Clifton Park Center (Clifton Country Mall); Clifton, New York

Clifton Park Center sign in Clifton Park, New York

Perhaps the most disappointing find on my recent trip out to Albany was the current state of the Clifton Park Center, long one of my favorite malls in the area. It’s sadly fallen prey to the “lifestyleing” disease. Seriously, what does such a halfhearted, faux-Main Street set up really offer, anyway?

I first visited Clifton Park Center–then Clifton Country Mall–in March of 2000. At the time, the mall was deeply troubled with vacancies, with very few of its many storefronts occupied. The mall, which probably had around 700,000 or 800,000 square feet of floor space at the time, was sprawled out in a bizarre one-level layout. The northern, older part of the mall (constructed in 1974) was a “C” shape, connecting Steinbach and JCPenney at each end, with a Marshall’s store in the center. In 1984, a long wing was added to the south of the existing mall. This included a wing that snaked around the Marshalls, adding a food court behind the Marshalls store itself, giving an entrance to both the front and rear of the store. In addition, behind the Marshall’s was a large court with a fountain and movie theatre, and this wing continued to the rear of the center where it ended in a large court with a Caldor store. Of course, by 2000, both Caldor and Steinbach were already gone, leaving the mall with only JCPenney and Marshall’s as anchors, and it felt sad and deserted. Still, the decor and layout of the mall were golden–enough to solidify it as one of my favorites. A return visit in 2001 found it mostly unchanged, except that the Caldor store had mercifully been replaced by a large, two-level Boscov’s store, and this seemed to be breathing some new life into the mall–several mid-line chains like American Eagle, Aeropostale, and Bath & Body Works set up shop during this time. I’ve attempted to approximate the floorplan below, although I think it’s sort of confusing (which, frankly, is accurate: it was confusing):

Clifton Park Center floorplan

Like many of the malls in the Albany area, Clifton Park Center seemed to have fallen prey to overmalling, as Crossgates Mall in Guilderland stole most of the area’s traffic. Even though Clifton Park Center is located in the center of a relatively modern and affluent suburban area, and is surrounded by almost every form of major box retail, it seems as though it was always somewhat secondary in the Albany area. In addition, it’s not far from the newer Wilton Mall in Saratoga, nor the older (and equally troubled) Latham Circle Mall in Latham.

Fast forward to 2007, and Clifton Park Center is changed dramatically. The oldest portion of the long-struggling mall has been demolished to make way for a boulevard and an outdoor, lifestyle portion, which is currently as empty as the mall ever was. This cut the JCPenney off from the enclosed portion of the mall entirely, along with the still-vacant (after almost a decade) Steinbach store. The remaining “mall” portion is essentially the 1984 addition, which roughly connects Marshall’s and Boscov’s and houses the food court and movie theatres.

Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY

I was there last Saturday (February 10th) and to be honest, my pictures sort of stink because there was–surprisingly–quite a few people in the mall. Sadly, they weren’t here to shop. Rather, they were here to see some tie-dyed hippie band (probably from Vermont, which is nearby) playing children’s music. The kids seemed to enjoy boppin’ along, but it encouraged me to not linger for long.

Time will tell if this incarnation of Clifton Park Center will be effective, but my gut says that the mall would’ve made more sense as a genuine mid-level mall serving the immediate area than the configuration it’s currently in. The “lifestyle” portion here is among the more laughable that I’ve encountered, not only because the faux-Main Street decor is forced, but also because it’s visibly not really designed for pedestrians, as witnessed by how difficult it was to cross from one side to the other without walking through landscaping or parking areas. There aren’t even crosswalks or curb cuts to make it easier to cross from the mall side to the area where the former Steinbach is (and where there’s currently some chainy noodle house, whose food looked pretty appetizing).

Former Steinbach at Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, New York Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, New York JCPenney at Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY

Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY Boscov's at Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY

Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY

Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY Clifton Park Center in Clifton Park, NY

93 Responses to “Clifton Park Center (Clifton Country Mall); Clifton, New York”

  1. [...] Clifton Park Center (formerly Clifton Country Mall) – At one point, Clifton Park Center was one of my favorite malls in the area, with its unusual layout and dated mid-80s decor. The mall opened in phases, with the northern, “C” shaped part of the center opening in the 1970s, and the long southern “tail” wing opening in the middle 1980s. At various points the mall hosted Caldor, Steinbach, JCPenney, Marshalls, and Regal Cinemas as anchors. Despite anchoring a major retail area in a large and somewhat affluent suburb, the mall reportedly never did terribly well. An unfortunate 2006 renovation tore down half of the mall (the original mall, minus the mid-80s expansion which remains) and replaced it with a rather cheap-looking lifestyle portion that is currently more vacant than the mall ever was. Current anchors are Boscov’s, JCPenney, Marshalls, and Regal Cinemas. [...]

  2. Wow what a weird but interesting layout of the southern wing.

    I still don’t get the appeal of a faux-main street lifestyle retail strip. Especially because it looks like it’s unsafe for shoppers to walk around and a mess to drive and park in. Plus it’s an ugly hybrid of a downtown street and a strip plaza.

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  3. The lifestyle adaption looks like it doesn’t adapt; I agree. Also, it looks very uninspired and rather cookie cutter but that’s no surprise with mall renovations today. I’d say the only vestige of a 70′s era is that since-updated “we’ll keep it” fountain and the remaining spiked solarium style mall entrance looking slightly modernized tampered with.

    Any memory of what the Caldor building style resembled in its final years? I know they had a few including the brick-pillars style evident on many late 70s stores (generally the base model at Latham Circle), the “circular-rounded” pillar style with entrances on each end seen on early 90s remodel jobs and maybe a few others not their own but adapted. I’m guessing it was probably an oldie judging by how much Boscov’s seems to have made it look “today” and covered with their uniform facade.

    Heh, I don’t think I would’ve stuck around for hippie children’s music either…

    Lastly, I’m glad Labelscar is exploring more of New York’s mall scene – there seem to be a ton of interesting ones out there not demo’d.

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  4. Might I also add the tile and railings remind me of the Arnot Mall in Horseheads; a personal favorite I photographed extensively earlier this year.

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  5. I have known this mall for a long time and it has sadly been one that has been on the decline pretty much throughout the 1990s.

    Some history of the center, It originally opened in 1976 with room for about 50 stores in the C-shaped wing mentioned. Reportedly it was very slow to fill up and had only about a dozen stores when the mall first opened. Original anchors were Carl Company , a mid-range locally based store(Now Marshalls), JCPenney, Denby’s (Another Local store), Flah’s, and A&P. After the 1984 expansion which brought in a food court, movie theater, and Caldor the mall became a force to contend with with about 120 stores and near 100% occupany. Some of the more interesting stores I remember included Crystal Mansion (A complete 90′s grunge era store, I even bought POGS there), T.J. Cinnamons, Lane Bryant, Foxmoor, Gap, Baskin Robbins, Kinney Shoes, Thom McAn, Record Town, Chess King, Consumers Catalog Store, Two Hallmark stores, Barbara Moss, Deb, Express, Victoria’s Secret, Naturalizer, Jonathan Reid, KB Toys, and many others. The 1990s were a rough decade on the center. Even though the community grew, people increasingly flocked to the farther away destinations of Crossgates and Wilton Malls to shop. The owners decided to fold up shop on Carl Company in 1991, so that became Marshalls (a bad sign usually for a shopping mall). Interestingly enough, the Carl’s had 3 in mall entrances and the one on the West side had a restaurant attached. Price Chopper, which took over A&P’s space moved across the street in 1989 and Steinbach took the place of that and a CVS next door. CVS moved to a larger location in the mall for a few years before moving across the street to what is now one of the Northeast’s highest volume CVS stores. Chain stores tended to close throughout the mall in the 1990s only to b e replaced by more short run temporary tenants. Countless ones came and went. The real hit came in early 1999 when Caldor and Steinbach both closed. At that point almost all chain stores left the mall and the wing leading towards JCPenney became almost entirely empty. After a large scale publicity campaign, the town convinced Boscov’s to open on the Caldor site. The original Caldor building which pointed due South was demolished and a large Two story Boscov’s opened in its place. It and the subsequent mall renovation however did little to revive the mall. A few new stores came in all concentrated towards Boscov’s while the other parts of the mall continued to empty out. With the area vacant except for Rex Electronics, a 99 cent store, a pizza place, Ritz Camera, S&K and a couple other temporary stores, the mall demolished everything north of Marshalls in 2006. While construction is not 100% complete, very little in the way of appealing stores are coming in to fill the new outside space, which resembles more of a ghost town. The store fronts are all different pastel colors and the insides look all torn up so the renovation is only the exterior. Only time will tell if this move will eventually pan out for the center, however it does not seem to be attracting much beyond the local knick knack stores and restaurants.

    Another note, the mall’s exterior until 2000 was brick painted salmon. The entire mall, inside and out was pink as Barbie’s playhouse! In response to the question earlier, the Caldor was faced inwards to the mall and had no external entrances. The store had all orange 1980s era signage except for one sign located on the opposite end of the mall by the main entrance which, yes had a Rainbow logo. I was always puzzled by this because I thought Caldor had abandoned the Rainbow design by the time this store was built.

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  6. The outdoor portion of this mall looks horrible; like cardboard cutouts covered in construction paper.

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  7. After what I guess was their last “renovation,” they had an excellent “virtual tour” on their website that let you walk through the mall and see panoramic snapshots. Sadly, the most visually attractive part (if least occupied part of the mall) is what was torn down. This combinations just reeks of failure- you’ve got a mall too small to hold any weight (and for some reason, “Mall Entrance” signs seem to make the matter worse) , and a lame-duck strip mall.

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  8. While this mall is in terrible shape, it is worth visiting just due to the fact that it has a Boscov’s (which is easily my favorite department store that is still in existance). If I am not mistaken, I believe that this is the fourth mall anchored by a Boscov’s that has so far been profiled on this site (with the three others being Echelon Mall, Harrisburg Mall, and Shore Mall).

    For some unfortunate reason, a disproportionate number of Boscov’s locations seem to be found in dying malls. In addition to all of the Boscov’s anchored malls so far profiled on this site (except Harrisburg Mall, which is no longer dying), another dying mall anchored by Boscov’s is the Owings Mills Mall (currently also anchored by JC Penney and Macy’s, plus two vacant spaces where former anchors once stood).

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  9. I agree. this mall has toom nay vacancies. I went here last year and saw that stienbach is vacant and that closed 8 yeras ago. Yet the revitalize it and it is still dead!!!!! I too wonder what Caldor looked like. will any of the old mall remain? well I guess everyone likes Crossgates and Colonie better.

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  10. This mall used to be jumping back in the mid to late 80′s. By 1991 it went all downhill from there. There used to be a Mcdonald’s located in the mall right next to the Caldor but that left back in the mid 90′s. Interesting because the McDonalds was not located in the food court, similar to Latham Circle Mall. There used to be a toy store located in the food court called Playland. This was pretty much a Kay-Bee because they used their price tags. There was a Kay-Bee located in this mall as well. There was a Ground Round which did pretty well. It was located down the same wing as JCPenny. Many small independent stores. Some that I can remember are: Dynasty, Ben’s Camera, a train, stamp, and coin store, TJ Cinnamons, Pipe Den, Deb with the cool looking purpleish pink carpeting, Carl Company in the center of the mall which had 3 entrances inside the mall, Baskin Robbins ice cream store, Tom McCann shoes, Record Town, Fanny Farmer chocolate, Comsumer’s, The Tie-Shop, Price Chopper which later became Steinbach, a liquor store- can’t remember the name…Any more questions, let me know. I have an awesome memory with things. Any malls in the Capital Dristict I remember well from the mid 80′s to present. Clifton Country Mall was the place to be back in the 80′s. Ashame that time has gone but at least I have the memories.

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    Joan Monson Reply:

    @Derek is there a copy of the ORIGINAL floor plan anywhere? I was having a discussion with a friend about our daily trips there.

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  11. Derek I have some questions for you about this mall and others. First, where was the Jonathan Reid in the Clifton Country Mall? I know there was one there but I cant remember where it was. Was it on the wing near Anderson Little heading towards JC Penney? I also remember the Consumer’s Catalog store(basically a poor man’s Service Merchandise) and I know there were other locations besides this one, do you happen to remember them?

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    Billy Reply:

    @Dan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumers_Distributing – I think this might be the company you are thinking of – no help on exact locations but it does say there were over 200 in the US.

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  12. Rats. So Latham Circle Mall isn’t going to get Krazy City after all (as the plan showed it being in the food court).

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  13. As I recall, when the mall opened its interior decor was composed largely of varnished wood, to give the whole complex a contemporary country-store flavor that suited the mall’s name (or vice versa).

    I thought (as a kid) that the decor was really interesting but apparently the idea didn’t stick — too dated, too quirky, too incomplete? When I returned to the area in the late 1990s, CCM/CPC had resorted to the cheapest, surplus wallboard, paint and carpeting that money could buy.

    Good riddance to that — but it amazes me that the owners have managed to cheapen the property even further, with a lifestyle center that appears to feature only one side of the supposed Main Street!

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  14. Dan, to try and answer your questions: I don’t remember too much of Jonathan Reid being there but I do believe it was and I believe it was near Ben’s Camera, Dynasty, and Radio Shack…near JC Penneys and Ground Round, that area of the mall. That red carpeting, stone, like a castle or something is something I greatly miss seeing! Sooo 80′s! Consumers Showroom I definitely remember. That was near Kay-Bee, the Tie-Shop…if you were coming out of the west entrance of Carls, you would see it. I do not remember where else in the capital region area there were Consumers…maybe Saratoga Mall? I remember locations of Service Merchandise much better than any Consumers stores. If you have any more questions, let me know! Thanks

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  15. I do believe Jonathan Reid was in the wing down by JcPenney, but the bigger store was in Latham Circle Mall. Was there over the weekend, and honestly, the concept sucks. You have to traipse around a parking lot to get from one part to another and they’re already losing new tenants. Sad too, since the Marshalls is one of the bigger ones in the region.

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  16. Sarah, I agree. The concept of Clifton Park Center is a major disappointment. You would think a location like that would do extremely well. Christmas Tree Shop, Circuit City, Cheesecake Factory, places like that would make a gold mine there. I guess they just can’t get places like that to build there? Anyways, what is left of the indoor mall, I have noticed that the last piece of anything from back in the day would be Scribbles and Giggles. All stores back in the 80′s had wood paneling on top where their signs were. Scribbles and Giggles still has that. I noticed someone on here has already posted a picture of that above. If anyone else has anymore questions about this mall or anything else from the capital region from back in the day, please let me know!

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  17. What is Scribbles & Giggles, anyway?

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  18. Scribble and Giggles is a card store. Very similar to Hallmark. They sell cards, stuffed animals etc. The store still has that 80′s feel to it not only from the outside but also the inside. I am surprised that they are still in business. One day I am afraid I am going to go there and see it gone.

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  19. Thanks Derek. I don’t remember the Radio Shack ever being in the JCPenney wing of the mall. Right now its in the wing heading toward Boscov’s(was Caldor) and I always thought it was there. With Consumer, I remember where that was in the mall. It was right behind where Fanny Farmer used to be. There was a Service Merchandise in the Saratoga Mall, but never a Consumers. Maybe Consumers only had one location? I know there were only two Service Merchandises in the area, one in the Saratoga Mall and one on Wolf Rd, were there any others? Thanks.

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  20. Dan, I do not remember any other Service Merchandise’s in the area. I don’t know about any other Consumers. Yes, Consumers was near Fanny Farmer. I never bought anything from Fanny Farmer but I still ate there (free samples!) Near the Consumers was the Tie-Shop, Deb, The Pipe Den, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Hallmark, and Kay-Bee. I know there were a few Carl Company stores in the area. The Radio Shack was near Ben’s Camera, Dynasty, Lerner’s, Tom McCann..not far from JC Penney and Ground Round. I would love to get my hands on a full directory of the mall from the mid to late 80′s. Pictures of the mall from that time era would be awesome

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  21. Wow, I don’t remember a Jo-Ann Fabrics. Was it in the same spot the REX Electronics is currently in?

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  22. Dan, to answer your question: Yes, Jo-Ann Fabrics as I recall was in or around the same spot as Rex. I rememver Jo-Ann’s being a very small store.

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  23. Jonathan Reids was across from the orig carls entrance I thinl it became lechters kithcen wares. The arcade in the mall was Gold Mine, was by the Tux ego store on the righ, then moved to where the Sheriff’s office is then moved next to the cookie place, and was renamed Tilt. Was later closed by the Mall including Gamers Guild, to not attract young people. The origional fountain was in the entrance of Marshalls (Main entrance side) There were water fountains throughout orig. JC Pennys also had a restaraunt in it and an Automotive Area, was on the side where it looks like there is a big blank wall and a road up to it, there were Garages there. Carls had a restaraunt too. I think there may have been an entrance to Price Chopper from inside the mall, where CVS orig was, but I can’t remember. There was another Friendlies in the Mall, CVS’s second location, Tore that out, and a bank. Consumers was next to Kay-Bee, I think Consumers was something else before that, some other department store? The Ground Round was orig a stake house.
    What killed this mall was when they built the Hannafords and the Price Chopper complexes across the streets were built, all the businesses left. Once Price Chopper left that mall is when it died. Sad, it is food places that kept this mall going, that is why the food court section is doing well. Any mall in this area that did not build a food court is now gone! Latham Circle and Colonie Center added them later.

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  24. Interesting information Matt. I have heard of Friendly’s being in the mall at somepoint. Where was it located? When did it move to across the street. That Friendly’s is one of the busiest in their whole chain. Before Consumers I believe there was a Denby’s there. I don’t know much about Denby’s and what they sold though…Never knew there was once another fountain there. Agreed that the mall died once Price Chopper left and then Carl’s. Probably around 1990 I would guess.

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  25. The Friendly’s was located in the Price Chopper (later Steinbach) wing where the entrance to the second CVS location was. Friendly’s was actually in the mall for only a few years, prior to Friendly’s, the restaurant was called Flavorland. Jonathan Reid (to clarify) was located next to Rex (which I believe originally was a Fashion Factory?? anyone??) and later became a KB Toys. It had a very middle-ages stone exterior. Was the mall’s fabric store a JoAnn’s because I clearly remember it being a So Fro Fabrics when it was in the mall. The KB Toys was originally located in the corner of where the Steinbach/Price Chopper wing turned off. It was unique as the store was laid out horizonatally rather than vertically.

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  26. When did the Friendly’s leave the mall? I always remember Friendly’s being across the street, I remember going there back in like 1989 with my parents. I assume Price Chopper moved accross the street around 1990?

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  27. Interesting info loveminuszero. I was thinking that the Friendly’s was probably where Ground Round used to be. Was the Ground Round always there? Also, where Friendly’s used to be in that wing, was there a liquor store near that area? Was there a country store as well? I never heard of Flavorland. What kind of food did they have? Was it a chain? I remember the Kay-Bee toys being in that location. Do you remember Playland toys that was in the food court? Was there a small electronics store next to Playland? I seem to remember an office supply store near the food court, on the Caldor wing near Barbara Moss. Remember that? Also, when did Baskin Robbins leave? I remember that as well. What other stores were there in the mid to late 80′s? When the expansion was put in around 1984, did they fill that up right away? Thanks

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  28. The Ground was there ever since I have been going, which was around 1988. I think the Baskin Robbins was right around where Ritz Camera is now. I think it closed around 1988 or 1989. Frendly’s must have left around this time as well.

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  29. The Ground Round was located in the JCPenney wing and was there as long as I was alive until about 94-95ish. I believe that it was an independent steak house before that but I do not recall seeing it. I do not know too much about Flavorland besides my parents telling me it was there prior to Friendly’s. I saw an ad for them in an old phone book to confirm this so I do not know if it was a chain or not. I would assume given the name that it was pretty similar to Friendly’s with ice cream and lunch/dinner items. It left around 89-90. CVS then moved from the end of the wing (where the entrance to Steinbach was) to take over Friendly’s, Northeast Savings Bank, and Kessler Furniture’s space. That wing also had a large liquor store (Super Liquor), a Country Store like you mentioned, Gingiss Formalwear, a travel place, Sounds Music, Scott’s Hallmark, and a Sears Portrait Studio (which I believe was where the original arcade was). I remember Playland as well as some electronics store that used to be right next to it (anyone remember what I’m talking about?) I do recall the office store but I do not remember it’s name. Baskin-Robbins was next to the main entrance and later became Bern’s Camera, Perfecta Camera, and then Ritz Camera which was there until 2006 when the wing was demolished. As far as I know the mall was at it’s peak around 84-85 and it was at 100% occupancy right after the expansion opened. If aanyone has anymore questionbs just post them, I have an amazing memory on this place apparently.

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  30. Loveminuszero, where was the Present Company in Clifton Park? I was watching an old videotape that had a commercial for Present Company on it and it listed the locations and it said there was one in Clifton Park. I have a feeling it was clustered in front of Shoppers World near the new Freindly’s and McDonald’s. Is that right?

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  31. Dan, that’s funny because I never remember there being a Present Company in Clifton Park. I remember Consumers Showroom being in the mall but that is it. Loveminuszero, you do seem to have a really good memory of CCM. Thanks for all of your input. For some reason I want to say that the name of that small electronics store next to Playland was called something like “Avis” but I could be far off with that. From what I can remember, Lucky Dragon, Kabob, and Villa Pizza were always in the food court. I remember when Taco Bell first opened. I know they also had a small candy shop in the food court also. Do you remember anything else that was in the food court? Also, what else was near Caldor? I remember McDonalds but not much else..

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  32. Derek, I kind of remember a shipping center to the right of Caldor, but thats pretty much it other than McDonald’s to the left. I dont remember I Present Company in Clifton Park either, but the commercial listed it as a location.

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  33. Dan, you’re right. I do remember a shipping center type place next to Caldor. Right next to the brick pillars of Caldor. There were more stores in that area, I just can’t remember them! I also think there was some kind of camera place where they did photos for you in the parking lot near where Price Chopper was.

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  34. I remmber some sort of catalog store in Shoppers World where the Chinese Buffet is now but I am not sure what it was. Here is a more comprehensive list of some stores that I remember

    Caldor Wing (Openef in 1984):
    Caldor (obviously)
    One Price Sportswear
    McDonalds
    Albany Savings Bank
    Dr. Pet, later Rumford Pet Center and Benson’s
    Countdown Kids (Later Camelot Music and D&K Stores)
    Shoe Works
    16 Plus
    Curtains and Home
    Weathervane
    Barbara Moss
    The Limited
    Sackett’s Hallmark
    B. Dalton
    Teepeedashery

    Food Court Area:
    Sweet Treats
    A&W Hot Dogs and More
    Taco Bell
    Villa Pizza
    Kabob and SUb
    Arby’s
    Lucky Dragon
    Playland
    Foot Locker
    Athlete’s Foot
    Belden Jewelers
    Berman’s Leather (Later Wilson’s)
    Victoria’s Secret
    Sterling Optical
    Scribbles and Giggles
    Cinemas
    TJ Cinnamons
    Unisex Hair Palace
    Gold Mine Arcade
    Magic Kids (Later Stuyvesant Woman and Tilt)
    Photo USA (Was this a Chain?)
    Great American Cookie Co.

    Small WIng after Food Court:
    Express
    Deb
    Baubles, Bangles, and Beads
    Fanny Farmer
    Frame of Mind
    Merle Harmon’s Fan Fair
    Pipe Den
    Hannoush Jewelers

    Main Hallway:
    Denby’s (Later Consumers, LInens too Wares, and Klein’s All Sports)
    Tie Shop (Later Auntie Anne’s)
    Afterthoughts
    Young Shoes
    Jocelynn’s Bridal
    Golden Krust
    Thom McAn
    Flah’s (Later Lane Bryant)
    Endicott Johnson
    Sacco’s Furniture (Later Anderson Little)
    Lerner New York
    Dynasty Gifts
    Bern’s Camera
    Kay Jewelers
    Fashions of India
    Records Etc. (Later Record Town)
    S&K
    Radio Shack
    Connie Shoes (Later Fayva)
    Waldenbooks
    Crystal Mansion
    County Seat
    US Kids
    Glennpeter Jewelers
    Jewelry GAlleries
    Time Square
    Pizza Boys (Later Gino’s and I Love New York Pizza)
    Baskin Robbins (Later Bern’s, Perfecta, and Ritz Camera)
    Naturalizer
    5-7-9 (Later Lechters and Focus on Fitness)
    Jonathan Reid (Later KB TOys and a 99 cent Store)
    So Fro Rabrics
    Rex (NOt sure what was there originally)
    Gap (Later Edie’s CDs)

    JCPenney Wing:
    Ground Round
    Kinney Shoes
    Foxmoor
    Chess King
    All For A Dollar
    Stuarts
    Centurian Stamp and Coin
    Corbett Shoes (Later Children’s Book World)
    Discovery Store
    Florist (forgot the name)
    Footloose

    I already posted the Steinbach/CVS/Price Chopper Wing

    Does anyone have anything to fill in here? I went in approximate order and I probably missed some things.

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  35. loveminuszero, I bet that is where Present Co. was. That is the only place I can think of unless it was over in the Village Plaza or over on the other side of the Northway. Thanks for the list of stores in the mall. I dont remember an A&W in the food court. I thought there was just a Hot Dog Charlies(which is still there). Few of these stores remain other than Frame Of Mind, Belden Jeweler, Villa Pizza, and Lucky Dragon.

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  36. Loveminuszero, thank you so much for that directory of the mall. You have a great memory of this place! I can’t think of any stores right now at the moment that you have not listed. Only place I can’t seem to remember the name for is that small electronics place next to Playland. Do you remember any other places in Clifton Park as well? Places like Joys and Toys for Joy? I am trying to find some information about Flavorland but nothing yet…Interesting that the mall had two Hallmark card shops and Scribbles and Giggles which are very similar stores. What year would you say the mall started to go downhill in terms of occupancy? When Price Chopper left around 1990? It seems like the mall had many independent type stores like the Pipe Den, TJ Cinnamons, that office supply store near the food court, Super Liquor, Train, Stamp, and Coin store etc.
    Dan, you could be right about Present Co. being in the Shoppers World plaza or the other plaza. If there was, it probably wasn’t there for too long. Present Co. went out of business not too long after those plaza’s went in, around 1990. By the way, Lucky Dragon has been gone now for about a year. An army recruit place is in there now.

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  37. Derek, im pretty sure Toys for Joy was down 146 near Skateland and the Price Chopper plaza. They closed in that same 1990-1991 period after the late 80′s through ’91 economic slowdown that stores like Present Co., Carl Company, Consumers, and some other Capital Region area stores were wiped out in. I think Price Chopper left around 1989 because I remember going with my parents to the grand opening of the new one in Shoppers World around that same time.

    The next question I have is for anybody and it has to do with the whole Albany metro area. Does anyone remember a Zayre’s in this area? I assume there were a lot of them where the now defunct Ames moved into in the late 80′s.

    [Reply]

  38. Dan, I don’t seem to recall there being any Zayre’s in the capital district. I believe there might have been Zayre’s in Vermont and Mass. but I don’t recall any here…I could be wrong though. I know there were stores like Barkers and Two Guys though. As for Joys, which I believe was a Barkers before it, yes, that was near the Starburst roller rink over by the “ghetto chopper”. Joys had 3 stores in the area, Glens Falls, Clifton Park, and Rennselaer, Toys for Joy had more locations.

    I too remember when the Shoppers World plaza opened. I remember them having a really nice, huge one dollar store right next to KMart. As far as Present Co, it could’ve been where Dragon Buffet is now. Loveminuszero could be right. It wouldn’t have been there too long though. I really don’t remember. I believe that an A&P was in Clifton Country Mall before Price Chopper but I don’t know what year the A&P left for the Chopper. Maybe someone else knows? I also believe that before the mall opened, there were go-karts and batting cages there.

    [Reply]

  39. Derek, there was also a Toys for Joy in the Woolworth’s plaza in Saratoga Springs, which was bullduzed for a condo complex in 2002.

    [Reply]

  40. Scribbles & Giggles is a part of American Greeting’s retail division Carlton Cards Retail. They were an aqusition store that might have been a hallmark at one time. They have not been remodeled because every year they go back and forth with closing or keeping them a part of the chain.

    [Reply]

  41. Dan, Derek, and LoveMisusZero.
    You guys have great memories. You definitely came up with some stores I totally forgot about. Here’s a couple I don’t think anyone has mentioned here. The pizza place across from Baskin Robbins was originally called Mr. B’s. Next to them was a jewelry store called Zanes. Zane’s was famous for having a huge Great Dane sitting outside of the place–a real friendly dog. Next to that store was an iron-on t-shirt store called Razmatazz. The Gold Mine was originally called the Electric Circuit–this is back in the day when it was across the way from Flavorland. And Kay Bee Toys was originally a pet store called Piccadilly Circus. That’s about all I can remember for now. Hope that fills in some gaps.
    Mike

    [Reply]

  42. Mike, some interesting information that you have provided. Never knew about the pet store before Kay-Bee and the jewlery place with a dog! Couple questions for you, if you remember. Before the mall expanded, was there a water fountain in the front near Carl’s? You remember Flavorland. What kind of place was Flavorland? What did they serve? Were they a chain? What years was Flavorland there and when did it change to Friendly’s after? When did Denby’s change to Consumers and what did Denby’s sell? Also, right next to Playland toys in the food court, what was the name of the electronics store next to it? If I can think of any other questions, I’ll try to add them. Thanks for contributing on here.

    [Reply]

  43. Hey Derek.
    Sorry for the delay in response. I just checked back in. Yeah, I’m pretty sure there was a water fountain in front of Karl’s but I’m not positive. I LOVED Flavorland–it was like a cooler, darker, Friendly’s. It was pretty much a diner. I specifically remember the booths and bar stools were orange vinyl. And the waitresses wore brown and orange uniforms. They had burgers and sundaes–very similar to Friendly’s food. I don’t believe it was a chain, as I’ve never seen one before or since. Do you remember the local chain Lum’s? It was kind of like that. If I had to guess, I’d say it changed to a Friendly’s around ’86, ’87 latest. A couple people on here say that Denby’s turned into a Consumers but I don’t remember it that way. I remember Denbys to the right of Consumers. It’s hard to explain but Denby’s was a storefront and when they expanded the mall, they blew out that storefront to make it one huge hallway. A Tobacco & Pipe store would later be in that hallway. I thought Denby’s was like a Carls but it’s really hard for me to remember. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the Electronics store. One more thing that a lot of people don’t remember. The old Ground Round, way back in the day, was a restaurant called Place for Steaks. It was SUPER dark inside and had really good food for a mall joint. It was a treat to go there for dinner as a kid. The outside facade was this fake, gray stone. And one last thing that I meant to write last time. The FIRST toy store in CCM was called The Toy Box. I used to buy all my Star Wars figures there as a kid. It was right next to JC Penney’s across the hall from a plant and flower store and the Nut Factory. Hope that helps. Please write back if you remember anything else–thanks!
    Mike

    [Reply]

  44. Mike, thank you so much for taking time to write all of that interesting information! I never knew most of that since it was a little before my time. Denby’s was before my time so I don’t remember much of that. I do however remember Consumers which occupied a decent sized space, I think across from GAP and So-Fro Frabics. Whether or not Denby’s and Consumers were there at the same time, I don’t know. I would think though that once Denby’s left, Consumers probably took its spot but going by what you say, it seems Denby’s was a decent sized store as well. As for the Tobacco and Pipe store, I do remember that. That was called “Pipe Den” . It’s name was in yellow letters and you’re right, it was down the hallway where an entrance to Carl’s was and stores like Deb and Express were. “The Toy Box” I do not remember. Again, probably way before my time. I do remember and Train, Stamp, and Coin store near that location though. I also remember Kay-Bee, which was near Consumers (maybe right next to it?) and also Playland, which was bascially Kay-Bee (used their price tags) right in the food court next to that small electronics store that the name escapes me.
    I do have a few questions for you, if you don’t mind. My first question is, what was in the location that later would become Rex Electronics? That location was right near Consumers, GAP, and So-Fro Fabrics. I don’t remember what was ever there. My other question is, how crowded did the mall used to get on Friday and Saturday nights? I assume the mall was the most crowded back in the 80′s, probably the years right after the expansion. My memories of the mall only date back from probably 1988 forward. I was too little to remember much else before then. I do vaguely remember the Price Chopper in the mall so that must have been in ’88 or ’89. Anything else you can remember and share would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time on here.

    [Reply]

  45. Yeah, no problem at all Derek. Centurian Stamp & Coin was the name of that stamp, coin, and model shop. It was originally next to a barber shop called Haircut 100 and I think that later turned into the DMV believe it or not. And you are right, Consumers was definitely across from the Gap. But I’m positive that Denbys was to the left of Consumers if you were facing it. Except Consumers wasn’t there when Denbys was. I can’t remember what was there originally for the life of me. Man, Pipe Den, totally forgot about that name–thanks. If I had to guess, I’d say the mall was at it’s peak from about 87 to 90. with 88 and 89 probably being the busiest it ever saw. The mall still suffered slightly even in it’s prime because of two big things: One, and in my opinion the biggest, was the design. They should have built UP instead of OUT. The new expansion was by far the most popular because of the food court, the movie theaters, the super crowded arcade, and it’s big box Caldor Store being the anchor. So on a super busy Friday and Saturday night it would be packed with people in the new section and almost empty in the old section. I think if they built up like Colonie Center and Crossgates did it would have made for a more active environment throughout. That leads me to the second reason it failed, CROSSGATES. I can’t remember when Crossgates was built but it completely stole the thunder from CCM. Everyone in the surrounding areas, including the stores, went to Crossgates. Anyway, to answer your question, yeah, it was packed like crazy on Friday and Saturday nights throughout my high school years with kids ranging from 12-18. It was pretty much the only place to hangout in CP. I was a skater back then which believe it or not was extremely unpopular and looked down upon by everyone including my peers. So we would get into fights with jocks and burn-outs ALL the time. Not to mention being chased, and every now and then caught, by mall cops. I can’t believe they have a skate park ON the premises now! It’s hard to understand but this is WAY before the X-Games and Green Day so it was seen as weird, and a threat, even though we were all good kids that just needed some concrete. And by the way, all this talk has definitely jogged my brain and I just remembered that there was DEFINITELY a small fountain in front of the original Carls entrance. I used to throw pennies and nickels in there when I was a little boy. Love Minus Zero does an amazing job listing a lot of the stores. What I do remember about Denbys was that the typeface was big and blue and it was repeated many times on their shopping bags. Do you remember the name of the clothing store directly across from the Golden Krust bakery? And was Record Town there when you were a kid? That was such a great old-school record store (even though it was a chain). Talk soon Derek.
    mike

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  46. Mike-

    I remember Record Town being right next to Radio Shack, or close to it. Speaking of that area in the mall, if you were a skater, I’m sure you probably checked out Crystal Mansion! I also remember Camelot Music which had a large store near Caldor (not sure what was there before Camelot but I know later became a D&K Stores) and Strawberries Music but that was not in the mall. I was so little back then that I can only remember pieces of things here and there of the mall from back in its heyday in the late 80′s. I remember the mall being very busy back then. I agree that Crossgates hurt CCM but I also think Clifton Park growing did just as much. It seemed that once Price Chopper left (maybe around 1989?) thats when things started to go down. Plaza’s were being built up all over the place and stores were leaving for the plaza’s. Also, the mall took another huge hit when Carl Company closed all their stores for good (maybe 1991?) By 1993 or so, the mall was proabably starting to become dead.

    I don’t remember the clothing store in front of Golden Krust…In fact, I don’t even remember Golden Krust! I do remember Baskin Robbins though which I believe would’ve been across from Mr. B’s later a pizza place. Do you remember what was in the place in the food court that later became Taco Bell? Was it an A&W or something? Thanks Mike

    [Reply]

  47. Hey Derek.
    Yeah, you’re totally right. I always thought that as CP grew, the mall would just get more crowded but the opposite happened. You’re so right in that all the strip malls started taking business away from CCM. That Mega Price Chopper or whatever it was called across the street just killed them for any grocery business. My best friend’s dad managed that Mega store and so I actually played Batman there for a day to promote the release of the first Michael Keaton Batman on VHS! SO funny–my pal Rick played the Joker and all the kids were totally convinced. Yeah, Baskin Robbins was across form Mr. B’s–they had these roast beef sandwiches called Neba’s. I think that the Taco Bell was an A&W first. Or was it a greek place that sold Gyros? It was right next to Villa Pizza which my friend worked at. And you’re definitely right about the decline in the early 90′s. I remember coming home from school in ’92 and my dad was like, I’ve gotta take you to the mall-it’s a ghost town! And it really was, it became kind of a joke around this time–from like ’91 to ’99. My parents and sister who still live in the area would always tel me these depressing stories of how the place was empty. I went away to school in ’90 and moved to NYC in ’94 so I pretty much missed all this. My sister worked at the Country Store circa ’88 and then the Piercing Pagoda–remember that place? And yeah, I totally remember Crystal Mansion–used to buy bandannas there–haha.

    [Reply]

    Neil O'Brien Reply:

    @mike, Mr.B’s became Mr. Subb (notice the extra “b”) the conversion from B’s to Subb started in the mid-80′s and was completed by 88-89′ (and for prosperity) Mr. Subb reintroduced the “Neba” in 2008.

    [Reply]

    Billy Reply:

    @Neil O’Brien,
    A couple things:

    #1 – There is still (or was fairly recently, like within the last 2 years) a place called Mr. B’s in Queensbury on Rt. 9
    #2 – The Neba was part of Mike’s/NEBA restaurants, which had some family relationship with the ones that own Mr. Subb.

    [Reply]

  48. Mike -

    The place that you are talking about that sold Gyro’s was called Kabob. What is really something is that that place is still there! It is now called something like “Sub and Grill” but I notice that it’s the same owner that owned Kabob. I am really surpised that after all these years, that place is still in business! The chinese place next to it, Lucky Dragon, closed a few years ago. I actually do remember the Country Store. I think it was in the hallway where Super Liquor and Price Chopper were. Also, not CCM related but do you remember Joy’s Department Store? I remember that store well because I would go over to Toys For Joy that was right next to it and buy my Ghostbusters figures! I think someone told me once that before Joy’s was a Barkers? I don’t remember that place though…Maybe you remember those places?

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  49. Oh yeah! Kabob!! Wow, that and Lucky Dragon really bring back memories. I totally remember Joy. It was originally Barkers, then it was called Kings, then it was named Joy’s. Toys For Joy was originally called Toys R Joy with the R backwards just like Toys R Us. Toys R Us sued them and they added the “For”. A little history for ya, haha. And that old lousy strip mall brings back some great memories for me because it originally had a movie theater in it called Clifton Park Theatre but everyone called it the Dollar Theater because all movies cost one buck! They played films like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Clash of the Titans about two or three months after the original release. This is pre VCR! They would have double features like King Kong and then Godzilla after that. There’s nothing like that anymore in America–too bad. I was so bummed when they closed–they turned it into a church! Later on that entire strip turned into a ghost town. Everything was gone except for this bar called Tigers and then later that turned into Northern Lights–not sure if that’s still there but they actually booked cool bands. Did you ever go to the Great Escape as a kid? I used to go when it was called Storytown–lots of great childhood memories of that place too. Happy new year man!

    [Reply]

  50. Mike-

    Thanks for the quick response! I never knew there was a movie theatre in that plaza. Do you happen to remember what year(s) it was there? Did it leave when the movie theatre opened in CCM? Guessing by the movie titles you saw there, I’m guessing it was there in the early 80′s. I’ve heard of Kings Department Store before but I don’t ever remember it. Do you by any chance happen to know what year Barkers became Kings and the year Kings became Joy’s? I thought I read someplace that most King’s became Ames but obviously not that one. I remember Joy’s very well and remember there actually being a couple other stores in the area. I remember when Joy’s was having their “Going Out Of Business” sale. I think that must have been around 1991 or so. It seems like at that time, a lot of places were closing. Places like Joy’s, Carl Company, Present Company etc. I don’t think there was much to do in Clifton Park in the 70′s and 80′s. Do you remember any other places to eat and shop? I think there was a restaurant/bar one time named “Godfather” and it was later named “Donovan’s”. Now there is an Outback Steakhouse there.

    Funny you mention The Great Escape. I have my greatest childhood memories from that place. I also have great memories of Gaslight Village…Remember that place? That was located right in Lake George Village. Gaslight Village closed in 1990 and became a smaller park for 2 years before closing. Then in 1997 they reopened again called “Action Park” That was there for 2 years and then it closed officially for good. Storytown/Great Escape and Gaslight Village were owned by Charley Wood. Storytown was before my time. I only remember it being called “Great Escape”. This kind of stuff really fascinates me! Hope to hear back from you again soon.

    [Reply]

    Billy Reply:

    @Derek,

    I think at some point King’s took over all the Barkers stores – we had one in Hudson that did that as well.

    That King’s did become Ames, but there were some others that didn’t – one of those being what was for years the OTB Teletheater on Central Ave in Albany (that was only recently demolished when the ShopRite was opened).

    Joy’s was always a small local chain – the original one was in Glens Falls, and they had one in Rensselaer as well as the Clifton Park one, plus a bunch of the Toys locations at one point, one at each of the 3 stores plus some freestanding – I remember one on Central Ave in Albany (current Hannaford across from Westgate plaza) and I think there may have been one in Latham at 9&155 in that plaza also.

    The article below about the Rensselaer store demolition mentions that stores went as far as Plattsburgh at one point:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/stories/1996/09/09/story7.html

    [Reply]

  51. Hey Derek.
    I meant to tell you. I have the ORIGINAL CCM sign from the 80′s. My friends stole it circa ’88 and put it on my garage door. I thought my dad was going to kill me! It’s the classic brown sign, with the big CCM in yellow and underneath that it reads CLIFTON COUNTRY MALL in yellow as well. It was the sign that was on two posts on an island if you were entering the mall from the Sitterly Road bridge and it was originally illuminated from the back by fluorescent bulbs. Barkers was around all throughout the 70′s if I remember right and turned into Kings sometime in the early 80′s and then into Joy around 82 or 83. The Dollar theater was around as long as I could remember as a kid and went out of business around 84 or 85. Yeah, the CCM’s Hoyts Cinemas probably had a big part in taking the business away from that place. Man, how do you remember Godfather’s?! That place was my favorite spot as a kid. When I was young, that felt like you were going to a five star restaurant, haha. And yeah, it later turned into Donovans. My ex girlfriend used to be the hostess there–and then she later worked at Wits End. Remember that place? That was such a magical weird store as a kid. The place I most frequented for dinner (and breakfast with my dad on the weekends) was Parkwood. It used to be an old school diner. Went through several revamps, only to make it generic and lame. It was so great as a diner. You’d walk in and there was an endless winding counter where all the truckers would sit and a glass case of cakes, jello, and rice pudding. Clifton Park Pizza–a takeout pizza joint that used to have seating and a pacman video game. It’s still there and still has great pizza. Salty’s–a seafood themed restaurant. Harbor House Fish Fry–still love that place. Was there since the 70′s. Is the big Snoopy still in the window of that doctor’s office? And Collins Park is right behind that building. Collins Park was actually more happening in the 70′s and early 80′s. Was always filled with kids and birthday parties. Do you remember Hewitts? Is that still there? It was a huge barn on Route 9 that sold trees and plants and things. It used to be painted like a rainbow. And then just down the street from that, still on Route 9, there was a country store that sold fire crackers and candy. I can’t remember the name but it had a “statue” of a cowboy on a bucking horse out front. By the way, where did you live as a kid? I grew up in Colonial Green, a small development across from Twin Lakes Apartments where my mom and sister lived. I was there from 1972 (my birth year) to 1990 (when I went away to college).So I don’t have any nostalgic memories of CP in the ’90s. Just the mid to late 70′s and all of the 80s. My name is Mike Joyce–here’s what I do now:
    http://www.stereotype-design.com

    And here’s some amazing Storytown links!
    http://www.theimaginaryworld.com/st.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Escape_&_Splashwater_Kingdom
    http://st.sc83x.org/

    Gaslight Village.
    These photos are exactly where I was standing about six months ago. It’s so cool to walk up to these old abandoned “buildings”–just as I remember them as a kid.

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3210/2766782789_d8b32371b2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.flickr.com/photos/nespirit/2766782789/&usg=__qX_B8yzVdjRX1nsSXoAiqhV_Odk=&h=375&w=500&sz=132&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=91RCBW4XHinEbM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3DGaslight%2BVillage%2BLake%2BGeorge%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den-us%26sa%3DN

    [Reply]

  52. Oh, I meant to tell you. I have the ORIGINAL CCM sign from the 80′s. My friends got it for me circa ’88. It’s the classic brown sign, with the big CCM in yellow and underneath that it reads CLIFTON COUNTRY MALL in yellow as well. It was the sign that was on two posts in an island if you were entering the mall. Man, how do you remember Godfather’s?! That place was my favorite spot as a kid. When I was young, that felt like you were going to a five star restaurant, haha. And yeah, it later turned into Donovans. My ex girlfriend used to be the hostess there–and then she later worked at Wits End. Remember that place? That was such a magical weird store as a kid. The place I most frequented for dinner (and breakfast with my dad on the weekends) was Parkwood. It used to be an old school diner. Went through several revamps, only to make it generic and lame. It was so great as a diner. You’d walk in and there was an endless winding counter where all the truckers would sit and a glass case of cakes, jello, and rice pudding. Clifton Park Pizza–a takeout pizza joint that used to have seating and a pacman video game. It’s still there and still has great pizza. Salty’s–a seafood themed restaurant. Harbor House Fish Fry–still love that place. Was there since the 70′s. Is the big Snoopy still in the window of that doctor’s office? And Collins Park is right behind that building. Collins Park was actually more happening in the 70′s and early 80′s. Was always filled with kids and birthday parties. Do you remember Hewitts? Is that still there? It was a huge barn on Route 9 that sold trees and plants and things. It used to be painted like a rainbow. And then just down the street from that, still on Route 9, there was a country store that sold fire crackers and candy. I can’t remember the name but it had a “statue” of a cowboy on a bucking horse out front. By the way, where did you live as a kid? I grew up in Colonial Green, a small development across from Twin Lakes Apartments. I was there from 1972 (my birth year) to 1990 (when I went away to college). So I don’t have any nostalgic memories of CP in the ’90s. Just the mid to late 70′s and all of the 80s.

    [Reply]

  53. Mike –

    That’s funny that you got the original CCM sign. If you still happen to have the sign, it would be great if you could take a picture and put it on here. I’d be really interested to see what it looks like. If the sign was from 1988, I may or may not remember it. As far as answering some of your questions: Yes, I do remember Witz End. Actually, the place is still there and open. Probably hasn’t changed a whole lot. Yes, the big Snoopy is still in that doctor’s office! Hewitts is still there and they still do their “Christmas Wonderland” inside. Funny you mention Salty’s Restaurant…I live about 2 minutes from there! I grew up in Rotterdam, NY and my parents moved to Clifton Park in 1994. However, I had family that lived in Clifton Park so all throughout my childhood I would be in Clifton Park being dragged shopping with my Mom. That’s how I remember so much. Being born in 1984, I think I have a pretty good memory remembering so much! I looked at your website and that’s a cool job that you do. I’ve seen some of those covers on cd/dvds in stores before!

    As for Gaslight Village, last I knew the town purchased the property and are planning on turning it into a park and using it for storm drainage for the lake. Last I knew, this past summer the buildings are still standing. I am not sure how much longer they are going to last though. It will be a sad day for me when they do tear down those buildings. However, I am suprised that they are still there.

    I never knew that CCM was expanded around 1984. It’s funny because I always thought that it was the same size being that I only seem to remember from ’88 on. Only when I researched online did I know that it was expanded. Do you remember when the expansion took place? How long did they take to do it and how fast did stores fill it up? The other night I was at the mall and noticed that it seemed like the spot where TJ Cinnamons was is now gone. I could be wrong but maybe the movie theatre took the space since it was right next to the theatre? I don’t know when the last time you were at the mall was but it’s ashame what they have done to it. They tore down the whole orginal mall, except for JC Penney’s and the old Price Chopper/Steinbach. They still are having problems getting stores to come in and stay.

    [Reply]

  54. Yeah, if you look at the CCM Floorplan at the top of the page, the expansion is everything from the left, and below Marshall’s (formerly Carls’). Basically, the back wall of Carl’s was the end of the mall. I think they expanded in 84 or 85? It’s always tough for me to remember the actual year. Loveminuszero has a really detailed post on Feb 23rd. Seems really accurate and exactly how I remember the mall. The place filled up really fast if I remember right. It had about 100 stores–they actually used to boast this on the huge movie marquee near Route 146. It said something like “Home to 120 Stores!” That’s why it was so hard to believe the fast decline. I remember coming back from school and that would be the talk of the town–Have you seen how EMPTY the mall is?!” Was really hard to believe. It’s nuts to see what they did to it. it looks terrible! I’ll ask my dad if he still has the sign.

    [Reply]

  55. Does anybody know if Consumers was a chain? I remember I used to actually have a couple of catologs from them from like ’89 and ’90, but they got tossed. It must have been a chain, since I dont think a single small store would be able to put out a big catolog like that. If it was a chain, does anyone know of other locations?

    [Reply]

    Billy Reply:

    @Dan,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumers_Distributing – I think this might be the company – no specifics unfortunately, but they did have 200+ stores in the US per this info.

    [Reply]

  56. Scribbles and Giggles is closing.

    I just got word that the last remaining store in Clifton Park Center that resembles what the mall used to look like with wood paneling is going out of business. I am not sure if anything is going to replace the store. There is a picture on this site that shows the wood paneling where the name of the store is. Most of the stores in this mall had that “wood paneling” dating back to when the mall opened in 1976. Scribbles and Giggles is located in the newer wing that was added in 1984. Sadly, I knew one day this was going to happen. I am surprised this store lasted as long as it did. RIP Scribbles and Giggles.

    [Reply]

  57. wow, i’ve never been to that mall, but it looks like they tried too hard to adapt what was already there into something else. as “lifestyle centers” go, it looks pretty craptastic.

    [Reply]

  58. This is certainly not surprising. That store has been around forever and just cannot compete anymore with stores like Hallmark.

    [Reply]

  59. I was just there. Scribbles is gone completely and other stores are on the way. However, it look like there are some new ones such as Sloppy Kisses for dog treats. Must be a tough time for acquiring new tenants. There is a toy store there on the new facade called ta-da that is quite interesting. I picked up a number of nifty items. I guess it’s not just toys, there is quite an unusual assortment of gadgety stuff. Maybe the mall will shape up yet.

    [Reply]

  60. I’m I the only one who remembers the petting zoo they would set up by the main entrance right in front of where Marshall’s is?

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    @Byron, I do remember the petting zoo in the main entrance. The Carl company use to be there where Marshalls is now. My mom would shop in Carl’s and my dad would take me and my brother to the petting zoo. It was fun.

    [Reply]

  61. Petting Zoo??? Not sure if I remember that…Do you know what year(s) it could have been?

    [Reply]

  62. While I never went to Clifton Park as a kid, I went to the mall a few times as an adult, before Caldor closed. I remember the Caldor being dark and empty feeling, like it was rotting inside, even tho it was fully stocked and operating. I don’t remember Steinbach at all, and have always wondered what that end of the mall used to be.

    For a while there was a comic book store in the wing by JCPenny, in the opposite direction. Several empty stores in that area, too. Other than Boscov’s I haven’t been in the mall since before the renovation to look like a town; I’ll go by it tho running from the Price Chopper plaza around to the Crossings (you go around the mall via its access road, and exit by Boscovs, and there’s a bridge over the Northway which leads to the “back” entrance by Target)

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  63. I just visited the mall, on February 13, 2010, not knowing that the store I was seeking had closed. Many of the shops were devoid of shoppers, with clerks talking on their cell phones or staring into space. I don’t remember seeing a single teenager, although there had to have been a few. Almost everybody is on facebook, or somesuch. People no longer use material things to express themselves. This megatrend might prevent the economy from coming back anytime soon.

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  64. Is the Walden Bookstore still there? Or was that part torn down?

    When I moved to CP around 1989, I couldn’t believe how boring it was. The whole CapDistr was sadly boring unless you enjoyed drinking with SUNY Albany students, while they were doing their mating ritual.

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  65. This site should be updated.

    Note: Since 2007, more major changes have taken place.

    In August 2009, more renovations of the mall began which involved finally demolishing the vacant Steinbach building. It was demolished and replaced with a rectangle of strip mall ships. It was completed around Christmas 2009.
    Whats unique is now, in the new strip mall rectangle (where Steinbach once was), there is this cool tower/dome (on the top right corner) which has the sign on it reading “Clifton Park Center”. And at night, it lights up different colors, almost like northern lights in Alaska.

    Now its almost Fall 2010, and Clifton Park Center has even MORE plans. Now they plan on building a 5 story hotel in the mall and renovating the CINEMA. In fact work for the hotel has already began I believe.

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  66. I finally found the name of that electronics store that was in the food court: NWS Electronics.

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  67. Please end a dispute… When McDonald’s first came to Clifton Park, was it in the Clifton Country Mall and then move across the street to RT 146 or was the McDonald’s on RT 146 there prior to the location inside CCM near the entrance to JC Penney’s.
    Thanks

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    Laura Vedder Reply:

    @Debbie,
    The McDonald’s was on Rt. 146 when it first opened, circa 1976. I don’t know when it moved into the mall because we moved away in 1978.

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    Matt Reply:

    @Debbie, Hi The McDonald’s on 146 was first and was open at the same time the one in the Mall next to Caldors (Now the area Boscov’s is in). The one in the Mall I think opened in 1984 and closed late 90s. Friendly’s also had a rest. in the mall as well as the one on 146.

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  68. I’ve been there once this year. I plan on going again once the new theater is done. The remaining section of mall containing the food court, hallway to bon ton and hallway right of the theater is all that’s left. It’s dark and depressing inside. They NEED a complete remodel of the inside if they don’t want this part to die too.

    All i can remember as a kid, mid to late 90s is always coming in the marshalls entrance and walking through to the food court area. Occasionally would walk the whole length to jc penny’s, but there were few or no shops. I remember a cvs where the “island” strip mall is now, there were never any other people in it, and an auntie annes and kb toys in that area too. That’s where I bought my n64 in 1999.

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  69. I went back literally the day after posting that. I hadn’t been there since early summer. Which is funny considering it’s only a 20 minute drive from my house. The reason is, driving in clifton park is a nightmare.

    Anyway, it appears renovations are almost complete. They have completely overhauled many of the in-mall storefronts, they look very nice. The floor is being completely redone in a white marble color, and every other row of bricks is shiny. Unfortunately it appears the waterfall/fountain in front of the old movie theater has been removed (Though I can’t confirm it, the area was still covered by a sheet).

    There are still a number of vacancies in the foodcourt, as well as the standalone building across from JC Penney (Which is an all-brown color, much improved from the overly colorful main strip). The mall still feels dark, though… As soon as I enter I feel like I’m being pushed out by unknown forces, I just want to leave. I never felt that as a kid in clifton country mall. Maybe because the mall feels cramped now, and it used to be HUGE.

    But most importantly, there’s just no stores that make me want to come to this mall. Save for the very small gamestop (strangely is right next to the mall entrance, so it has a outside door just right of the entrance, or you can enter the mall and immediately turn right to enter that way).

    I’ll be back on here once I see the new theater and remodeled wing. Hopefully before christmas.

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  70. This used to be my favorite mall that I went to as a kid and teenager. Even though its name changed to Clifton Park Center, I will always refer to it as Clifton Country Mall.
    I went to this mall all the time throughout highschool (in the early 2000s) . My last visit here was in June 2005, before I left for college.
    Little did I know all these renovations would take place and drastically change this mall.
    Five years later, I finally returned to Clifton Country Mall in May 2010 and was shocked. I had not know these renovations had taken place, while I was in college and almost did not recognize this place.

    Anyways, from the information I have gathered,phase 1 of the renovations took place between April 2006 and January 2007, where everything north of Marshalls was demolished and converted it into a lifestyle portion.
    DCG Development officially purchased the mall on April 10, 2006 – which is the exact day the initial renovations began. The northern section of the mall, that connected between JC Penney and Steinbach was completely demolished.
    From what I remember, this mall section was almost completely vacant, with the only stores being Rex TV & Electronics, a 99 Cent Store, Body Essentials, S&K Mens Wear, Ritz Camera, a pizza place, video game arcade, and a few temporary stores. It was all torn down and replaced with a boulevard. The northern end of the mall was converted into a row of pastel colored outdoor shops.
    This also caused JC Penney and the still vacant Steinbach to become separate buildings from the mall.
    These first set of renovations were complete around January 11, 2007.

    The second set of renovations took place between August 2009 and December 2009, which involved demolishing the vacant Steinbach and constructing a rectangle of more outdoor pastel colored shops in its place. Demolition of the Steinbach began on August 12, 2009 and construction of the new outdoor shops began in September 2009.

    As you can see, when I first saw all of this in May 2010 – I was shocked and actually disappointed. I liked this mall when it was all indoor.
    Now this place is harder to navigate and not really a mall anymore. If it is cold out or raining/snowing, it is very hard to even get from Boscov’s to JC Penney, for you now have to walk outside to get around.
    Even the outdoor shops resemble speciality shops, not typical mall shops.
    All that remains inside the mall is the wing that leads to Boscov’s (which has most of the mall’s indoor shops – the only area that still resembles a mall wing) and the wing near Marshalls, which now exits the mall outside.
    The food court is the same, but with lesser eateries (not too uncommon with today’s malls), they still have Hot Dog Charlies, Grill & Sub and Villa Pizza (my favorite mall pizza in the whole area, the main reason why I even still come to this mall).
    JC Penney remains an independent building and the rectangle of outdoor pastel colored shops now stands in spot of the vacant Steinbach.

    However now, even more changes are taking place.
    In January 2011, phase 3 of the renovations began, which involved tearing down the mall’s original CINEMA and replacing it with a new and improved CINEMA. Also, a 5 story Hilton Garden Inn Hotel is begin constructed inside the mall (where DEB used to be).
    Construction is near complete and everything is expected to open by the upcoming holiday season.

    I occasionally still come here, but do not like this mall as much as I used to.
    I personally think this mall was ruined and should have been left the way it was.

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  71. Who has pictures of the original Clifton Country Mall? A Google search returned zero old pictures of the original mall. Not sure if this website supports posting pictures, but if anyone has them please post them some place public say photobucket.com or it would just be great to see that old place again.

    Like Big Mike, CCM was my teenage hangout, from the mid 80′s to the mid 90′s, it was our local mall that’s where you picked up the latest NES game at the K-B Toy Store or cassette at the Record Town. Seen a movie at Hoyt’s, after stocking up with candy at CVS. I have fond memories of Crystal Mansion, looking at the girlie magazines in Waldon Books. Remember smoking in the McDonald’s near Caldor. At that HUGE original lobby with the pizza place my favorite in the mall, the Ritz Camera, Time Square, Piercing Pagoda.

    Ahhh.. teenage memories. If you have photos please post =o). Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Big Mike Reply:

    @Jason,

    Try flickr
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/snappyjack1/sets/72157622483854905/

    Also try webshots
    http://good-times.webshots.com/album/192604905AOdjNT

    These albums show Clifton Country Mall during the early 2000s, before the 2006 renovations. Not exactly the original mall from the 80s or 90s, but these were the only images I could find – showing the northern end of the mall, before its 2006 demolition.

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    E Reply:

    @Big Mike, thanks for posting those! so many memories came back. If I could just go back in time and prevent the demolition somehow. they should have remodeled the whole inside and added some outside store entrances a la colonie center. Probably said it before. but I will always say it. This “mall” may no longer be “dead” but It’s certainly feels lifeless

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    Big Mike Reply:

    @E, Yeah I like the way they renovated the inside portion of the mall (near the Food Court/ CINEMA/ Marshalls/ Boscov’s) with the new white flooring.
    I wish they had done this to the whole mall and not demolished any of it.
    They should have renovated the northern section of the mall with new flooring and storefronts, keeping it indoor.

    Another problem at Clifton Country Mall is that most of the stores are no longer typical mall stores (Zumiez is gone, no Hallmark, no PAC Sun, Spencers, etc.)
    Instead they all have specialty shops, like in Downtown Saratoga Springs (Sloppy Kisses, Ta-Da, NY Toy & Hobby). So they do not have any stores that I need.
    Now I only go to Clifton Country Mall to catch a movie(love their new RX CINEMA), eat at Villa Pizza(the best pizza in any mall food court) or go to Boscov’s or Penneys.

    For everything else, I go to Wilton Mall instead.
    Wilton Mall has more of the typical mall shops, everyone needs.
    I live in Ballston Spa, by the way.

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  72. You need to go back! Phase 3 is complete. The cinema is a RPX theater wich Theres only a couple in the country. The hotel just opened yesturday December 6th. Now I keep remembering wasn’t there a Victorias secret?

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  73. I went there a couple weeks ago. I hate this mall now. There is not nearly enough parking for all these stores. Now they have (empty) storefronts all the way around the outside of the mall, past alpin haus (across from pennys) all the way around, all the way to the back, almost all the way to boscovs! I have no idea what they were thinking. These will never all be filled. 2 years after the outdoor portion was completed, barely half the outdoor stores are filled.

    Let me reiterate there is NO parking. Worse off there are no stores I’d ever want to shop at, and I can’t walk around and browse stores due to the fact there’s not a good way to walk outside, and It’s 20 degrees out so i don’t want to anyway!

    Sorry, ranting. Enter by the pizza place in the food court and that’s the only part of this mall I can even recognize. All the stores in the boscovs wing are different, the massive theater with 20 dollar movies- I will pass on that. I miss the old theater with the cascading fountain in front and the wood front on the scribbles and giggles. The wing that used to lead north to auntie annes, kb toys, Cvs has been completely redone and now has generic boring (currently empty) glass store fronts.

    bottom line: It’s such a pain to get into this complex only to have to park 3 miles away and not be able to walk around and browse / window shop without worrying about the elements and getting run over. So i will likely never go here again. The renovation of the indoor portion looks amazing, why didn’t they just do this to the whole mall instead of demolishing it?

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  74. Wow, looking at the photos of this place, may I say I’m *shocked* that a little niche store like Scribbles & Giggles is still there?!

    I used to visit this mall a lot back in the mid to late ’80s and early ’90s. To say I have not been in the place since BEFORE Caldor went belly up is not an understatement, though, having by then gone to college, life moving on, etc.

    I vividly remember how dark the mall was in its original incarnation. As was said here, a lot of wood, making the old name of Clifton Country Mall apropos. It was a weird salmon pink color on the outside.

    Next to Caldor was a McDonald’s, which itself was next to an entrance. On the other side of that entrance at one time was a bank. I forget its name, but it lingered for years. It was near there where the steps/ramp would lead to the wing which housed 16 Plus, Barbara Moss, Foot Locker, and some more I’m obviously blanking on. As I said, it has been years, decades even. But I recall at the end of that hall was the food court/Playland to your right with Marshall’s to the left of Playland with the food court entrance. This was also formerly Carl’s before that, which closed long ago, early to mid ’80s, maybe. This store was funny in that you could exit the store (or enter) via another exit/entrance on the other side, which led to another little enclosed court-like area with a smattering of stores and pizza places straight ahead upon exit. There was also a Piercing Pagoda kiosk there at one point, where I had gotten my ears pierced. Turn left from that kiosk and I remember there was another corridor of stores, including a Lechters, which sold kitchen stuff…and more of the usual stores of the period. To the right, I recall…a dead wing, sadly. Either way, even by the early to mid ’90s, the mall had dead spots, and that seemed to be one, but make another turn at the end and there was – I believe – that catalog store someone talked about. Next to that was Kay-Bee, with CVS next to that. Also in that wing was a Hallmark store, a liquor store, and then Steinbach at the end. It’s been forever and I may be getting the wings confused, but I think JCP was in that general wing, too. There was also a clothing store at one point long ago called Stuart’s I would shop in, too.

    To bring it back to the pictures I saw and my surprise, by the way, to the *left* of the end of the hallway with 16 Plus, etc., across from the food court (which, as I recall, seemed to have mostly local eateries…the McDonald’s, as said, was not there but near Caldor) was Scribbles & Giggles, a Unisex hair cutting place next to that on one side, and the then small theater with maybe six screens on the other side. And next to those theaters in a corner store was Victoria’s Secret.

    At least, I recall those theaters being small. (I saw Pretty Woman there when it first came out in ’90.) Clean but very tiny. There was a good-sided fountain in front of those theaters, too. Go down the hallway to the left of the theaters, and there was some leather store and a sports shop, and I believe there was at one point, a Waldenbooks. I also think Deb was in that wing. I do remember a Camera Shop (forget the name) and a store named Crystal…Palace, maybe?

    Now, looking at the outside with these “neighborhood” type storefronts in the photos, it looks…even more tacky. And I thought the salmon was weird. It’s just sad that this mall continues to flounder so badly.

    Then again, it could be worse: It could be one of the other local malls in the area, Latham Circle Mall, which is just a shell now. (Rumor has it, though, that demolition on that could happen as soon as next month. Sad, as I went *there* a lot, too. But the owners didn’t care to try to change or save it. So, it’s time. And with Colonie Center and Crossgates taking business, not a shock.)

    At least it *seems like* the owners of CCM/CPC are trying to keep the place afloat. Time will tell.

    [Reply]

    Big Mike Reply:

    @Wendy, No scribbles and giggles moved out a few years ago.
    In fact, that entire area was demolished back in 2011, and replaced with a 5 story Hilton Garden Inn and a new and improved regal cinema, with stadium seating.

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    Wendy Reply:

    @Big Mike, thanks. I guess the above photos are a few years old then. My fault for not paying closer attention. Still, even so, I’m still surprised that little store held on as long as it did!

    And a Hilton Inn? Okay. Because every shopping mall needs an inn. How…weird.

    I did read in my paper recently that CPC/CCM did get new theaters, which is why Latham Circle Mall’s theaters – initially planned to be part of the new shops – have since closed for good, as have the theaters in Wilton Mall. Looks like CPC/CCM (I’ll always know this place as Clifton Country Mall) and Crossgates have the shiny new upgraded theater experience covered.

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  75. If anybody has photos of CCM from the 80′s and could post them here or provide a link, it would be greatly appreciated.

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  76. I have a home video of this mall from the 80′s. I had a thing for water fountains, as a, kid and the one from this mall was my favorite…for some reason.

    One of these days I’ll get around to converting this to a dvd and post on youtube or something.

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    E Reply:

    @Katie, Please post it! I grew up in this mall along with Wilton Mall.

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  77. The pizza place across from Baskin Robbins was originally called Mr. B’s. Next to them was a jewelry store called Zanes. Zane’s was famous for having a huge Great Dane sitting outside of the place–a real friendly dog. Next to that store was an iron-on t-shirt store called Razmatazz. The Gold Mine was originally called the Electric Circuit–this is back in the day when it was across the way from Flavorland. And Kay Bee Toys was originally a pet store called Piccadilly Circus – See more at: http://www.labelscar.com/new-york/clifton-park-center#sthash.SU7t4hk6.dpuf

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  78. Awesome walk down memory lane here. I spent most of my adolescence in these corridors. Pretty thorough, but no one seems to have remembered:

    Petmania
    Hair 2000
    Razmataz (Razzamattaz? I dunno, this was 30 years ago), where you chose an image and a shirt and they made iron-on T-shirts for you onsite

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