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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 60 (26)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 60
Page 60

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 60

THE MALL furnishes interior. traffic-free communication between shops. department store and theatre under garden-like conditions. Ground level and elevated passages are flanked by rest and meet areas.

fashion, along suburban streets and highways. These stores usually find that they have exchanged the frying pan for the fire. They bring with them into the suburbs the saturated traffic and parking of the downtown area and leave behind its chief advantagewconcentrated shopping traffic. The logical answer to such planless retail decentralization has been the controlled environment of a shopping center. Today, the regional shopping center has become a firmly established building type.

Each one of these retail outposts enjoys a hand-picked 10cation adjacent to one or more major highways in the heart

of some well-populated suburban area. Each one provides its shoppers with all the convenences and none or the headaches found downtown and offers its merchants better locations, lower operating costs, and the chance for higher profits.

A regional center is a fully organized and equipped shopping district. Carefully selected aSSortments of shops and stores provide a full opportunity for comparison shopping. Theatres, restaurants, medical-dental offices, and other services complete a balanced program which has a combined customer pulling powerfar greater than that of any haphazard

OPEN FACED STORES present 3000 linear feet (nearly two-thirds of a mile) of merchandise display through iloor-to-ceiling glass. Glass enclosures protect all walkways and ramps during the winter.

collection found downtown. Sun-baked sidewalks, dangerous traflic and scarce curbside car spaces are replaced with covered walkways free from cars, trucks and buses, and with off-street parking fields large enough to give everyone a chance to park-even at Christmas or Easter. Customer walking distances from car to store and from store to store are cut to a minimum. Honky-tonk signs and store frontsethe architectural jazz of Main Street#are outlawed in favor of quietly harmonious retail buildings. Finally, each center is carefully fitted into the surrounding community. Neighbor'ing highways are tapped with adequate entrance and exit roadways but neighborhood streets are left untouched. Malls and parking areas are planted with grass and trees. Landscaped buffer strips separate the center from adjacent residential property.

Regional centers will never crowd against each other. Each needs a 30 to 70 acre site for its several hundred square feet of retail space plus parking for thousands of cars. This site must be centrally located within a market area containing at least a half-million people with better than average spending power. The market area boundaries of each center are fixed by the distance from its site that can be covered in 30 minutes driving time. This means that even our large cities have only three or four market areas available for regional centers.


The Shoppers World at Framingham, Mass, an $8,000,000 regional center 20 miles west of Boston, opened last fall with a branch department store, a motion picture theatre and 44 shops and stores. On completion, its half-million square feet of space will contain at least 50 stores. From the hrst day, it has been crowded with customers who fill up its 6,000 car spaces. These customers bought eand kept on buying. Expected annual sales had been conservatively estimated at $32,000,000 for the entire center. During the first three months, Christmas season sales were double that estimate. Even with the expected post-season slack, Shopperis World has continued to maintain a high volume. By the end of its first year of operation, it will have proved that the regional shopping center is the biggest new development in retailing.

One of the reasons for this is the night trade. During the Christmas season, all the storcs stayed open five nights a week. Every week, all but three stores now stay open three nights a week until nine pm, These night-time sales hours have proved far more profitable than daytime sales periods. In the evening, whole families shop together, have dinner and take in a show. The centers stores, restaurants and motion picture theatre have all benefited to a surprising degree from this experiment.

Night Selling

The shift to night-time selling at Shopper's World is due to a great change in national merchandising. People have more time to shop after working hours and the five-day week has turned Saturday, the traditional peak sales day, into

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 60