Here’s a magnificent example of modern day Spanish-style retail architecture – built in 1965! This 1966 photo is shown courtesy of the Orange County Archives, thanks to Chris Jepsen for the tip. This Alpha Beta supermarket opened in March 1965 at the Rossmoor Leisure World Shopping Center in Laguna Hills, coinciding with the opening of the adjacent huge retirement community of the same name. Though the architectural look of this store is heavily employed today, it was exceptional at the time even for Alpha Beta, most of whose new stores had more of a “sixties look” (whatever that means). The store would have easily fit right in with those opened five, ten or more years later. Shopping here would definitely have been my idea of leisure - yours?
Update 10/25/08 - Although gas stations aren't part of the normal fare on this site, I went ahead and added the other Leisure World area photo from the O.C. archives - a Chevron station pic from the same year, 1966, to show how the Spanish-themed architecture carried over through the entire development. This photo has a couple of other interesting aspects - the "mini unisphere" globe in the background which was the logo for Leisure World, and the hand painted "gas war" sign. "Gas wars" were a staple of American life in the years prior to the 1970's energy crisis. Competing stations on opposite corners would cut their price by a penny or two (which was a lot when gas was just 26 cents a gallon!), and the others would scramble to follow suit. Makes me wish the Exxon station down the street would duke it out on my behalf!