Employees weren’t supposed to eat them but…)

    Owner was crazy, but good hearted.

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    Nancy Reply:

    @TMcE, did you really work there? How funny. I did too. There should really be a site for that place!

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  87. I’m pretty sure that there was a Chess King there…
    As far as Fun Palace.. Interesting fact. That location was originally a pet store called Puppy Palace. After they closed, Fun palace (owed by Fun-N-Games at Willowbrook) moved in, and replaced the Puppy part of the signage with Fun. That’s why the sign was 2 different styles of lettering…

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  88. Hey all, Handren here again, and the mall is in the same shape as those who last talked about it said it was.

    Pretty pathetic, I`d wish they would let us walk around the other pat of the mall, if only for nostalgia’s sake.

    Anyone know what is up with the Leases for GNC and Payless? Also, anyone know how burlington is doing?

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  89. I spoke to one of the guys from GNC and he told me that the owner is trying to empty this mall to close it down completely. Maybe he has plans for something else, or maybe he wants to sell the whole thing-I don’t know. I called there once wanted to see if I could rent the space across from LA Fitness to possibly open an European Spa there, but they were not interested in renting it. Don’t know why??? Very strange.

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  90. I heard the entire mall is being closed down, razed and condos put in its place.

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  91. I moved to wayne in early 98′ and couldn’t get use to the peacefulness of the area. I was 14 then and was in love with the noisy way of life that i grew up with in Paterson. I would walk all over Wayne to explore and sometimes made my way to Wayne Hills Mall. I enjoyed the arcade place and would check out the cd collection at Sam Goody. There used to be a T-shirt print store set up in front of the old Blimpie’s where i would get shirts done with one of my art pieces.
    As the years passed by the peacefulness i once hated began to calm me and i learned to appreciate it more. Some of you might have spotted me once or twice from your car, walking in Wayne.
    For i have done a lot of walking in this town something you can’t really do in a city like Paterson for it isn’t as safe.
    I too stold a book from Walden’s Bookstore (lol) funny how that store got hit many times on these comments. And also worked in Quiznos around (06-07). At the time Quiznos was the “livest” place in the mall from around (12:00pm -1:30pm) with the scent of toasted sandwiches traveling throughout the small mall. I would see old retired folks walking laps around the mall early in the morning. I kind of like the mall as it is … quiet where you can sit and relax. I think Jon from above was one of my co-workers if so (What’s happening bro). I haven’t been there for about a year … It’s amazing to me the many childhood memories this small little mall has to the people that lived here before me. I really do hope something good happens to the mall. -@LBERT
    Wayne, NJ

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  92. How sad the Wayne Hills Mall is now so close to death. I used to work at the McDonalds there shortly after they had opened. What an awesome time we had; it was a fantastic, close-knit crew. We even had our own baseball team, and we would play against other food chains. I miss those days.

    I remember the Treachers Fish n’ Chips, Kinney Shoes, Sam Goody, and more. It was a nice place once filled with excitement and laughter. Sad to see it go, especially if there was a chance it could have been revived.

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    Claudia M. Reply:

    @Allison,
    I also worked at McDonald’s (~1974-77) and had forgotten about the baseball team! Remember the “ringer” we had, Kevin B? I forget his last name (something like Beggin). And we would also go bowling at T-Bowl after closing the store. It really was a lot of fun working there. It was like an extended family, a lot like our neigbors in Pines Lake. Which brings me to the question: Are you the Allison that grew up next door to me? (Lissa V?)

    When I went to the Wayne Hills Mall with my mother and my children, the kids called it “the practice mall” as it was small and uncrowded.

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  93. I just visited the Wayne Hills Mall this past week (10/27/09) and was saddened to see that it has now, to me, reached it’s official death. The entrance by Quizno’s is now the only entrance open; all that is left is the Quizno’s, Burlington, and Payless Shoes. I had no idea that the Waldenbooks had gone out. And by Burlington, there was a wall constructed, blocking off all access to the rest of the mall that once existed. “Employees Only – Do Not Enter” was what it said. I’m not sure if the rest of the structure is gutted, being repaired, being refurbished, or what. All I do know is that the structure should be demolished because there’s really no reason for it to be there.

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  94. Thanks for all the memories. I forgot all about Arthur Treachers! I grew up in Wayne and still live here, and no I didnt steal any books out of Walden’s Book store I’m proud to say, and shame on those of you that did. Its very sad seeing what has happened to that mall, and it would be so easy to turn it around. Must be nice to be able to afford to let real estate like that stagnate without regard to the shop owners that deserve more than that.

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  95. Does anyone remember the liquor store that was there in the late 70′s and early 80′s (and maybe later as I moved away after that)? I made the big mistake of trying to buy beer underage and the owner took my drivers license (1981). I had to tell my parents and go to town hall to pick it up. She probably set me on the straight and narrow from then on by doing that!

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  96. Mandees was also there for quite some time and also a kitchen/cooking type store where you could always get “gadgets”. A game room near McDonalds had quite a few teens and the would have a Santa Claus at Christmas.

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  97. Stumbled across this post by accident, and wow did it ever bring back memories.

    It’s true, a lot of non-Wayne consumers would go to the mall in order to avoid the crowds at Willowbrook and GSP. We were from out of town, but my mother would always come to Wayne Hills Mall on the weekends in order to do a bit of shopping.

    But even in the 90s, there was an air of desperation about the place. I think it really changed after Meyer Bros. left.

    I spent so much time in that Sam Goody’s. My mother would go around to all the stores and leave me in there for hours before dragging me out.

    I also remember a TCBY being across from where Quiznos now is. One summer, our local library had reading contests and would give away free TCBY waffle cone coupons when you reached a certain amount of pages read. Man, I had a lot of frozen yogurt that summer!

    I had my first date at this mall. LOL At the time, I didn’t consider it a date. I was just “hanging out” with the guy who was taking me to a school dance the following week. We walked around and smoked up a storm and I remember him remarking, “there’s nothing to do here!”

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  98. First McDonalds in the area. .26 cent hamburgers. How about 4 and 20 Pie shop. Great note about the Cider Mill, loved that place. Flowers by Lois, a friend dated one of the girls whose mom worked there. Sam Goody was the place to go for records. I think there was an S & H Greenstamp store there too. Lots of memories.

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    Sandy Reply:

    I remember that McDonalds. I use to love going there as a kid. I forget when they went out. That was a great place, i even remember the characters up on the walls.

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  99. I found this site / thread a while back, finally decided to post!

    I grew up in Oakland, and my parents after living in their house for over 35 years, will be leaving next year. Very sad to see them leave my childhood home, and I’ve always been very sentimental / nostalgic.

    To stay on track: Yes, of course my mom took me often to Wayne Hills Mall in the mid to late ’70s and into the ’80s, and then on my own during my high school years (Indian Hills!) of ’87 – ’91. Wayne Hills Mall was still very active during that time…

    …I then barely went in the years since, having been off at college and then living in NYC. I was (sort of) astounded when I was told by a family friend last year, of how sad Wayne Hills Mall has become in recent years, basically shuttered. I checked it out for myself recently; reports above are dead on (sorry for the pun.)

    Random memories:

    - Christmas show starred “Perky Pinky.” Actually, I only have vague recollections of the show, my mom is really the one remembering it.

    - When I would walk into Meyer Brothers as a kid, I would hear a high-pitch buzzing / ringing in my ears. Every time. Assuming this was emitted from their computer and / or security system. Anyone else experience this phenomenon? Did I have superhuman hearing?

    - Loved the smell emanating from McDonald’s.

    - Loved the arcade… two of the games I remember being mesmorized by were Paperboy and Ramapage.

    - During the mid-’80s, there was the charm necklace craze, which my little sister was into. I remember some kind of gift (or clothing) store, adjacent to or a couple down from the arcade that had that stuff. I also seem to remember them having a lot of Smurfs.

    - There was at least one other gift store, towards the Meyer Brothers end of the mall.

    - Remember the green (?) linoleum counters and plastic covered catalogs in the Consumers Catalog store. For some reason, my mom doesn’t remember that place.

    - The Sam Goody was of course hugely popular, and I bought many a tape there. Remember, in the mid ’80s, there were albums EVERYBODY had, fueled by MTV promotion; Madonna “Like a Virgin,” Prince “Purple Rain,” Bruce “Born in the USA,” etc. I also remember the poster displays. (Sad what’s happened to the music industry / state of the good ole’ record store in general…but hey, things change.)

    - I can basically “see” what those fountains look like, the blue bottom dotted with pennies and dimes.

    - Those blue wavy floors of the mall with infamous.

    - That mini Baskin Robbins(?) on your left, as you entered through that entrance that faced Child World (now Toys R Us) across the parking lot.

    - Remember across the aisle (maybe sort of diagonal) from the Baskin Robbins, was a painting / frame shop. I think the Travel Agency was next to it, or close.

    - Re: Child World (now Toys R Us), how many of you were so psyched to go there as a kid?! It’s where many of my Mego Superhero dolls, Kenner Star Wars Action figures, Atari Games and later Nintendo games came from.

    - And of course, China Paradise is still alive and seemingly well across the parking lot. Went there last summer for old times sake. The Pu Pu Platter is exactly how I remembered it…friggin’ awesome.

    Ahhh, nostalgia.

    VeryFineNearMint.com

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    Lisa Reply:

    @Very Fine / Near Mint, I can remember the little bridge and fountain at China Paradise. Is that still there? Also, I remember those plastic catalogs! Weren’t they chained to he counters? I remember the Christmas show and yelling at Santa to look behind him to see perky pinky or the penguin or princess. The show was always the same every year. I recall going to Sam Goody’s and looking at the “Grease” album. Good stuff!

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  100. I am a lifelong resident of Wayne and have followed the evolution of Wayne shopping for over 40 years. Wayne Hills Mall was never terribly popular. Meyer Brothers was the anchor but was already dying at its charter store in nearby Paterson.

    In theory this should have been a success. Although far from a major highway, it was walking distance from two high schools (Wayne Hill H.S. and DePaul Catholic.) It was well located for nearby towns of Paterson, Oakland and Franklin Lakes. However there was never the kind of traffic that nearby Preakness Shopping Center enjoyed. As a teenager the favorites at Wayne Hills Mall was Sam Goody Records, MacDonald’s, Waldenbooks and a game arcade.

    Last time I was there (last year) only Waldenbooks, a pizza joint and Burlington Coat Factory remained. The original K-mart and a newer L.A. Fitness are across the parking lot and seem to be doing alright but the main mall is dead.

    Preakness Shopping Center is thriving as usual with a Macy’s, Stop&Shop, movie theater, Starbucks, CVS, Radio Shack, post office, two banks, Hallmark Store, diner, etc. Some stores have been lost but not to the extent of Wayne Hills Mall.

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  101. The Wayne Hills Mall rent is out of site, which drove many stores to close. The owners want to tear down the Mall and construct condo’s. Much more money to be made that route. Don’t know if K-mart and the Gym will go too.

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  102. Oh wow!! I grew up in Bergen County, but my parents lived in Wayne in the Garden Apartments near the Roller Rink. When I was 2 we moved to Bergen County, but we ALWAYS went to Preakness & Wayne Hills.

    Often went to China Paradise and the IHOP at Preakness. I remember Victoria Station being “fancy.”

    Wayne Hills Mall was awesome. Definitely remember Baskin’ Robbins, Sam Goody, Karin’s Kurtains, Walden Books, The Cheese Chalet, Peacock Fashions!!, The Cook’s Attic, McDonald’s, The Arcade, The Fountain (gave the place the smell of chlorine, but it wasn’t gross, it was nice), the Depot, and the T-Shirt place.

    Child World was like heaven for me… and KMart too – I was a He-Man collector and loved both of those stores. Child World also smelled good – like brand new toys or something lol.

    I remember a health food store in the Wayne Hills Mall right in the center near the big fountain… they were the first place ever to sell frozen yogurt in the area.. and they had fountain drinks (lemonade, fruit punch) in those big plastic dispensers that funnel the liquid to the top so it pours down the side of the tank. The frozen yogurt they had was usually vanilla and peach. The peach was the best I have ever had – EVER.

    Thanks, everyone for talking about all the stores. I had forgotten a lot of the names.

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    di Reply:

    @Brian,
    the health food store was called Vitamart, the snack bar was the Juice Factory.

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  103. This is an excellent recap of this mall. Even though I live in DC, I was born in NJ (Clifton) and at one point was a Buyer for Bamberger’s. I really liked Meyer Bros, it had a nice feel to it. It is interesting and accurate that even in its “heyday” this mall never did make it. Yet, as stated, it was surrounded by other malls and stores. In fact, the Preakness Stern’s (now Macy’s) and the Essex Green Stern’s (now Macy’s) were two stand alone stores in similar malls which were the two most profitable stores in the Stern’s chain. You think that Meyer Bros could have made it. Oh well, time marches on….thanks for the trip down memory lane

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    patty Reply:

    @TD, Trying to get some history about the origins of the Meyer Bros Dept Store…any ideas where I should look?n

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  104. Haven’t been to the Preakness Shopping Center in years until today. The only thing left is Burlington, a pizza place/fast food and Payless shoes. Burlington doesn’t look too promising either.

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  105. Karen, I’m assuming that you’re talking about Wayne Hills Mall and not Preakness lol.

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  106. I hate to say it, but this mall is flat out ugly. What were they thinking with the “remodel”? It’s like a blind man with a budget of 28 dollars was responsible.

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  107. The polar bears name was porky pinky. I was just thinking about this Christmas show and did a search to see if anyone had posted video of it. I can’t remember what the princesses name was. Does anyone remember “miss A, miss A, miss B, miss B” announcement in Myer Brothers?? So sad, this mall used to be hopping back in the day. Remember the santa and reindeer in lights on the side of the building every Christmas? So sad, all my childhood landmarks r fading away already and I’m not even 40 yet!

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  108. 10 Minutes to the Santa Claus show!

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    Claudia M. Reply:

    @DJ Renegade,

    What a crack up! I had forgotten about the announcing that went on in the mall until I read your post. I worked in McDonald’s and would hear that all the time. Thanks for posting it.

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  109. The site where the mall sits use to be a chicken farm, part of Haledon’s Hatchery. A sizable concrete building was demolished to make room for the mall When the mall was opened, Walt Frazier of the New York Knicks signed autographs. We use to hang out their sometimes after school and before football practice. Sad to see the decline.

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