Dutchess Mall; Fishkill, New York

Mall entrance to Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, NY.

In keeping with the theme of late, I wanted to post another find about a long-dead mall here in the northeast: The Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, New York. According to the website of the Dagar Group, the mall’s management company, it has very recently (finally) been torn down. I wouldn’t believe it, but this picture seems to prove it’s for real.

Located at the junction of US-9 and I-84, this ragged old mid-70s vintage mall has sat abandoned for nearly a decade. This half-a-million square-foot, simple-dumbell-style mall simply couldn’t compete with the larger titans further north on US-9; it’s actually one of four enclosed malls on the same strip. While one of those four is quite small, the other two–the massive Poughkeepsie Galleria and the large-yet-flailing South Hills Mall–both dwarf this poor old relic.

According to Dead Malls, the place once housed a Mays Department Store and local Poughkeepsie grocery chain Luckey Platt, but neither truly lasted long. The mall apparently was open until 1999, though when I first visited it in March 2000 it was already completely shuttered and had the feeling of having been abandoned for a very long time. The former Jamesway store at the north end of the complex sported a large, barn-like canopy that was eerily foreboding, and the Service Merchandise at the opposing end of the plaza had been converted to a flea market. There were few other signs of life, and the concrete interior floors had about as much charm as a subway station. While plenty of malls die due to demographic reasons or competition–and both certainly played their part here–I really think this place was just plain ugly.

I can’t take credit for this excellent set of photos– I found them all on a really cool website made by someone who refers to himself as Comrade Mr. Yamamoto. His website has even more than the sampling I’ve featured here, but he focuses mostly on road and transit geekery. As our crew is made up of across the board planning wonks–not just retail–we definitely feel like we’re kin. If you have an interest in photos of upstate New York freeway sign gantries, check out his site.

Dutchess Mall pylon in Fishkill, New York. Jamesway at the Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, NY. Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, NY

Former Roy Rodgers at the Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, NY Interior corridor at Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, NY. Interior corridor at Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, NY.

Interior corridor at Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, NY. Sign at Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, NY

47 Responses to “Dutchess Mall; Fishkill, New York”

  1. Wow… I remember when this was a fully functioning mall. It used to have a Gap, a Puff-n-Stuff, G&G, Jamesway, a movie theater (it had an upstairs and a downstairs, I remember seeing Home Alone there…) It also had fountains. I always found this mall eeeeerie. I think the last time I remember it really fully functioning was in 1994 or 1995. I moved away for 6 years and then when I came back in 2002, my brother brought me to the creepiest flea market I had ever been to as a goof. It was in the old Service Merchandise that had the tackiest gold and orange trim… Sooo 1976! I passed by there last week and was shocked to see Home Depot sitting squarely between where Jamesway was and another part of the mall. Its really odd to see it now, knowing someplace I used to go in middle school doesn’t exist anymore… Really weird. Another interesting mall is the South Hills mall. Its not flailing… Its dead. but Shop Rite got this bright idea to open a new store where Price Chopper was…. ok…. And you can’t beat 1$ Tuesdays at the Silver Cinemas! and that is all that is left… I don’t even know if Kmart is still there, and if it is, God Bless them.

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  2. At the South Hills Mall, Kmart is still there….There’s a Bob’s outlet store, a Burlington coat factory, Office Max, media play and a bunch of different small shops.

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  3. Whoa. I used to work at Music World at the Dutchess Mall in ’87 when it was still thriving. Picture this: INXS KICK and George Michael’s FAITH were chart toppers and we had to play them in our loop over and over. “I Want Your Sex” was controversial and banned from daytime airplay but finally hit #2 on the charts! So tame compared to the craziness you hear now!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Want_Your_Sex

    A hectic Service Merchandise, a pet store, fountains (one a wishing well), tulips (that was their logo), a “NEW” Footlocker (ha ha ha), an ORANGE JULIUS (ha ha ha ha ha), etc. etc. etc. It was a great time. I was about 19. Oh, yeah. Madonna: You Can Dance remix album was fresh off the presses and selling well worldwide.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Can_Dance

    That building with the “cavernous” facade was Jamesway. But before that it was a store called Mays. It was two levels (kind of like a small Macy’s). My grandmother took me there a few times in the 70s.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4298/is_198812/ai_n14982562

    There was a popular live music club there called Tinder Box. The last place to leave was Drug World and Citizens Bank (they moved down to a far end, seperate sector of the property sometime in 2005. Drug World may be out completely.

    One of the last things I remember about this place was going to get my haircut at Palace of Hair Design (aka Pal. of Hair Disaster) and seeing Eric Carr’s family there with an “Eric Carr/Kiss Store”. It was rather sad. He’s buried in nearby Newburgh at Cedar Hill.
    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=3078

    Shortly after, the bullk of the mall closed. Leaving just a bank and Drug World (as mentioned above).

    Oh, well, that’s my Dutchess Mall rant/info. Thanks for the nostalgia.
    We have to get the original MID VALLEY MALL (Newburgh) on here. Closed, finally, in 90s and revamped as a tacky plaza. Opening in around 1951, the mall was hot, hoppin’, architecturally “mod”. I saw Jaws2 there in 78 and the line was around the MALL! The theatre was a 2 screener with HUGE (and I mean huge) screens!

    Ahh, yeah.

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  4. PS:
    In photo number six, you can see what seems to be sealed doorways on the left. This was the entrance to the movie theatre. If I remember right, there were once two theatres, subsequently split into four. The theatre was one of the last places to close. I think the last thing I saw there was INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE in late ’94. Theatre closed shortly after (95) and the doors were eventually blocked off.

    SIDE NOTE: The old Mays/Jamesway store was used as US Postal sorting site and also Marist College had classes in the mall (using it as a satellite). This was very recent. I believe they both left in ’02.

    The center of the mall was torn down, leaving only the two anchor structures (Jamesway/Mays and Service Merchandise). Newly constructed, Home Depot went up in ’06 in this center space. I’ll try and get some pix.

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  5. Hey Steve, any more info on Mid Valley Mall in Newburgh? What were its anchors?

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  6. What’s up Bobby?
    The anchor stores in the Mid Valley Mall (this is going back to the 70s) wer JC Penney on one end and a huge pet store or Grants/Woolworths (questionable) on the other, adjoined by a the large Mid Valley Cinema (two screens). The last film I remember seeing a poster for was OMEN III (Final Conflict) . I think the last movie I saw, personally, there was PROM NIGHT (ha ha ha). I also remember my cousins sneaking in to go see HUMONGOUS. Do you live in the area? I’m trying to dig up photos of this place.

    There was also a large arcade/billiard place. When the mall was nearly closed, someone started a haunted house for Halloween in an empty retail spot. I acted (yeah, scary) as an alien one year. I was underage. Don’t know how I ended up in there. Thank my cousins for that one.

    At christmas, they put up a large snowman in the middle of the mall called Jolly Olly. .The only original retailer is still here in the newly constructed mall: Monell’s Camera Shop. The new mall sucks. A strip mall. The old mall had nice stonework and design. Very 50s.

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    Christian Reply:

    @Steve,

    OMG, when i was a little kid i went to the haunted house thing in the dutchess mall. There was a big empty room and in the middle there was a line of light crossing the room. I must have been about 5 years old. The “dare” was to cross the dark room, up to the line of light, and not be scared no matter what happened. I WAS afraid. when i got to the line, an “alien” (that seemed so tall I later in life wondered if it was on stilts) picked me up into the air and held me above its head. When it put me down I ran out of there as fast as i could. All these years later I’ve still wondered if there really were aliens at the dutchess mall LOL. I can’t believe I now have proof that this childhood memory was nothing more than a haunted house thing… WOW what a joy finding your message! :) my email: cjean@hotmail.fr

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  7. I’ve prodded around the Mid Valley Mall before myself, because I saw the big sign on the water tower from I-84 and wasn’t sure if it was a mall or not. What’s there now really gives no hints of its heritage–the only thing that was sort of “odd” to me was the Off Track Bedding place in the back, which had some sketchy characters milling about. Judging by the size of the lot, it doesn’t seem like it would’ve been a terribly large mall?

    Steve, if you ever do dig up some photos we’d love to make good use of ‘em.

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  8. FOUND SOME AWESOME MAYS COMMERCIALS ON MOA. MAYS WAS THE ORIGINAL ANCHOR OF THE DUTCHESS MALL:

    http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/2006/09/mays-department-stores-commercial.html

    http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/2006/06/vintage-mays-discount-store-tv_18.html

    Bobby, if you get any info or want me to try and get some on MID VALLEY, let me know and we’ll figure out a way to get in touch.

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  9. Caldor,
    I’ll do my best. I believe what you’ve seen was the newly constructed strip mall. It really sucks. The old mall took up much of what is the parking lot of this new place. Originally, they planned to save the old mall (I used to work in JC Penney in the 80s and it was one of the last stores left). I don’t know what happened but they tore the whole structure down in 88-89 and built the ugly thing that’s there now.

    I’ll see what I can find out. I will start asking some old timers around town and will definitely check in at the original remaining retailer, Monell’s Camera. Even tho the owners are new they may have some remnants.

    Steve

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  10. Was Mid-Valley Mall right off I-84…ah damnit, forget what exit now. Going eastbound, it was one or two exits down from the Route 9A exit, that’s all I remember.

    If so, I recall being at that mall as recently as mid-1998 (and it was doing fairly well too), so it had to have closed after that.

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  11. Well, the Newburgh Mall is in that same area too… don’t confuse it with that one. That’s at Union Ave. & I-84, right at the junction of I-87 (in fact, to go from 87 to 84 you have to use the Union Ave exit). The Newburgh Mall does just fine.

    The Mid-Valley Mall is just to the east of there, at I-84/32, and 9W on N. Plank Road, just north of 84.

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  12. Mid Valley Mall is the second exit after the Newburgh-Beacon (Ham Fish) Bridge (heading west) or the last exit before bridge (Newburgh) heading east. If coming over bridge, make left after exiting, it’s right there. If coming from the west, make a left off exit, go to light, make left, go THROUGH next light. Plaza (formerly a mall) is on left. Still called Mid Valle Mall.

    Once again: The ORIGINAL mall that we’re discussing here was TORN DOWN in about 1989. The one Debbi is referring to is the ugly plaza that was NEWLY BUILT in about 1989-1990. Yes, it’s doing well.

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  13. Caldor and Steve…thank you for clearing up the confusion. Yes, it was the Newburgh Mall I was thinking of. (and yes, it is ugly) Forgot about that bridge too.

    While we’re in this general area, let me go a little further west…does anyone have old pics of Orange Plaza from back in the day? Or did I miss it in the archives? That’s the mall that got me interested in dead malls in the first place. :)

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  14. Well, all the talk about the Mid-Valley Mall made me write this. When I was growing up (back in the 80’s), I actually lived across the street from the mall (the Rt 32/N. Plank Rd side). The house I lived in is now that bagel place (the cape cod style house). I remember that mall VERY VERY well as it was my across-the-street neighbor. I remember the old mall. (The anchors were JcPenney on the East end of the mall and Lloyd Lumber on the West. Before it was Lloyd Lumber I recall my mother telling me it was Grand Union and my sister always had to run up to get last minute things for dinner). The mall (the old style) was always awesome and I always looked forward to going there. Remember the Woolworth’s there and the empty retail spaces there and pressing my face up against the windows to see what they looked like inside. I remember the movie theater but never saw a movie there (my sister did as she was about 18 by 1983). I think I have a couple of photos around here that show the mall in some form or fashion (prior to the 1989 teardown). I actually worked in the “new” mall in Price Chopper (before they moved to the Penny’s space). Also, remember going through old newspapers of my parents and saw this huge ad in there for the “coming soon of the NEW Mid Valley Mall (1963). The mall opened in ’64.

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  15. Thanks for the info on Mid Valley Mall everyone!

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  16. When I moved to the area back in the summer of ’04 I wondered what all of those abandoned buildings were. Now I know they were a former mall. It’s very depressing when I think about it. I’ve seen the Mays commercial on youtube and I want to explore the abandoned mall one of these days. Just one question – is the old Mays building still there or was it torn down to make room for that home depot?

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  17. I just discovered this site, and it’s awesome. Although I lived (and still do) about 40 minutes away down I-84, I remember shopping at Mays a few times in the mid-late 70s.

    When I watched the Mays commercials linked to above, I recognized the facade and my first thought was that the exterior shots are actually this very same Fishkill store; then I read the post accompanying the video and it turned out I was right! Take a look at the videos and you’ll see the same “stone” facing as on the photo of the mall entrance up top.

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  18. I used to work at that Drug World!!!!

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  19. I remember there was a Roy Rodgers…and the Service Merchandise, oh my gosh. I loved going there as a kid because this was in the 80’s and personal computers weren’t that common yet but SM had the computers and I would love just typing on them…LOL. I also remember a popcorn/candy stand vividly outside the Jamesway…and that weird Cafe on the corner in the same hallway as Roy Rodgers.

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  20. Growing up in Newburgh, The Mid Valley Mall was the first mall I ever visited. It was open air, very Frank Lloyd Wright looking and very cool and quite. Penney’s was on one end and my mom took us to see the Budweiser Clydesdale horses in their parking lot one time…Penney’s also had a very cool looking retro lighted sign on the back of the store building. I wanted to steal it in my teen years right before the store closed down. (Don’t think about electrocuting yourself when you’re a teenager!) Mom and I would also visit a girl’s dance shop there (don’t remember the name) for tights and would go to the Woolworth’s and have lunch at the lunch counter. Monell’s Camera is the oldest tenant standiing. It’s too bad they tore down that beautiful mall.

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  21. I forgot to post this here back in January, when I posted new photos I took of the former Mays/Jamesway at Dutchess Mall at the Remembering Retail Yahoo group.

    http://tinyurl.com/6nzp6w

    If that link doesn’t work, the photos are at Yahoo Groups’ remembering_retail in the Photos section under Former Discount Stores, photos 34-38.

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  22. […] Different internet searches give the impression that the Dutchess Mall has been demolished, but I cannot find concrete evidence. However, I am amazed at the conversation on the internet about “dead malls” and what to do with them. Of course, a discussion that goes along with that, is what did the mall take the place of originally? Often, it was a historic site. […]

  23. Wow…I just stumbled upon this. Someone mentioned the Tinderbox. I also remember Mama Bravas, the italian restaurant. I worked at the Record World in 89/90. Used to buy video games in the early 80’s for my Odyssey at a place called Video Connection (I think). Brings back some memories. Anyone remember the name of the arcade next to the movie theater?

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    spooky rides Reply:

    @Paul in NC, The arcade was a place called: “DReam Machine”. It was possiblt the smaller of two or three locations. This one sat right next to the Movie Theartres. Knda; down from the Mall entrance/exit of Mays. This was a very small arcade, but they had all the latest and greatest Vids/Pinballs like Flash, Kiss, Dolly Parton, etc. I think South Hills Mall had a sister location too. Also, cant anyone remember the first kay Bee Toys store there? That was the first, The Newburgh Mall the second, and I think South Hills had one as well. Mama Brava, Dream Machine Arcade, this was a fantastic Mall.

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  24. There was a place called Moog’s across the street from the mall. My grandfather helped build it. It was a tavern for years. Don’t know what it is now or if it’s still there.

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    Peter from germany Reply:

    Do I read Moog`s Farm ??? HoHo, I worked there for about 1 Year– the year bevor they started to Built the Mall.
    It was a very quiet Time— bevor I worked in the Holliday Inn of Fishkill– but they catched me without working Permission.
    Very good Memories

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  25. That pic of the old Roy Rogers? Well way back before it was a Roy Rogers, it was a place called Bagel Nosh. My Dad used to take me there for breakfast on Saturday mornings as our Daddy/Daughter thing probably in 1980?

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  26. oh and Paul? The Arcade was called The Dream Machine.

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  27. I remember them breaking ground to build the Dutchess Mall they made an arcialogical discovery from a civil war camp and that held up construction for a long time, but when it did finally Open it was SOOOOOOOOOO nice, and how Mays Department store killed Barkers Department store and all of the businesses in that plaza in Fishkill. Fishkill was moving into a whole new era. We hit the big time LOL

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  28. Seems Mr. Yamamoto (actuallyC.C. Slater) took his site down.

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  29. The original Mid Valley site was in such dissarray that something had to be done as the owners of the mall never maintaned it. When Price Choppers offered to open there it was impossible to build off what was there as parking was minimal (back then most families had one car) and there was no room for tractor trailors to dock..JC Penney had the space but was already a tenant.
    I miss the old open air design myself as I remember going there right before they started reno’s. Cornell Jewelers was there but moved to the Newburgh Mall. Woolworth’s was there and remained and moved into a newer store after the redo. I dont know why but their lunch counter had such good food. They only stayed a year or two and then..no more.
    There was a Karate place there before reno’ and of course the theatre, JC Penney’s and a pet shop, Monells’ Camera Shop is still there all these years later.
    Pining away over the old design wont bring it back, and I agree..the new design doesnt hold a candle. Blame that on the original mall owners. Had they bothered to take better care of the mall then maybe they could have worked something better out with Price Chopper. If anyone is curious what the old desing looked like and knows what the strip part looks like then keep that in mind and just imagine another strip right in front of it (like an open rectangle). In the center it definitely had an atrium feel to in the center mall. Open sky and trees. The stores had great overhangs so unless you walked close the islands where the trees and such were planted, you didnt get wet in the rain. I was saddened to see it go and even sadder to see the completed new design…nothing left of the original charm.

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  30. I bought a “Chow Chow” dog at the Dutchess Mall in a store called “Doctors pet shop”, I think that chain is now defunct. The Dutchess Mall was very convenient, especially for the people of cold spring and the surrounding area. For the time it was a great place, having all of “stores of the time”. I bought many an “outfit” at the “chess king”, “wild pair” and “just shirts”. The “galleria” did this place in as all the stores moved there. The Dutchess mall could have survived. As soon as the “galleria” was announced, the dutchess mall should have started a TOTAL renovation and expansion, this would have stopped the good stores from moving to the newer galleria.

    MOOG’S FARM is still there but it is now a Mexican Cafe.

    This area of dutchess could really use an amusement park. A great location for this would be the old ibm facility on lime kiln road.

    Does anyone know what ever became of the old ski resort in Stormville NY not far from this mall down along I84??? It was called Mt. Storm ski resort along rt 52 in stormville. I know the ski resort is long closed but i’m wondering what’s on that property now? you can find old Photos of the resort on teachski.com let me know if you have any information on this property. I read that the A.P. trail goes right across the top of this old resort. jerseycityfrank2004@yahoo.com

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    Billy Reply:

    @Frank, http://www.nelsap.org/ny/mtstorm.html will help out on the ski area – it also mentions the AT (Appalachian Trail) which I assume is what you meant by A.P. Trail? does go across that area.

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  31. Does anyone know something more about Moog´s Farm? It onve belonged to Paul Moog who immigrated from Germany about 1910. I am doing some research on the immigrants. Any help would be great.

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    Peter from germany Reply:

    @Holger Durben,
    I postet bevor :
    Do I read Moog`s Farm ??? HoHo, I worked there for about 1 Year– the year bevor they started to Built the Mall. It was a very quiet Time— bevor I worked in the Holliday Inn of Fishkill– but they catched me without working Permission. Very good Memories –
    I lived there with my Girlfried Donna (from Fishkill).
    I know it was a German Restaurant, and I worked in the kitchen.
    After seeing much more of the world, I live now again at HOME in Munich/ Germany

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  32. The video store in the dutchess mall was called video connection, my mother was the manager for a very long time. She still has quite a bit of stuff in the attic from the store. There was also a Radio Shack, and Manny’s Pretzle’s. The bar with the wood walls was the Tinderbox. The arcade was directly infront of the movie theater, on the jamesway end of the mall. Home Depot is going under from what I hear and is very dead customer wise. The dirty flea market is gone, but the dirty McDonalds remains. There is a Hudson valley federal credit union in the parking lot, and the run down strip mall is still on the south end of the parking lot. The crumbling parking lot is now used primarily for people who share rides with other commuters.

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  33. I have memories of the Dutchess Mall, but one my funniest memories is from the McDonald’s out in front. My girlfriend at the time and I and my friend and some other girl, I don’t remember who, went there and while my friend was telling the order taking person what we wanted, I whispered in his ear “and a fur burger” and he said it out loud to her and everyone in there heard it and busted out laughing.

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  34. I’m super late to this conversation, but the Dutchess mall was the first mall I ever stepped foot in and, for most of the 80s, it was the go-to mall for people living in Putnam County.

    I spent an unfortunate amount of my time in the Dream Machine (the arcade) and got my NES (original Nintendo) at the Service Merchandise, and can still recall begging my Mom for it at the display.

    I know it was just a mall, but this is somewhat bittersweet for me since I haven’t been there in, wow, almost 20 years :'(

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    rob Reply:

    @ECM, Dutchess mall was a nice mall when Mays dept store was there . they were like another alexanders or korvettes. i remember getting pizzq at mama brava restaurant. buying records and tapes at record world. the deli next to shop rite at the mall used to have great salads.roma deli

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    TMK Reply:

    @ECM, I can still hear the Daytona USA machine in my head, blasting its intro music from around the corner before approaching the Dream Machine.

    I too spent a lot of hours and quarters in that arcade, knew three managers at Walden Software that were shifted over time in the late 80’s – early 90’s, always always left there with either a pizza at Mama Brava’s or a pretzel at Manny’s.

    It wasn’t just a mall, but a place that gave most of us good memories.

    Almost heartbreaking to watch some of the YouTube videos that people have up of what used to be the Dutchess Mall.

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  35. @TMK

    It wasn’t just a mall, but a place that gave most of us good memories.

    Amen!

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  36. Mays was the first store to inhabit that huge store at the north end of the mall. It was the first department store in the dutchess county to have escalators. After Mays had been gon for years,it became Gaines dept store,followed by Jamesway
    The second floor was used by IBM for numerous years,my mom worked there,after that Marist college then UPS
    Isnt it amazing that the glass greenhouse from the plant dept at Mays is still standing!
    Funny story..When Mays was going out of bussines I was 7 years old,i bought brown plastic kitchen spoons for stirring for 4 cents each, I bought 12 of them. My mom said “why are you buying those?” I told her for my apt when i get older and move out.
    I still have have 4 of them to this day! Now thats a good buy!

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  37. I bought my pinball machine from that arcade..the Dream Machine. It was a Williams Firepower. Still have it, broken now though. They were making room for for all the new video games. Saw Predator at the movie theater

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  38. I used to love Christmas at that mall. How they put the train in around the fountains. So many good things about that place.

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  39. The flea market is back – in the Jamesway building this time.

    http://dutchessmarketplace.com/

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  40. So many memories. I was 5 years old and this day today, I came here with my grandfather to see star wars a new hope in the once functioning theatre. Sigh, 38 years ago…

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