Thursday, December 24, 2009

Walgreens at Christmastime, 1965

It’s a minute before 9am on a morning close to Christmas, as a Walgreens store manager opens up for business. All is quiet now, but things will get busy as the day rolls on. Then as now, Walgreens was super busy at Christmastime - and the perfect place to pick up that Old Spice or Jean Naté gift set for that special relative, so they could store it next to the one you got them last year.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the location of this store, other than to say it was one of a growing number of stores that Walgreens opened in enclosed mall locations during the sixties. If you click to enlarge the first photo, you can see the oval sign and entranceway in the background for “The Grill”, one of the in-store restaurants that Walgreens operated in those days. This store is configured similarly to the Dixie Square Mall location in south suburban Chicago (which opened in 1966 and also had a “Grill” location), although these photos pre-date Dixie Square by at least a year.

Hope everyone is enjoying a great Christmas Eve!
Update 2/16/10 - A bit more research has convinced me that this is the Belvidere Mall location in Waukegan, Illinois. Labelscar has done a fine post on this shopping center, featuring a vintage exterior shot by the late John Gallo.


  1. Love it!!

    You have a Merry Christmas as well!

  2. Love getting cologne or perfume sets at Walgreen's, prices are always very reasonable and when the 25th is over they usually have it all for 50% off. That's when I stock up. :D

  3. I love the photos on this blog. These Walgreens photos bring back a lot of memories. My first job ever was at an old Walgreens store. Dave, thanks for all of the time and effort that you put into this blog. Your passion for retail really shows. Although I don't often post here. I check here almost daily for updates for over a year now. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas.

  4. This "Mall-greens" looks similar to the one in Phoenix at Chris-Town...including the restaraunt. I remember the tall sundaes.

  5. We had a Walgreens in the Greentree Mall in Clarksville, Indiana until 1990 or so. I remember going there back in the 1970's and eating lunch at the Grill with my grandmother. She loved to eat there and they had some great fried chicken strips and french fries. I miss those days so much. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos with us.

  6. Gilligan – Thanks, and hope that “Christmas at Retrospace” was great. It was definitely fun to read!

    Didi- Walgreens has always been big into that, it seems!

    Mr. Burns – You’re welcome, and your kind words and loyal following of the site are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

    I hope that you and your family enjoyed Christmas as well, and best wishes for the New Year!

    Jamcool – It does look a lot like the one at Chris-Town, minus that mall’s very distinctive hallway roof design. Thanks!

    You may have already seen this, but check out the “Views of West Mall” link at this address:

    Chad – Thanks for sharing that wonderful memory with us! I’m glad this helped bring that experience back for you. It’s my main reason for having this site in the first place.

  7. Cool article. I remember many, many years ago that at least both Harlem-Irving Plaza and Evergreen Plaza in the Chicago area had Walgreens, and am sure there had to be many more I'm not aware of.

    When I recently took a brief trip to Milwaukee, it was interesting to see there was a Walgreens that had a mall entrance to Grand Ave. Mall, since I wasn't sure any locations connected to a mall were left! Sadly, the entrance was nowhere near as dramatic or as interesting as this store was! Plus, it didn't look like Grand Ave. ever had a snack counter, and if it did, the company has done a good job of hiding it ever had one.

    Darn, the more I think about it, the more I wish I had gotten my first digital camera sooner so I could've gotten a pic of the Harlem-Irving Plaza location. (the Walgreens connected to this mall closed somewhere around 2002-03?, a Target later opened in this space around 2004, and didn't my first digital camera till 2005) I wouldn't be surprised if this former location once had a snack counter(IIRC, it was bigger than Grand Ave), like some of the very old Walgreens did!

  8. I love all the old photos you have up here of department stores. Keep it up!